The heat is on in Saigon: “Miss Saigon,” one of the few megamusicals from the British invasion of the 1980s and 1990s not to have yet received a Broadway revival, has come in for a New York landing and scored strong numbers in its initial previews.
Theatergoers anxious to revisit the show after a 16-year absence from the Broadway box office helped propel this new staging of “Miss Saigon” ($723,243 for five previews) to almost $150,000 per performance; if that kind of momentum holds, the show should easily move on up to the millionaires’ club. Playing the Broadway Theater, the same venue in which the 1991 production played for ten years, the production attracted crowds that filled the 1,737-seat house to 96% of capacity.
That new infusion of Broadway coin countered, at least somewhat, a dip in sales at most shows now running. There were a few notable exceptions to the downturn, however, chief among them “Sunday in the Park With George” ($1,053,015) as great reviews for the show and its star Jake Gyllenhaal helped to push the title above the $1 million mark. Also upticking, by a much smaller margin, were the still-hot “Dear Evan Hansen” ($1,160,330) and Mark Ruffalo-led “The Price” ($568,805), among a small handful of others.
The overall Broadway tally was off 6% compared to the previous week. One contributing factor was Kids’ Night on Broadway, the annual ticket initiative that offers 2-for-1 seats to adults bringing kids to the theater. This year’s edition fell on Feb. 28, which helps explain the notable drops in grosses logged at popular family attractions including “The Lion King” ($1,530,680), “Wicked” ($1,515,568), “Aladdin” ($1,194,405) and “School of Rock” ($841,016).
The Street’s total cume slipped by about $1.6 million to $23.8 million for 28 shows, although with Kids’ Night keeping crowds consistent, the overall attendance of 226,2018 was about on par with the previous week’s tally.
The lone show to open last week, “Significant Other” ($165,131), came in low as it accommodated press comps and its opening night; whether the production’s generally upbeat reviews will be enough to turn it into a moneymaker remains to be seen. While another play, “Sweat” ($53,780 for one preview), ramps up its playing schedule this week, two more shows will bow, with both “The Glass Menagerie” ($421,467), starring Sally Field, and musical “Come From Away” ($643,601) gaining a bit of steam ahead of their imminent openings.