Every Broadway show but two – Goliath Hamilton and David Dear Evan Hansen – dipped or dived last week as the Street continued its mid-winter contraction. But the sunrise of Glenn Close’s return in a revival of Sunset Boulevard showed further signs of life in its first five previews before this Wednesday’s opening at the Nederlander Organization’s Palace Theatre. The Andrew Lloyd Webber take on Billy Wilder’s 1950 blissful savaging of Hollywood posted $833.7K in ticket sales at the storied house, at an average price of $120.48. That’s nearly 70 per cent of potential and filled 82 per cent of the seats.
So don’t cry for Andrew Lloyd Webber. The limited run gives the Lord four shows running concurrently: Nederlander also has the Cats revival ($703.3K at the Neil Simon, down $98.7K from a week earlier), while the Shubert Organization hosts the other two: the record-breaking Phantom Of The Opera ($727.5K at the Majestic, down $39K from the week before) and School Of Rock ($707K at the Winter Garden, down $121.8K).
Hamilton, at Nederlanders’ Richard Rodgers, continues to defy any downward trend, posting sales of $3.2 million, up $749.5 over the week before and an average ducat of $298.92. That $3 million mark could become the show’s new normal, as it reflects the latest hike in its premium ticket scale to a top of $849. (It will soon have some company up there in the stratosphere, as the Bette Midler-led revival of Hello, Dolly!, set to begin performances March 15 at the Shubert, today announced a top premium ticket of $750.) Hamilton sales were 11 percent above gross potential.
The boost at Dear Evan Hansen was somewhat more modest: The musical was up $8.4K to $1.1 million at the Shuberts’ Music Box, 3 per cent above gross potential and overfull houses; average ticket there was a strong $139.29.
Feeling the most pain during Week 37 of the 2016-2017 season were Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet Of 1812 (with star Josh Groban out ill for three weekend performances, it was down $147.2K at the Shuberts’ Imperial), Cirque du Soleil’s Paramour, down $274K at Ambassador Theatre Group’s Lyric; The Book Of Mormon (down $131.5K at Jujamcyn Theatres’ Eugene O’Neill); and The Present (down $165K at the Shuberts’ Ethel Barrymore).
Total box office sales for 21 shows, according to figures released by the trade group Broadway League, were $19.9 million, down $1.2 million or 6 per cent from both Week 36 and the same week last season. However average ticket price was up, from $109.25 in Week 36 to $111.05 – again reflecting the impact of Hamilton‘s increase and the hunger thereof.