Easter Week was especially springlike for Broadway as five musicals surpassed the $2 million mark at the box office, boosting overall sales to $41 million. That’s a 17 percent incline from the week before. With total sales to date of $1.28 billion, the 2016-17 season is looking at 3.6 percent growth over 2015-16, even as attendance dips a percentage point. Chalk that up, of course, to the Hamilton factor in particular and prices hikes overall.
Leading the top five was Hamilton, with $3.1 million in sales at the Nederlander Organization’s Richard Rodgers Theatre, average ticket price a whopping $289.94. A close second was Disney’s The Lion King, $2.86 million at the Nederlanders’ Minskoff, average price $188.95. Global hit Wicked, at the Nederlanders’ Gershwin, soared to $2.55 million, average price $149.56. Aladdin, at Disney’s franchise New Amsterdam, pulled $2.15 million from the Genie’s lamp, at $138.28 average per.
Bette Midler, playing a seven performance week in Hello, Dolly! at the Shubert, was good for $2 million and change, average price $201.31, continuing to break records in advance of the opening on Thursday. Also in previews, new arrival Charlie and the Chocolate Factory showed strong brand recognition at $1.3 million at the Nederlanders’ Lunt-Fontanne. Anastasia, at the Shuberts’ Broadhurst, had a similarly good week, playing to full houses and taking in $1.2 million.
Among the new musicals, Dear Evan Hansen continued strong at the Shubert Organization’s Music Box ($1.9 million, full potential gross and buttsinseats). A Bronx Tale The Musical bounced up to $858K at the Shuberts’ Longacre, 90 per cent of its potential. Waitress, with Sara Bareilles taking over the title role for a 10-week shift, was 35 per cent above its potential at the Nederlanders’ Brooks Atkinson, with sales of $1.4 million.
Sunday In The Park With George, at Ambassador Theatre Group’s Hudson, continues to explode with good word of mouth for Jake Gyllenhaal and Analeigh Ashford’s performances, tallying $1.2 million in sales, 10 per cent above potential. Come From Away, at the Shuberts’ Schoenfeld, continues to build on its good word of mouth, hitting the $1 million mark with full houses.
Even some non-musicals were looking strong last week, according to figures released by the trade group Broadway League. The Kevin Kline-led revival of Noël Coward’s Present Laughter, at Jujamcyn Theatres’ St. James, opened to terrific reviews and took in $814K, 61 per cent of potential. Pulitzer winner Sweat, at the Roundabout’s Studio 54, inched up to $320K, half its potential. At the Roundabout’s American Airlines, The Price was a healthy $663K, 86 per cent of potential. Lincoln Center Theater’s Oslo re-opened at the Beaumont to a second round of rave notices and ticked up nearly $500K, half its potential.
The situation was more dire for other straight plays, however: Significant Other, which posted a closing notice at the Shuberts’ Booth, took in just 18 percent of its $755.5K potential. A Doll’s House, Part 2, in previews at the Shuberts’ Golden, scraped up $90K, 14 percent of potential, despite generally strong word of mouth for the Lucas Hnath play.
And, finally, Week 47 also saw the departure of Cirque du Soleil’s first made-for-Broadway venture, Paramour, which shuttered at the Lyric as ATG prepares the big house for the invasion of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in 2018.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.