New Tuners Big (‘Finding Neverland’) And Small (‘Fun Home’) Please Auds as Broadway B.O. Jumps 7% on Eve Of Tony Noms

Broadway heads into the Tony season hawking something for everyone, as audiences prove amenable to shows on every scale as long as they like what they see. That’s particularly true among the recent crop of musicals, with An American In Paris, Finding Neverland, Something Rotten!  and The King And I big shows all — played to capacity or near capacity houses. All but Something Rotten! circled the $1-million mark (the last hindered by a heavily comped opening week and a lower gross potential of $880K). But ticket buyers also showed some love for smaller-scale newborns like Fun Home and It Shoulda Been You, each of which improved by around $100K and looked like they were building steam ahead of Tuesday’s` announcement of the Tony nominations.

K5-312_King_OHaraWatanabe captionThe revival of The King And I, which earned rapturous notices for the Kelli O’Hara-Ken Watanabe starring production, jumped over $217K at the Vivian Beaumont, remarkable for a subscription audience (it’s a Lincoln Center Theater show). Every one of the Beaumont’s 1,047 seats was filled, at a healthy average price of $117.15 per ticket — also remarkable given the heavy discounts to subscribers. An American In Paris, at the Nederlander’s Palace Theatre, was up $86K to $1.2 million, or 85% of its gross potential. The Lunt-Fontanne, also a Nederlander house, had another $1 million-plus week with steadily improving Finding Neverland.

There was less happy news for the Vanessa Hudgens vehicle Gigi, taking in 42% of its potential at the Nederlanders’ Neil Simon and, in the new plays sector, the Renee Fleming diva vehicle Living On Love, which eked out a tally of $156K, 16% of its potential at the Shuberts’ Longacre. The two parts of Wolf Hall, at the Shuberts’ Winter Garden, was off $126K to $734K, or 53% of potential and filling 60% of the theater’s 1,383 seats.

The biggest hits remained steady: Disney’s Aladdin ($1.5M at the New Amsterdam) and The Lion King ($2M at the Nederlanders’ Minskoff) sold out, along with The Book Of Mormon ($1.5 million at Jujamcyn’s Eugene O’Neill, with a street-high average ticket price of $168.07) and Wicked ($1.7 million at the Nederlanders’ Gershwin) were tops among musicals. The Bill Nighy-Carey Mulligan revival of Skylight, at the Shuberts’ Golden, returned from hiatus and sold out, taking in $775K, 90% of potential and filling every seat. Fish In The Dark, at the Shuberts’ Cort, continued to reel in Larry David fans, taking in $1.19 million, a mighty 114% of potential. Close by was The Audience, with Helen Mirren, $1.2 million at the Shuberts’ Schoenfeld, 110% of gross potential and an average ticket price of $154.51, which was tops for a non-musical.

Overall the Broadway box office was up 7% for the week ending Sunday, to $27.7 million for 35 shows, according to figures released by the trade group Broadway League. The Tony nominations are announce3d Tuesday morning beginning at 8:30 and will be carried on CBS This Morning.

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