Pray for the puppet. In an up week that saw eight new shows previewing on Broadway, several looked like early contenders for the pre-Tony homestretch, while others already bore signs of a coming struggle to stay in the race. Out front for Week 43 of the Broadway season that ended Sunday were Finding Neverland, the musical re-do of the Peter Pan origin story, which rang up $1 million and change at the Nederlander-owned Lunt-Fontanne, filling all 1,479 seats at each of seven performances (but shy of its $1.3 million gross potential). Average ticket price was a respectable $96. And at the Shubert-owned Golden Theatre, the revival of David Hare’s Skylight with Bill Nighy and Carey Mulligan filled 96% of the 802 seats, taking in $581K at an average ticket price of $108.25, to reach 82% of potential.
At the other end of the derby, according to figures released Monday by the trade group Broadway League, Hand To God, the puppet show that’s not Avenue Q and is fighting for name recognition (and audiences), had a rough first week, taking in $218K of a possible $615K at the Shuberts’ 782-seat Booth, with an average ticket price of $42.43 and hitting about 82% of capacity across eight previews.
In the Gallic division, An American In Paris at the Palace played to about 92% of capacity with an average ducat of $81.46 for six previews, while Gigi, at the Neil Simon, looked to wobble a bit at just under 50% of gross potential and a $77.25 per-ticket average across four outings. It Shoulda Been You, at the Brooks Atkinson, took in $294K for six previews at a cut-rate $57.49 per ticket. Wolf Hall Parts One & Two was getting $100 per ticket at the Winter Garden, where 76% of the seats were filled over four previews.
Among the newcomers, scarcity economics ruled at the starry limited runs: Helen Mirren in The Audience is commanding top dollar and patience at the Schoenfeld, having its best week yet and grossing 111% of potential at $1.2 million and getting $154.35 per ticket on average. Larry David’s Fish In The Dark also is going from strength to strength, taking in $1.13 million — an impressive 114% of potential — at the Cort, with an average ticket price of 27.3 fins.
Total gross for 32 shows was $26.3 million, a $3.4 million, 15% bump over last week. If/Then, the Idina Menzel starrer at the Richard Rodgers, closed, while The Heidi Chronicles revival, with a cast led by Elizabeth Moss, Jason Biggs and Bryce Pinkham, opened at the Music Box.