“On the Town,” the well-reviewed Broadway musical that has struggled to attract ticket buyers for much of its time on boards, seems to have found its magic ingredient: Misty Copeland, the history-making ballerina who began a stint in the revival Aug. 25.
Unfortunately for the show, Copeland, who recently rose to prominence as the first African-American female principal dancer at American Ballet Theater, can’t stay with “On the Town” for long. She’s in the musical for only two weeks — at the end of which the production will close. But in the meantime, “On the Town” ($914,434) registered a whopper of a box office jump last week, with sales skyrocketing 130% compared to the prior frame.
That tally landed “On the Town” at the No. 10 slot in the week’s top 10, a leap that stood out even more in a Broadway week that saw sales decline at almost every single individual show now running. The overall slowdown was to be expected: Business usually dips around this time, as New York City tourism begins to dry up ahead of the back-to-school drop that arrives after Labor Day.
Among the very few other shows to report gains last week was, predictably, ultra-hot “Hamilton” ($1,548,928), which climbed by $92,000 (or about 6%) to the third rung on the top 10, nudging ahead of “Wicked” ($1,492,152) to come in just behind Disney duo “The Lion King” ($1,835,217) and “Aladdin” ($1,582,804). “Beautiful” ($901,998) and “Les Miserables” ($754,427) also upticked.
Otherwise, sales declined across the board, at shows ranging from “An American in Paris” ($1,175,967) and “Fun Home” ($700,011) to “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” ($394,709) and “Hand to God” ($245,469). Few of the drops, however, were terribly worrying.
Overall Broadway sales were down about $720,000 to $22 million for 24 shows now running. Attendance slipped 5,000 to 206,895, or 83% of the cumulative capacity.
The upcoming Labor Day weekend will likely bring something of a boost in sales before the slump poised to arrive in September, when shows including “On the Town” and “Mamma Mia!” ($977,098) will shutter.