Whether it was out-of-town crowds avoiding Manhattan traffic with the double whammy of Pope Francis’ visit and the UN General Assembly, the Jewish High Holy Days, or all three, Broadway had a lousy Week 18. Unless, that is, your name is Alexander, Carole or Elder — in which case, some religious leader who’s a fan put in a good Word or two for you. And speaking of good words, Spring Awakening was off, due to critics previews, but opened Sunday to mostly rapturous reviews, which should help boost the outlook for its limited run through the holiday season at the Nederlander-owned Brooks Atkinson.
Even the up shows saw very small increases: Beautiful The Carole King Musical was up $20.9K to $1.04 million and SRO at the Roundabout’s Stephen Sondheim. Hamilton, at the Nederlanders’ Richard Rodgers, was up $22.1K to $1.57 million — rocking it at 117% of its gross potential. The Book Of Mormon was up $11.4K at Jujamcyn’s Eugene O’Neill, for a $1.5 million gate and an equally impressive 118% of its gross potential.
The downside was more in the $100K-plus column of the ledger: Disney’s Aladdin, at the Mouse’s New Amsterdam, was off $103K; Finding Neverland, at the Nederlanders’ Lunt-Fontanne, fell $145K to $735K, below half its $1.5 million gross potential. Les Misérables was down $161.5K, to $675K at the Shuberts’ Imperial. Matilda fell $141.5K at the Shubert; Something Rotten! at Jujamcyn’s St. James was off $143K. The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time dropped $138.44K at the Shuberts’ Ethel Barrymore. Lincoln Center Theater’s King And I revival was down $122K at the Vivian Beaumont.
Among the long-runs, Chicago, at the Shuberts’ Ambassador, was down $123K; Jersey Boys, at Jujamcyn’s August Wilson, was down $128K to $650K, and Wicked, at the Nedrlanders’ Gershwin, was down $144K. Wowza.
In addition to the Spring Awakening opening, four shows are in previews: Old Times at the Roundabout’s American Airlines; Fool For Love at Manhattan Theatre Club’s Friedman; The Gin Game, at the Shuberts’ Golden, and Dames At Sea at Second Stage’s Helen Hayes (marking the first-ever appearance in this column of the phrase “Second Stage’s Helen Hayes”).
Total box office sales for 26 shows during the week ending Sunday was $20.4 million, according to figures released by the trade group Broadway League, off $1.35 million, or 6%, from the week before. The top average ticket price for a musical was $170.59 for Book Of Mormon; for a non-musical (if you could find one) was $72.69 for Hand To God, at the Shuberts’ Booth.