New musicals brought new business to Broadway last week, with two of the week’s four new shows playing to full houses.
The Broadway transfer of Off Broadway success “Fun Home” ($218,509 for four previews), pictured above, played to auditoriums filled to 100% of capacity, while “Something Rotten!” ($363,874 for seven) came within a hair’s breadth of it. Meanwhile, the Peter Pan-adjacent musical “Finding Neverland” ($1,046,994) continued to prove it can fly by hitting 95% of capacity and landing at No. 8 on the week’s Top 10 in its first full week of eight previews.
“Something Rotten!” drew crowds initially by pricing all tickets for its first three previews at $15.95 apiece — one of the factors keeping “Rotten” box office on the lower end of the Broadway spectrum. Among the things keeping “Fun Home” tallies modest, meanwhile, is the fact that the show plays Broadway’s smallest house (the 702-seat Circle in the Square).
Also doing well last week was “An American in Paris” ($859,762 for seven), posting strong enough numbers to suggest it would have joined the millionaires’ club had it played a full eight shows. In its debut week, the musical adaptation of “Doctor Zhivago” ($291,270 for three) looked fairly robust with attendance at 88% capacity, but Chita Rivera starrer “The Visit'” ($167,410 for five) seems to be proving a difficult sell — as might be expected for a serious-minded musical with little title recognition. In its second week, “It Shoulda Been You” ($335,706) upticked only slightly.
Of the musical revivals on the boards, “The King and I” ($776,946) played to full houses and posted strong box office for a nonprofit production, but “Gigi” ($483,908 for seven) didn’t pick up noticeable momentum in its second frame.
Rounding out the dozen-strong slate of shows currently in previews, Bill Nighy-Carey Mulligan topliner “Skylight” ($618,692) moved toward its April 2 opening with solid sales, and “Wolf Hall” ($886,920), which opens April 9, continued to impress. On the other hand, new play “Hand to God” ($235,413) looks like it will need critics’ help to kick sales into gear.
Only one show closed last week: “Cabaret” ($935,989), getting a nice bump from audiences turning out at the last minute to catch Sienna Miller, who played the lead role in the show’s final weeks.
Overall Broadway sales climbed more than $1.5 million to $28 million for 35 shows now running. Attendance rose by nearly 25,000 to 284,016, but, in a mark of how many previewing shows with lower-priced tickets now pack the Main Stem, the average price paid per ticket slipped by almost $2 to $98.45.
Look for Broadway sales to continue the upward trend this week, since Passover and Easter (and the academic spring break season that goes along with them) often help bring holiday business to the boards.