The blizzard of 2016 dumped more than two feet of snow on the Broadway theater district, and while producers had hoped to forge ahead, city authorities had other plans, shutting down transportation at mid-afternoon on Saturday. As a result, all matinee and evening performances were officially canceled just an hour before the 2 PM curtain, leaving long lines of hopefuls outside hit shows stranded in the swirling icy cold. In all, 61 performances were struck, with some folks managing to exchange tickets but others, especially out-of-owners in New York on long-planned holiday, out of luck.
The situation also presented an accounting nightmare for the trade group Broadway League, causing a full day’s delay in releasing figures for Week 35 of the 2015-2016 season. The figures released include money paid for tickets across the entire week, even though most shows only played six performances. The tally, (per the League), includes tickets successfully exchanged for another performance during the same week but not for a future performance.
Confused? Try this on for size: Hamilton played six performances at the Nederlander-owned Richard Rodgers, and was off $464.5K from the previous week. And yet it still rang up a Street-leading $1.3 million in sales, 30 percent above gross potential. Disney’s Aladdin, at the New Amsterdam, was off $529K but grossed $831.5K or 80 percent of potential. The Book Of Mormon, at Jujamcyn’s Eugene O’Neill, was off a bruising $528K but still managed to gross $969K and had every seat filled.
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Total box office for the week was $16 million for 31 shows, down $11 million from the week before. The average price paid for a ticket was way down as well, to $91.45, off $10 from the week before. The wonderful revival of Spring Awakening closed after its limited run; Our Mother’s Brief Affair opened at the Friedman; and The Humans began previews at the Helen Hayes.
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