Monday brought abundant good news to Gloria and Emilio Estefan. Not only did their musical biography On Your Feet! show some legs with a $209K jump at the box office, but they — along with Stephen Sondheim and Barbra Streisand from the Broadway fold — are among the 17 recipients of the Presidential Medal Of Freedom named by President Obama today. (Singer-songwriter James Taylor, another honoree, also figures in this subsection, for his contributions to the 1978 Studs Terkel musical Working.) Running at the Nederlander Organization’s Marquis Theatre, On Your Feet! took in $1.28 million, or 82.4% of its potential gross.
Several other newcomers also showed strength during Week 25 of the 2015-16 season. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s School Of Rock rode early good word-of-mouth (and excellent promotion across all media) to $928.6K in eight previews at the Shubert Organization’s Winter Garden Theatre, filling 90 percent of the seats. The show opens December 6. Director John Doyle’s stripped-down revival of The Color Purple, at the Shuberts’ Bernard B. Jacobs, sold $691K worth of tickets over six previews, just shy of 90 percent of potential, in the run-up to its December 10 opening. George Takei and Lea Salonga are proving to be a moderate draw to the Shuberts’ Longacre, where Allegiance improved $150.7K to $572K for eight performances, or almost 62 percent of potential. And Al Pacino continued packing the Shuberts’ Gerald Schonfeld Theatre, where he’s starring in David Mamet’s new play China Doll. The show rang up $1.2 million for seven performances — 8.3 percent above its $1 million potential.
The usual crowd also broke the “potential” barrier: Hamilton (19.6 percent above potential at $1.6 million, with a premium ticket price of $475 at the Nederlanders’ Richard Rodgers) and The Book Of Mormon (8 percent above potential at $1.5 million at Jujamcyn Theatre’s Eugene O’Neill, where the premium ticket price is $477).
At the other end of the spectrum, the strugglers include newcomers Sylvia, at the Shuberts’ Cort (40 percent of potential); Spring Awakening (41 percent at the Nederlanders’ Brooks Atkinson); Lord Of The Dance: Dangerous Games (26.4 percent at the Ambassador Theatre Group’s Lyric); Hand To God (35.3 percent at the Shuberts’ Booth); and Dames At Sea (35 percent at Second Stage’s Helen Hayes).
Overall take for 36 shows was $28.5 million, a 7 percent jump from the previous week, according to figures released by the trade group Broadway League.