Broadway took it easy during Week 4 of the 2016-17 season, lining up just about flat with the week before. But the leveling off probably came as teams prepared for the early summer season’s biggest event since the Tony Awards: Thursday’s 11:30 AM showdown on the Central Park diamonds between the Broadway Show League’s first- and second-place softball teams, Hamilton (7-0) and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (6-1). No one will need to win the lottery to watch.
Of course, if you’re a Chicago White Sox fan, you might opt for the other end of the day’s card, between Les Miz (0-7; average per-game runs against them: 9.1) and Finding Neverland/Fiddler on the Roof ( 1-6; average per-game runs against them: 13.7).
Hamilton, at the Nederlander Organization’s Richard Rodgers, fielded its second $2 million-plus week in a row, even though it was a mere 22.4 % above its gross potential of $1.65 million. Translation: The gross potential is rising along with the top ticket price. Average price paid per ticket this week was a Street-leading $188.51. Disney’s The Lion King, at the Nederlanders’ Minskoff, eked out a win past Ham for top-grossing show, but only by $80K (or two tickets to Hamilton‘s July 9 performance).
In other box office news, the return engagement of An Act of God, with Sean Hayes, at the Shubert Organization’s Booth Theatre, could use some Heavenly help; it grossed $328K, just shy of 40% of its potential. Newcomer Cirque du Soleil’s Paramour, at the Ambassador Theatre Group’s Lyric, dipped to $971K or 54% of its potential, which is not enough to carry it through what ought to be high season; watch its numbers carefully over the coming weeks to see how this very expensive gambit fares.
Waitress continues to break records at the Nederlanders’ Brooks Atkinson, taking in $1.08 million and underscoring the fact that nothing but nothing beats great word of mouth, which Sara Bareilles’ show has in spades. Everyone leaves the theater happy and eager to say so. And while no one leaves the Roundabout Theatre Company’s American Airlines Theatre happy after Long Day’s Journey Into Night, it’s because you’re not supposed to, and the customers are game for that as well, filling every seat with fans of Tony-winner Jessica Lange and Nobel winner Eugene O’Neill. Word of mouth is clearly playing a role in the steady success of Tony best play winner The Humans, at Second Stage’s Helen Hayes, where grosses also have inched up (to a near-potential $563.6K) with full houses on West 44th Street.
Two stars departed with their shows: Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o and Eclipsed and Tony winner Frank Langella and The Father. The total gross for 34 shows was $28.2m down $248.5K or less than 1% and about the same for this week last year.