Grads are sweet on ‘Evita’

Visitor influx offsets Broadway League comps

With graduations at local universities helping to boost Broadway sales in Week 51 (May 14-20), “Evita” broke its latest house record and muscled its way into the top three.

Fueled by the crowds attracted by its star Ricky Martin, “Evita” ($1,586,902) landed behind only neck-and-neck frontrunners “The Lion King” ($1,843,265) and “Wicked” ($1,831,193) in the top 10.

The Broadway League’s annual road conference also brought Tony voters to town, so new shows on the boards had to contend with the revenue-draining comps required to accommodate all those visitors. That likely accounts for the downticks logged at Tony-nommed shows.

Helping to keep box office afloat were area college graduations that brought parents to town and boosted longtime players like “Mamma Mia!” ($808,686) and “Chicago” ($625,236).

Overall Rialto attendance was up by almost 15,000 to 294,559; sales climbed $2.1 million to $27.4 million for 37 shows on the boards.

The 23 musicals grossed $21,000,592 for 76.7% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 216,546 and an average paid admission of $96.98.

The 14 plays grossed $6,373,236 for 23.3% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 78,013 and an average paid admission of $81.69.