Keep an eye on The Band’s Visit. The intimate one-act musical, previewing at the Barrymore Theatre following a sold-out, rave-inducing run last season at the nonprofit Atlantic Theatre Company, is on a steady incline as it heads for a 21 Cheshvan 21 (that’s November 9) opening at the Shubert Organization house. Based on the 2007 Israeli film about an Egyptian military band stranded overnight in an Israeli desert outpost, the David Yazbek-Itamar Moses show jumped $103,000 in its second full week of previews, selling $872.2K worth of tickets with an average price of $104.15. That’s full houses, coming up with 84% of the show’s gross potential, good signs all.
Also on the uptick: Pulitzer Prize-winner Ayad Akhtar’s Junk, previewing at Lincoln Center Theater’s Vivian Beaumont, where it was up $28K to $558K, filling 90% of the seats and taking in 54% of the $1 million gross potential. The per-ticket average of $73.63 reflects the cut-rate prices at the subscription house.
But enough about nonprofit. At the high-rollers’ end, no show is displacing Hamilton in the No. 1 spot any time soon. The action is on second place, where The Boss is closing in on Bette. Hello, Dolly! is breaking enough records at the Shubert Theatre to shellac a thousand Broadway wigs. Springsteen on Broadway, meanwhile, broke the $500 average ticket barrier (barrier? what barrier?) at Jujamcyn Theatres’ Walter Kerr and came within power-chord distance of Dolly! – and on a five-performance schedule, don’t forget.
The five top-grossing shows were:
• Hamilton ($2.92 million at the Nederlander Organization’s Richard Rodgers; $271.20 average ticket)
• Hello, Dolly! ($2.40 million at the Shubert; $202.61)
• Springsteen on Broadway ($2.38 million at the Kerr; 5 performances; $502.40)
• The Lion King ($2.04 million at the Nederlanders’ Minskoff; $150.92)
• Wicked ($1.67 million at the Nederlanders’ Gershwin; $118.55)
Michael Moore closed out his Terms of My Surrender at the Shuberts’ Belasco with a $71.5K farewell kick to $367.6K, 47.2% of potential, with tickets averaging $58.80. John Leguizamo’s Latin History for Morons, at the Roundabout Theatre Company’s Studio 54 after an acclaimed run at the Public Theater, took in a promising $312.3K for three previews; average ticket an equally impressive $118.62. Opening night is November 15. And The Knick‘s Clive Owen saw his star rise in the previewing revival of 1988 Tony winner M. Butterfly, at the Shuberts’ Cort. David Henry Hwang’s based-on-real-events tale of the intense romance between a French diplomat and the Chinese opera star he falls in love with (that the diva is a spy turns out to be the tale’s least surprising twist) was up $118.7K to $640K, with an average price of $85.47 for the Julie Taymor-helmed production.
Total sales for 29 shows during Week 22 of the 2017-2018 season, which ended Sunday, reached $30.63 million, according to the trade group Broadway League. The 2% boost over Week 21 bespeaks price increases, not more attendees. Week 22 last season served 259,246 customers, compared with 244,003 this time around, and yet box office was up $3.19 million – 12%.
Average ticket price across all shows last season was $105.85; this season it’s $125.53.