No Lie: ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ Scores $1.7M Despite Droopy Broadway Box Office

Matthew Murphy

Dear Evan Hansen, the Tony-winning best musical about a nervy lie that turns a shy boy into a social media hero, continued to be the Street’s dominant new show last week, ringing up $1.73 million in ticket sales during an otherwise mediocre stand that saw several competitors in sizable nosedives. The Hansen tally represented  a 29 per cent hike, for the show’s best week yet at the Shubert Organization’s Music Box Theatre.

Compare that with the show’s Tony competitors: Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, at the Shuberts’ Imperial, plummeted a formidable $519K to $891K, with an average ticket price of $103.19 (Dear Evan Hansen‘s was a sky-high $215.93). Groundhog Day, at Jujamcyn Theatres’ August Wilson, and Come From Away, at the Shuberts’ Schoenfeld, showed modest gains of $13.5K and $3.3K, respectively.

Among the other season holdovers, A Bronx Tale, at the Shuberts’ Longacres, was down $36.5K to $660K, 72 per cent of its potential gross. Bandstand, at the Shuberts’ Jacobs, was off $30K to $555K, about half its potential. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, at the Nederlander Organization’s Lunt-Fontanne, fell $90.5K to $1 million, 78 per cent of its potential. And War Paint, at the Nederlander, was down $77.5K to $600K, 48 per cent of its potential.

Courtesy Book of Mormon

Several long-runs also to sizable leaps: Disney’s The Lion King, at the Nederlanders’ Minskoff, dropped $161K to $2.3 million. The Book of Mormon, at Jujamcyn’s O’Neill, fell $169K to $1 million (still surpassing its gross potential by 2 per cent).

The Tony-winning revival of Hello, Dolly! took its second week of beating while Bette Midler finished up her vacation; the show fell another $214K to $722.5K, 48 per cent of potential with tickets for Donna Murphy’s stand averaging just $81.36. It remains to be seen whether positive notices for Murphy, whose star does not shine far beyond Broadway, will help in that department when she returns to her once-a-week schedule.

Ticket sales for Week 7 of the 2017-2018 Broadway season totaled $29 million across 30 shows, according to the trade group Broadway League, down $2 million, or 9 per cent, from Week 6. Average ticket price rose slightly, to $113.53 from $113.25.

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