You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Broadway Box Office: Tony Nominations Help ‘Waitress,’ ‘Shuffle Along’ Hit New Highs

The Broadway box office got a leg up last week from the 2016 Tony Awards nominations, with musical contenders “Waitress” and “Shuffle Along” hitting new highs alongside play candidates “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” and “The Humans.”

With 10 noms under its belt, “Shuffle Along” got the biggest boost, rising more than $200,000 (or about 30%) to a best-yet tally of $924,352. Although “Waitress,” with four nods, posted a smaller rise, it nonetheless bested itself with $960,477 for the week; reps for the productions said the show had wrapped some $1.1 million in single ticket sales since the nominations announcement.

Musical revival “The Color Purple” ($967,352) hit some of its best numbers yet (excluding holiday weeks), but how much of that came from its four Tony nominations isn’t yet clear. The rise was likely driven at least as much, if not more, by last-minute sales from theatergoers catching co-star Jennifer Hudson before she departed the production May 8.

“Bright Star” ($416,362), which surprised Broadway watchers when it came away with five nominations, upticked, and no doubt hopes to rise further as awards season draws on. Another title in the best musical race, “School of Rock” ($816,811), actually dropped, but that’s probably due in part to the fact that the prior week’s grosses were inflated by the family audiences who turned out for shows during the spring break session of New York City’s public schools.

In most years, the musical with the highest number of nominations would get a great big boost — but then, this isn’t most years. Nominated 16 times, “Hamilton” ($1,833,473) posted boffo numbers, but after a full season of stellar sales, last week’s tally wasn’t quite its highest.

Among plays, the starry production of “The Crucible” ($618,331), which has been doing well all along, led the pack. But the Roundabout Theater Company’s well-reviewed, star-driven revival of  “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” ($433,606), which earned seven noms including one for Jessica Lange, hit a new peak, as did “The Humans” ($432,744), the glowingly-reviewed production that could certainly use the awards-season boost.

Overshadowed in all the awards hubbub: “Tuck Everlasting” ($282, 911), which barely earned a mention in Tony coverage thanks to its single nomination. With a gross that low, it’s looking doubtful whether the production will be able to push through until it finds the all-ages audience that would sustain it.

Overall Broadway sales slipped a bit to $27.6 million for 37 shows, with attendance also slowing slightly to 281,042 (or 78% of overall capacity). Looking ahead, the Street will have one fewer show on it now that “Disaster!” ($387,184) has thrown in the towel despite its one Tony nomination. But we’ve got one more opening on the horizon with Cirque du Soleil’s “Paramour” ($1,074,996 for seven previews), continuing its impressive sales streak on the way to its May 25 bow.

Popular on Variety

More Legit

  • Sam Rockwell and Laurence Fishburne

    Sam Rockwell, Laurence Fishburne Starring in Broadway Revival of 'American Buffalo'

    Laurence Fishburne and Sam Rockwell will star in an upcoming Broadway revival of David Mamet’s “American Buffalo.” The show marks Rockwell’s first appearance on the Great White Way since his 2014 performance in the revival of Sam Shepard’s “Fool for Love.” The five-year absence saw him pick up an Oscar for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, [...]

  • Secret Derren Brown review

    Broadway Review: 'Derren Brown: Secret'

    Audiences love to be fooled, whether it’s with clever plotting with a twist, the arrival of an unexpected character or even a charming flimflam man with a British accent. The latter is Derren Brown, and he’s entertaining audiences for a limited run at the Cort Theatre, where he is playing head-scratching mind games and other [...]

  • Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica ParkerNew York

    Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker to Reunite on Broadway for 'Plaza Suite'

    Real-life couple Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker are hitting the Broadway stage again for a reboot of the late Neil Simon’s 1968 play “Plaza Suite.” The staging will mark the Broadway directorial debut of Tony award-winner John Benjamin Hickey. Set in New York City’s Plaza Hotel in Suite 719, “Plaza Suite” is comprised of [...]

  • Derren Brown

    Listen: Derren Brown Spills His Broadway 'Secret'

    Derren Brown has spent a lot of his career performing magic shows on theater stages — but he’ll be the first to tell you that magic usually doesn’t make for great theater. Listen to this week’s podcast below: “If you’re a magician of any sort, you can make stuff happen with a click of your [...]

  • A Very Expensive Poison review

    London Theater Review: 'A Very Expensive Poison'

    Vladimir Putin owes his power to the stage. The president’s closest advisor trained as a theatre director before applying his art to politics, and ran Russia like a staged reality, spinning so many fictions that truth itself began to blur. By scrambling the story and sowing confusion, Putin could exert absolute control. The long-awaited latest [...]

  • Betrayal review Tom Hiddleston

    Broadway Review: 'Betrayal' With Tom Hiddleston

    and Zawe Ashton as a long-married couple and Charlie Cox as the secret lover. Director Jamie Lloyd’s impeccable direction — now on Broadway, after a hot-ticket London run — strips Pinter’s 1978 play to its bare bones: the excruciating examination of the slow death of a marriage.  It’s a daring approach, leaving the characters nowhere [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content