Easter Week was especially springlike for Broadway as five musicals surpassed the $2 million mark at the box office, boosting overall sales to $41 million. That’s a 17 percent incline from the week before. With total sales to date of $1.28 billion, the 2016-17 season is looking at 3.6 percent growth over 2015-16, even as attendance dips a percentage point. Chalk that up, of course, to the Hamilton factor in particular and prices hikes overall.
Leading the top five was Hamilton, with $3.1 million in sales at the Nederlander Organization’s Richard Rodgers Theatre, average ticket price a whopping $289.94. A close second was Disney’s The Lion King, $2.86 million at the Nederlanders’ Minskoff, average price $188.95. Global hit Wicked, at the Nederlanders’ Gershwin, soared to $2.55 million, average price $149.56. Aladdin, at Disney’s franchise New Amsterdam, pulled $2.15 million from the Genie’s lamp, at $138.28 average per.
Bette Midler, playing a seven performance week in Hello, Dolly! at the Shubert, was good for $2 million and change, average price $201.31, continuing to break records in advance of the opening on Thursday. Also in previews, new arrival Charlie and the Chocolate Factory showed strong brand recognition at $1.3 million at the Nederlanders’ Lunt-Fontanne. Anastasia, at the Shuberts’ Broadhurst, had a similarly good week, playing to full houses and taking in $1.2 million.
Among the new musicals, Dear Evan Hansen continued strong at the Shubert Organization’s Music Box ($1.9 million, full potential gross and buttsinseats). A Bronx Tale The Musical bounced up to $858K at the Shuberts’ Longacre, 90 per cent of its potential. Waitress, with Sara Bareilles taking over the title role for a 10-week shift, was 35 per cent above its potential at the Nederlanders’ Brooks Atkinson, with sales of $1.4 million.
Sunday In The Park With George, at Ambassador Theatre Group’s Hudson, continues to explode with good word of mouth for Jake Gyllenhaal and Analeigh Ashford’s performances, tallying $1.2 million in sales, 10 per cent above potential. Come From Away, at the Shuberts’ Schoenfeld, continues to build on its good word of mouth, hitting the $1 million mark with full houses.
Even some non-musicals were looking strong last week, according to figures released by the trade group Broadway League. The Kevin Kline-led revival of Noël Coward’s Present Laughter, at Jujamcyn Theatres’ St. James, opened to terrific reviews and took in $814K, 61 per cent of potential. Pulitzer winner Sweat, at the Roundabout’s Studio 54, inched up to $320K, half its potential. At the Roundabout’s American Airlines, The Price was a healthy $663K, 86 per cent of potential. Lincoln Center Theater’s Oslo re-opened at the Beaumont to a second round of rave notices and ticked up nearly $500K, half its potential.
The situation was more dire for other straight plays, however: Significant Other, which posted a closing notice at the Shuberts’ Booth, took in just 18 percent of its $755.5K potential. A Doll’s House, Part 2, in previews at the Shuberts’ Golden, scraped up $90K, 14 percent of potential, despite generally strong word of mouth for the Lucas Hnath play.
And, finally, Week 47 also saw the departure of Cirque du Soleil’s first made-for-Broadway venture, Paramour, which shuttered at the Lyric as ATG prepares the big house for the invasion of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in 2018.