Broadway Box Office, Part 2: ‘Waitress’ Soars With Sara Bareilles; Plays Struggle

Josh Lehrer

Sara Bareilles’ stint in the title role of Waitress continues to pay dividends for the holdover from last season, which brought her a Tony nomination for the score. Last week the show sold $1.3 million worth of tickets at the Nederlander Organization’s Brooks Atkinson Theatre, almost 30 per cent above its gross potential, at an average price of $156.29.

The final week of the 2016-2017 season (look here for season wrap-up) continued the months-long trend of good news for the big musicals and hand-wringing for plays. Anastasia, at the Shubert Organization’s Broadhurst, rang up $1.12 million in sales, exceeding its gross potential by a hair, with full houses paying n average of $120.90 per. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, at the Nederlanders’ Lunt-Fontanne, continued to thumb its nose at the critics, tallying $1.1 million and near-full houses. Tony best musical contender Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 sold $1.2 million in tickets, 91 per cent of potential and SRO, at the Shuberts’ Imperial.

“Come From Away.” Matthew Murphy

Of the other best musical contenders, Dear Evan Hansen, at the Shuberts’ Music Box, sold $1.2 million worth of tickets, 6 per cent above potential at an average price of $156.49 and above-capacity crowds. Come From Away rang up $1.1 million in ticket sales at the Shuberts’ Schoenfeld and was playing to overfull houses; Groundhog Day, at Jujamcyn Theatres’ August Wilson, delivered 70 per cent of potential, $906.7K, and 90 per cent of capacity.

Bette Midler continued to wow the crowds in Hello, Dolly! at the Shubert, bringing in $1.9 million – 18 per cent above potential, at an average price of $188.25, the second highest, behind Hamilton‘s $291.36. Disney’s The Lion King, at the Nederlanders’ Minskoff, was the second-highest grosser, at $1.97 million, edging out Dolly but short of Ham‘s $3.1 million.

Max Gordon Moore and Adina Verson in “Indecent.” Carol Rosegg

The picture was far bleaker for the non-musicals, including the best play field. Oslo, at Lincoln Center Theater’s Beaumont, is doing best and scarfing up awards (New York Drama Critics Circle, Obies); the political drama scored $667K in sales, 61 per cent of potential, at an average price of $90.94. Pulitzer winner Sweat, at Roundabout Theatre Company’s Studio 54, sold $301.5K in tickets, 46 per cent of potential, and played to 80 per cent full houses. A Doll’s House, Part 2, at the Shuberts’ Golden, comped one performance and sold $325K, playing to 94 per cent full houses. Indecent, at the Shuberts’ Cort, sold $291K in tickets, just one-third of its potential.

Among the play revivals, the Kevin Kline-led Present Laughter, at Jujamcyn’s St. James, led the pack with $832.2K in sales , 63 per cent of potential, at an average price of $98. Six Degrees of Separation, at the Shuberts’ Barrymore, was struggling at $341.4K, also a third of its potential. The Little Foxes, at Manhattan Theatre Club’s Friedman, sold $487K worth of tickets and played to near-full houses, at a average ticket price of $95.30.

The sole newcomer, 1984 at the Ambassador Theatre Group’s Hudson, played four previews, taking in $212.6K, just shy of half its potential.

Week 52 of the season totaled $34.4 million in sales across 36 shows, according to the trade group Broadway League. That was a bump of 2 per cet over the previous week’s sales.

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