The week before Christmas brought less-than-cheery tidings to Broadway. Not only was the overall tally of $29.48 million down 1 percent from the previous week, but a season-on-season comparison shows a 6 percent drop from last December, when 36 shows were running (compared with the current 37). Average ticket price was down as well, to $106.56 from last year’s $111.34, according to figures released by the trade group Broadway League.
On the bright side, some of the season’s newcomers are building momentum. The lavishly praised revival of The Color Purple, at the Shubert Organization’s Bernard B. Jacobs, was at near-capacity in the 1,051-seat theater, up $158.7K to $854.7, or 82 percent of gross potential. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s School Of Rock, at the Shuberts’ Winter Garden, was up $66.3K to $1 million and playing to 85 percent of capacity. On Your Feet!, at the Nederlander Organization’s Marquis Theater, slipped $106K but remained in the million-dollar crowd, at $1.22 million, 79 percent of gross potential and 85 percent of capacity in the 1,626-seat house. And Fiddler On The Roof opened to largely positive reviews (less so here), auguring a healthy run at the Shuberts’ Broadway Theatre.
Disney’s duo — Aladdin at the company’s New Amsterdam flagship and The Lion King at the Nederlanders’ Minskoff — together drew $3.86 million, or 13 percent of the Broadway total. The exclusive club of shows ringing up more than 100 percent of gross potential was led by Hamilton ($1.66 million at the Nederlanders’ Richard Rodgers, 24 percent above potential), The Book Of Mormon ($1.6 million at Jujamcyn Theatres’ Eugene O’Neill, 17 percent above potential) and Wicked ($1.9 million at the Nederlanders’ Gershwin, 7 percent above potential). Mormon commanded the highest average ticket price for a musical ($184.96), while China Doll, with Al Pacino, topped the non-musical list at $149.93.