Crowds keep popping up like spring crocuses to see Bette Midler in Hello, Dolly! In previews at the Shubert Theatre, the Scott Rudin-led revival, helmed by Jerry Zaks and co-starring David Hyde Pierce, took in $1.67 million for just six performances, nearly 20 percent above its $1.4 million gross potential, and was SRO (with an eyebrow-raising month of previews still to go before its April 20 opening). Average ticket price was $194.17. Banking $40 million in advance sales for a limited run, the producers can bet there will be plenty of $748 premium tickets out there on the “secondary” market right up against the $849 ducats for Hamilton.
Ticket buyers were hungry for musicals in Week 44 of the 2016-17 season, which was good news for several newcomers. Anastasia played four previews at the Shubert Organization’s Broadhurst, taking in $629.3K, nearly 8 percent above its $584.3K potential and filling every seat in the 1,143-seat house. It opens April 24. Amélie, at Jujamcyn Theatres’ Walter Kerr, rang up $591K in sales, 60 percent of potential and nearly all seats filled at an average price of $85.51. The adaptation of the popular 2001 indie film opens April 3.
Come From Away is selling out at the Shuberts’ Schoenfeld, where it took in $942K, 84 percent of potential with an average price of $110.63. The generally lauded feel-good show about Canadians who welcomed 7,000 surprise guests when U.S. airspace was shut down in the wake of the 9/11 attacks is looking lucrative in Times Square, proving that what’s good for the Deuce is good for the Ganders, too.
After a brief hiatus, Jake Gyllenhaal returned for the final leg of Sunday in the Park with George‘s brief stint at the Ambassador Theatre Group’s Hudson, where the Stephen Sondheim-James Lapine revival posted sales of $1.2 million – 8 percent above potential, with an average price of $155.80. Waitress bid a heartfelt farewell to star Jessie Mueller on Sunday at the Nederlander Organization’s Brooks Atkinson, beating the $1 million mark and going SRO. (Sara Bareilles, who wrote the show’s fine score, joins the company in the title role next week, for a 10-week run.) And War Paint, the new musical about Elizabeth Arden and Helen Rubinstein at the Nederlander, starring Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole, continued its solid start, taking in $914K, 72 percent of potential, filling better than 90 percent of the seats in the 1,168-seat house. It opens April 6.
The combined take for 34 shows was $32.45 million, according to the trade group Broadway League, an 8 percent hike over Week 43, with overall average ticket price up to $112.02 from $111 the week before. Hamilton was again the top grosser in the Broadway supermarket, posting sales of $3 million; average ticket price, $287.86. Absent those numbers, the overall picture would be less sunny: Total grosses are up 1.6 percent over a year ago, but attendance is down 2.4 percent – not a good augur for all the shows yet to come in searching for audiences.
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