Waitress turns two in April but the musical adaptation of Adrienne Shelly’s indie film is playing like the hot new kid on the block. Singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles, who made her Broadway debut with the exceptional score, returned last week for a second stint in the title role, opposite recording star Jason Mraz as the OB/GYN she flips for.
Without minimizing the contributions of book writer Jessie Nelson, director Diane Paulus and a great design team and supporting cast, the marquee names are doing their job: Waitress brought in $1.6 million at the Nederlander Organization’s Brooks Atkinson Theatre box office last week, breaking into the Top Five for the first time in recorded history (which goes all the way back to 2017). It also scored a record for the theater.
Sure, it was a meh week, with Bette Midler gone and Bernadette Peters playing just two previews in Hello, Dolly! ($372.2K) at the Shubert, but give credit where credit’s due: Waitress has lasted through more than just stunt casting. Ticket buyers like the show and aren’t quiet about it. Nothing beats that for keep a long-running show running long, with patrons paying top dollar ($186.32 average ticket price).
The five top-grossing musicals were:
• Hamilton ($3.1 million at the Nederlander Organization’s Richard Rodgers; $287.93 average ticket)
• Springsteen On Broadway ($2.4 million for 5 performances at Jujamcyn’s Walter Kerr; $507.88)
• The Lion King ($1.85 million at the Nederlanders’ Minskoff; $136.83)
• Dear Evan Hansen ($1.7 million at the Shubert Organization’s Music Box; 213.87)
• Waitress ($1.6 million at the Nederlanders’ Brooks Atkinson; $186.32)
The five top-grossing plays were:
• Meteor Shower ($911.5K at the Shuberts’ Booth; $145.93 average ticket)
• Farinelli and the King ($866.3K at the Shuberts’ Belasco; $105.20)
• Latin History For Morons ($525.2K for 7 performances at the Roundabout’s Studio 54; $71.28)
• The Parisian Woman ($471.4K at the Ambassador Theatre Group’s Hudson; $75.67)
• John Lithgow: Stories By Heart ($382K at the Roundabout Theatre Company’s American Airlines; $71.28)
Ticket sales for Week 35 of the 2017-2018 Broadway season totaled $27.68 million for 27 shows, according to the trade group Broadway League. That was a drop of 16% or $5.26 million over the week before ($32.95 million) but up 28% or $6 million over the same week in 2017. Average ticket price was $127.57, down from $132.43 last week and up from $109.48 a year ago.