In the final week of previews before its August 6 opening, Hamilton put on a couple of noteworthy side shows: The historico-comico-rapico-dramatico musicale brings $32-million in advance sales to the table, a pre-opening safe deposit that’s rarer than a straight play in the district. With a weekly gross of $1.5 million at the Nederlander-owned Richard Rodgers Theater, the Lin-Manuel Miranda show registered a Street high of 112% of potential, outflanking the over-100% club that includes Aladdin (101.4%), An Act Of God (106.7% in its final week), The Book Of Mormon (107%) and Wicked (106%).
And speaking of the Lin-Manuel Miranda show, in addition to entertaining Vice President Joseph R. Biden and other bold-facers dropping by, the author-composer-lyricist-star is putting in overtime, serenading the crowds lined up for the Hamilton “Ham4Ham” lottery whose winners get to see the show for one Hamilton, or $10. He answers questions from the hopefuls by singing snippets from favorite musicals, including Rent and A Chorus Line. Other times, he’s spotted by fellow cast members. It’s great customer care.
The family musicals continue to hold up the otherwise lackluster summer box office. Disney’s Aladdin, at the flagship New Amsterdam, broke its own record for the seventh time, taking in $1.8 million and change. Mickey’s Lion King, at the Nederlander’s Minskoff, had a nine-performance week that toted up $2.6 million. Ditto the witches of Wicked, who took in $2.1 million for 9 performances at the Nederlanders’ Gershwin (yes, a very good week for the Nederlander Organization). The King And I, at Lincoln Center Theater’s Vivian Beaumont, bounced back from a down week, up $165K to $1.1 million.
Larry David’s Fish In The Dark, at the Shuberts’ Cort, swam off with a $125K bump to $842K in the final week of its hit run. Jim Parsons also bid farewell after a limited run in the hit An Act Of God, taking in $1.08 million at the Roundabout Theatre Company’s Studio 54.
On respirators: Amazing Grace, $308K at the Nederlander, 28% of potential; On The Town, $476K at the Lyric, 27% of potential. Looking needy: Hand To God, at the Shuberts’ Booth, $286K, 46% of potential; Hedwig And The Angry Inch, $391K at the Shuberts’ Belasco, 55% of potential.
Total gross for Week 10, which ended Sunday, was $28.8 million for 28 shows, according to figures released by the trade group Broadway League. That’s a 3% increase over Week 9. Attendance was up as well, to 259,604 from 255,568.