Broadway B.O. Steady At $22.3 Million As Newbies Gather Steam

UPDATE 1:45 p.m.: Fixes Kinky Boots, which was up, not down: Broadway stayed the course last week as five new shows played previews and the Mia Farrow/Brian Dennehy revival of Love Letters opened at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre to rapturous reviews. The A.R. Gurney two-hander, which also won praise for keen staging by Gregory Mosher, will prove an interesting test of the  theatergoing public’s mood this fall. With different pairings on stage for four-to-six week runs (including upcoming turns by Carol Burnett, Alan Alda, Diana Rigg and Stacy Keach), the modest show will rely on the familiarity of  stars’ names on the marquee to attract those increasingly important last-minute deciders, along with fans of the individual bold-face names who buy in advance.

The revivial of Terrence McNally’s It’s Only A Play continued to rock the Schoenfeld box office, advancing again, this time by $46,000, to $1,277,059 according to figures released by the trade group Broadway League. Average ticket price for the Nathan Lane/Matthew Broderick comedy was $148.10, leading the non-musicals by a very long shot. Indeed, only blockbuster hits The Book Of Mormon ($183.13) and Beautiful ($156.86) had higher per-ticket averages. It’s Only A Play has benefited from a very generous preview period that began back on Aug.28; opening night is October 9. How’d that happen?

audraHeading into its final days, Lady Day At Emerson’s Bar & Grill, with history-making Tony-gatherer Audra McDonald, broke the house record at Circle in The Square, taking in $697,000 at one of the Street’s smaller venues. Tony winner Kinky Boots was up $94,000 at the Hirschfeld.

Great notices aren’t yet doing much for the Michael Cera-led revival of Kenneth Lonergan’s This Is Our Youth, which played to 66% of capacity at the Cort, but word of mouth ought to help. Several holdovers showed some weakness, with the Les Miserables revival off $107,000 at the Imperial and Cinderella dropping $132,000 at the Broadway. Also off $132,000 was Matilda, at the Shubert, grossing just 52% of its $1.23 million potential.

London import The Curious Incident Of The Dog in The Night-Time had a healthy six-preview start, ringing up $466,650 and filling nearly all of the seats at the Barrymore.  It opens October 5.

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