New York Times
Broadway Plays Show Surprising Box Office Strength
By PATRICK HEALY
June 26, 2013
Several Broadway plays are performing powerfully at the box office as summer begins, a time when plays usually fade fast while increasingly tourist-heavy audiences opt for musicals.
Weekly ticket sales for the Christopher Durang comedy â€œVanya and Sonia and Masha and Spikeâ€ have increased 30 percent since winning the Tony Award for best play on June 9; the show took in $711,012 last week, or 93 percent of the maximum potential gross, a huge amount for a play. â€œIâ€™ll Eat You Last,â€ the one-woman play starring Bette Midler, set another box office record at the Booth Theater, taking in $890,276 â€“ the equivalent of 114 percent of the maximum possible gross after factoring in premium ticket prices of $298. â€œLucky Guy,â€ the tabloid newspaper drama starring Tom Hanks, brought in a very strong $634,205 for just four performances, a schedule that was reduced to accommodate conflicts of several cast members, according to the playâ€™s spokesman.
Three other plays â€“ â€œThe Nanceâ€ with Nathan Lane; â€œThe Trip to Bountifulâ€ with Cicely Tyson, who won the Tony for best actress; and â€œThe Assembled Partiesâ€ with Judith Light, who won the Tony for best featured actress â€“ all grossed 50 percent or more of their maximum possible amounts, a sign of box office strength.
The other two plays on Broadway, â€œMacbethâ€ with Alan Cumming and â€œAnnâ€ with Holland Taylor, took in lesser amounts.
The latest musicals continued to post strong numbers as well. Box-office records were set again last week by â€œKinky Bootsâ€ ($1,503,541), which won the Tony for best musical; â€œMotownâ€ ($1,443,867); â€œMatildaâ€ ($1,222,026); and â€œPippinâ€ ($1,038,619), which won the Tony for the best musical revival. Tourists also filled seats at the Broadway revival of â€œAnnie,â€ lifting the showâ€™s gross to more than $1 million for the first time since early April.
Over all, Broadway musicals and plays took in $24.1 million last week, compared to $25 million for the comparable week last season; attendance was 218,448 compared to 254,941 this time last year, a reflection of fewer shows now running on Broadway.