Broadway Plotzes As Five Shows Tumble $200K-Plus In Post Labor Day B.O. Plunge

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Glitter Gulch, Nevada looked mighty appealing last week as Hurricane Bette took a powder and crowds generally ditched Times Square in droves, getting back to work, school and non-stop catastrophe coverage on the tube. Five of Broadway’s 27-show roster took hits of more than $200K, led by Hello, Dolly!, whose customers sadly seemed indifferent to the rave reviews for Donna Murphy, subbing all week for the vacationing Divine One. The revival, at the Shubert, plunged an impressive $1.36 million, tallying just $914K and not even making the top five grossers in a less than super market.

‘Dear Evan Hansen’ Matthew Murphy

The four other swan divers were, predictably, big musicals aimed at families: School of Rock, at the Shubert Organization’s Winter Garden, was off $323K to $616.5K, 43 per cent of gross potential at an average ticket price of $82.28. Wicked, at the Nederlander Organization’s Gershwin, fell $254K to $1.42 million, with tickets averaging $100.38 and nearly every arm rest spoken for in the 1,807-seat house. Disney’s two shows – The Lion King, at the Nederlanders’ Minskoff, and Aladdin, at the flagship New Amsterdam, fell $234K and $207K, respectively.

None of these shows sustained permanent damage as the Street gears up for a very busy fall. And some of the hits were barely touched: Hamilton, at the Nederlanders’ Richard Rodgers, still flirted with the $3 million mark, off a palindromic $33,333$ but still more than 12 per cent above potential. Dear Evan Hansen was down just shy of $5K, at $1.68 million, its $210.46 average ticket second only to Hamilton‘s $274.70.

Less salutary is the latest news for Michael Moore’s The Terms of My Surrender, whose politics may align with those of many theater goers, but whose dramaturgical prowess has proved resistible: The show, at the Shuberts’ Belasco, fell $13K to $292K, below 38 per cent of gross potential and with tickets averaging $55.78 per.

Possibly reflecting the black mood, scary-pants 1984, at the Ambassador Theatre Group’s Hudson, was actually up $1.7K to $293K, with a fire-sale average price per ticket of $65.98. And A Doll’s House, Part 2, which posted a closing notice three months earlier than originally announced, rode some great new reviews to a gain of $5.3K to $259K at the Shuberts’ Golden, where the average ticket sold for $71.62. And while we’re still in the A’s on the chart, the oft-neglected A Bronx Tale, at the Shuberts’ Longacre, was up $50K to $695K, a bit over 75 per cent of potential, minus the vig (just kidding!) with an average ticket price of  $98.60.

The 5 top-grossing shows were:

Hamilton ($2.95 million at the Nederlanders’ Richard Rodgers; $274.70 average ticket)

The Lion King ($1.76 million at the Nederlanders’ Minskoff; $130.55)

Dear Evan Hansen ($1.68 million at the Shuberts’ Music Box; $210.46)

Wicked ($1.42 million at the Nederlanders’ Gershwin; $100.38)

Aladdin ($1.28 million at Disney’s New Amsterdam; $96.43)

Total ticket sales across 27 shows in Week 16 of the 2017-2018 Broadway season came to $23.6 million, down$4.3 million – 15 per cent – from Week 15. That still beat the same week last season by $3.5 million. Average ticket price fell to $107.11 from $117.19, also beating last year’s $99.87 for the same period.

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