By Robert Simonson
17 Sep 2013
The Jewish holidays continued to have an impact on Broadway last week, with Yom Kippur keeping shows that usually sell out slightly below the capacity mark. The Lion King, Pippin, Matilda The Musical and Kinky Boots all played to less-than-filled houses. (Newsies, often a big seller, commanded just 88% capacity auditoriums, but that was owing to it only having played five performances last week, due to the installation of a new stage deck.) Only the unbeatable The Book of Mormon remained packed.
Among recent entries into the Broadway sweepstakes, the new musical Big Fish performed the best. Its first full week of previews played to 92% capacity, though that number only paid 50% of the potential box-office take. The Glass Menagerie played to a surprisingly strong 91%-full houses, which brought in fully 59% of the would-be till. The Orlando Bloom-led Romeo and Juliet, meanwhile, attracted 75% capacity crowds.
The revival of Annie, which recently announced it would shutter at the end of the year and reduced the seating capacity at the Palace Theatre by roughly 300 seats, suffered a dramatic dip, performing to houses that were 61% full — a fall off of 1,559 attendees from last week.
Soul Doctor, the musical about the "Singing Rabbi," descended to life-threatening numbers: Box-office collections amount to a mere 16% of the potential. The average paid attendance was $35.69.
Overall, numbers were slightly better than last week, though still nothing to shout about. Total gross was $18,556,316, about $180,000 higher that the week before. Attendance climbed from 190,578 to 195,557. For the season to date, however, box office was slightly above the numbers at this time last year.