Broadway, Like Wall Street, Lays An Egg As Box Office Slides 10%

It’s not exactly a collapse worthy of prompting mass defenestrations, but Broadway business echoed the financial malaise sending shivers through the equities markets this week. Of course, there also was competition from a great show going on in Times Square for free as news organizations sent cameras and crews to document the crisis of the desnudas, those patriotically painted semi-nude women hustling for tips upon whom both the mayor, Bill de Blasio, and the governor, Andrew Cuomo, have declared war. In the interest of safe-guarding the, you know, moral standards of the area.

Only a handful of the 24 shows running during these waning weeks of summer showed an increase, and those numbers were low: Finding Neverland, at the Nederlanders’ Lunt-Fontane, edged back into the $1 million club by gaining $2.3K from the week before. Something Rotten! at Jujamcyn’s St. James, stayed in that club with a $1.2K kick. Hedwig And The Angry Inch, now starring Taye Diggs, at the Shuberts’ Belasco, was up $9.6K to $410K. Amazing Grace, at the Nederlander, was up $9.6K to $308.5K — but still just reached 28% of gross potential.

In the red-ink column of the Broadway ledger, Wicked at the Nederlanders’ Gershwin was down $161K to a still happy-making $1.7 million. Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, at the Roundabout’s Stephen Sondheim, and Disney’s Aladdin at the Mouse’s New Amsterdam, were both off $28K from the week before. The Lion King at the Nederlanders’ Minskoff, showed the biggest drop, $179K, while still managing to post over 100% numbers for both grosses ($2 million) and attendance; neat trick. Two Brits were gloomy: Matilda, at the Shubert, was down $64.3K and The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time, at the Shuberts’ Ethel Barrymore, was down $99.5K. Even Hamilton, at the Nederlanders’ Richard Rodgers, was down a jog, $2,561 to a still impressive$1.4 million, 109% of potential.

Overall box office for Week 13 of the 2015-2016 Broadway season was down 10% to $22.5 million for 24 shows, according to figures released by the trade group Broadway League. Attendance was off 6% to 211,799.

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