Looks like the rhythm has already gotcha, Broadway — at least to judge from the first week of sales at “On Your Feet!,” the bio-musical about Gloria Estefan and Emilio Estefan, which came close to cracking the $1 million mark last week with only seven previews under its belt.
Using Gloria Estefan’s recovery from a bus crash as the jumping-off point for a look back at the Estefans’ personal and professional lives together, “On Your Feet!” ($970,013 for seven) pulled in about $140,000 per performance. That’s a great tally for a brand new musical, with this one benefiting from the Estefans’ broad fanbase as well as from the buzz established by a largely well-received tryout run in Chicago (pictured above) over the summer. Also adding a boost of business was the long-weekend holiday traffic from Columbus Day, which helped goose turnout all along the Street.
With the fall season on Broadway really ramping up, “On Your Feet!” was one of three productions to start performances last week. Another show playing its first previews, “Allegiance” ($608,241), made a solid debut for a musical with challenging subject matter (the Japanese-American internment during World War II) and a relatively unheralded title that won’t be familiar to theatergoers unfamiliar with the extensive social-media campaign led by star George Takei.
Also making an encouraging bow was “King Charles III,” the what-if future history of the U.K. that arrives on Broadway after winning raves in London. In just one performance, “King Charles III” rang up $85,080, a healthy number for a new non-musical with no big-name stars attached.
Among other previewing titles, Keira Knightley showed her pull with visiting audiences when the Roundabout Theater Company’s nonprofit production of “Therese Raquin” ($321,284 for six) rose by more than 40% despite the fact that it only played one more performance than it did the previous week. Meanwhile, Matthew Broderick played the first full week of eight shows in dog comedy “Sylvia” ($398,750).
Hampered by press comps, “The Gin Game” ($341,483 for seven) went down, just slightly, ahead of its Oct. 14 opening, and “Dames at Sea” ($194,663), finding it impossible to attract attention in a competitive season of better-known properties, slipped.
In general, however, nearly every individual show now running posted gains compared to the slow sales of the previous week. Several productions aimed to maximize Columbus Day figures by rejiggering playing schedules, dropping a midweek performance or two and relocating them to sometime during the long weekend.
Overall sales climbed $4.75 million to $26 million for 31 shows on the boards, and attendance jumped more than 35,000 to 246,306 (or 87% of overall capacity). The average price paid per ticket, which can serve as an indicator of overall ticket demand, rose $5 to $105.48.
Even Clive Owen outing “Old Times” ($356,649) and Sam Rockwell starrer “Fool for Love” ($263,338) upticked, even though each of them accommodated press tickets and a heavily comped opening night last week.
At the top of the chart, “The Lion King” ($2,033,230) reigned supreme, with “Wicked” ($1,765,268) and a rising “Hamilton” ($1,678,091) right behind. “Aladdin” ($1,641,903), “The Book of Mormon” ($1,576,943) and “An American in Paris” ($1,423,525) also were among the upper echelons of the list.
With no long weekend the kick up numbers, the coming week probably won’t score as high as the last one. But with still more new shows on the way in the coming weeks, momentum might not slow too severely.