Star-heavy Broadway comedy “It’s Only a Play” went from zero to 60 last week, launching out of the gate with a strong tally in a week that saw overall Main Stem sales hold steady ahead of the annual back-to-school drop.
A critical mass of well-known actors help propel the stellar sales for backstage Broadway comedy “It’s Only a Play,” which stars Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Rupert Grint, Megan Mullally and Stockard Channing, among others. The title — the first to pair “The Producers” co-stars Broderick and Lane since the 2005 revival of “The Odd Couple,” racked up $793,046 for just five previews. Advance sales had already made the show look like a strong contender; the robust first week seemingly delivers on that promise.
Another play that joined the Broadway lineup last week, “You Can’t Take It With You” ($519,102), didn’t keep up with “It’s Only a Play” but still earned healthy numbers for the first week of a new nonmusical. That production boasts its own contingent of familiar faces, including James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne. In its second week, “This Is Our Youth” ($390,372), starring Michael Cera, played its first full week of previews.
Otherwise, it was a steady week on Broadway as the unremarkable dips logged at some individual shows were balanced by gains at titles including “Kinky Boots” ($1,246,584) and “Motown” ($1,100,811). At the top of the charts, usual suspects “The Lion King” ($1,932,033), “Wicked” ($1,708,228) and “The Book of Mormon” ($1,682,942) led the way, ahead of newer additions to the Top 10, “Aladdin” ($1,506,683) and “Beautiful” ($1,243,050).
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In its second week with new topliner Andrew Rannells, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” held steady at $635,445. Among other comings and goings last week, Audra McDonald topliner “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill” ($558,256) will sit out the initial post-Labor Day downturn, taking a scheduled hiatus prior to returning Sept. 9.
Overall Broadway sales rang in at $22.9 million for 25 shows on the boards, up just slightly from the previous week. Attendance also was on par with the prior sesh, tallying 215,232.