×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘I’ll Eat You Last’ Leads Rising Broadway Box Office

Play starring Bette Midler and Tony nominee 'Kinky Boots' log robust rises in sales

It didn’t hurt to be a Tony nominee last week, when a general upward trend at the Broadway box office proved most likely to bring increases at those individual titles currently enjoying a spike in awards-season publicity.

Not that a Tony nod was a prerequisite for rising biz. Case in point: “I’ll Eat You Last,” the Bette Midler solo outing that was locked out of the Tony noms but posted the biggest rise of the frame, climbing nearly $112,000 (or 15%) to $865,144. That’s a new box office record at the Booth Theater and a notably boffo number given the small size of the venue (777 seats).

The bump at “Eat You Last” even outpaced the rise at “Kinky Boots” ($1,250,718), up a robust $110,000 on the strength of 13 Tony noms. Cicely Tyson topliner “The Trip to Bountiful,” ($562,796) and tuners “Annie” ($743,412) and “Pippin” ($861,233) also all got healthy boosts, while Tom Hanks starrer “Lucky Guy” ($1,389,588) and new musical nominee “Matilda” ($1,124,333) improved as well, though not by as wide a margin.

Most individual titles on the boards saw sales pick up, but with a couple of shuttered productions no longer in the mix — one a big seller (“The Rascals: Once Upon a Dream”) and one less so (“The Testament of Mary”) — and attendance slipping just slightly to 240,234, the Main Stem couldn’t keep the cume from slightly deflating to $24,246,231 for 29 shows on the boards.

Still, few of the week’s box office declines were terribly notable, with longrunners “The Phantom of the Opera” ($1,039,572) and “Mamma Mia!” ($880,486) reporting the largest downticks. Overall, however, there was still enough biz to keep nine shows in the millionaires’ club, with “Motown” ($1,194,456) maintaining a perch above the $1 million mark alongside fellow spring titles “Lucky Guy,” “Kinky Boots” and “Matilda.”

With the Broadway League’s road conference this week bringing in legiters from around the country — in particular Tony voters who’ll need comps to the Street’s roster of nominees — there’s a chance nominee B.O. could dip a bit in the coming week. But if those comps pay off in Tony love, it’ll be worth it.

Popular on Variety

More Legit

  • Broadway Review: David Byrne's 'American Utopia'

    Broadway Review: David Byrne's 'American Utopia'

    One constant of David Byrne’s long and prolific career is his ability to grow a seemingly simple idea into something brilliant, whether it’s the melody of “Road to Nowhere” or the concept of the “Stop Making Sense” tour some 36 years ago, where the premise of bringing out nine musicians, one at a time per [...]

  • The Sound Inside review

    Broadway Review: 'The Sound Inside' Starring Mary-Louise Parker

    Mary-Louise Parker will take your breath away with her deeply felt and sensitively drawn portrait of a tenured Yale professor who treasures great literature, but has made no room in her life for someone to share that love with. The other thesp in this two-hander is Will Hochman, endearing in the supportive role of a [...]

  • Little Shop of Horrors review

    Off Broadway Review: 'Little Shop of Horrors'

    With its strains of kitschy doo-wop and its sci-fi B-movie inspirations, the quaint 1982 musical “Little Shop of Horrors” hardly seems a thing of modern-day revivalism, even despite its touches of S&M. Yet this year alone, not only is there an Off Broadway production of the blackly comic “Little Shop” featuring Jonathan Groff of Netflix’s [...]

  • The Lightning Thief review musical

    Broadway Review: 'The Lightning Thief,' The Musical

    “It’s a lot to take in right now,” says Percy Jackson, the teen hero of “The Lightning Thief,” the kid-centric fantasy musical (based on the popular Y.A. novel) that’s now on Broadway after touring the country and playing an Off Broadway run. You could say that’s a bit of an understatement from contemporary teen Percy [...]

  • The Rose Tattoo review

    Broadway Review: 'The Rose Tattoo' Starring Marisa Tomei

    “The Rose Tattoo” is what happens when a poet writes a comedy — something strange, but kind of lovely. The same might be said of director Trip Cullman’s production: Strange, if not exactly lovely. Even Marisa Tomei, so physically delicate and expressively refined, seems an odd choice to play the lusty and passionate protagonist, Serafina [...]

  • Obit-Roy-B

    Former NATO President Roy B. White Dies at 93

    Roy B. White, former president and chairman of the National Association of Theater Owners, died of natural causes Oct. 11 in Naples, Fla. He was 93. White ran the 100-screen independent theater circuit, Mid–States Theaters Inc. In addition to his career, he did extensive work on behalf of charities and non-profits. He was vice president [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content