By Robert Simonson
21 Jan 2014
Business improved ever so slightly among Broadway's slender array of 26 shows this past week. Total box-office take came in at $20,091,732, less than a half a million above last week's numbers. Attendance was nearly steady at 196,042. The only opening of the week was for the Roundabout Theatre Company's revival of Sophie Treadwell's expressionistic classic Machinal at the Airlines Theatre. Attendance stood at 80%, but collections at the till were only 32% of the potential.
Beautiful, the Carole King musical which premiered in early January to mixed notices, saw a nice post-opening bounce. Audiences levels averaged at 98%, the best numbers the tuner has posted since it began performances back in November. Average ticket price was $106.
The new Jason Robert Brown musical The Bridges of Madison County began previews at the Schoenfeld. Over three performances, it brought in houses that were 91% full and collected 54% of its possible box office. Also in previews still is the new John Patrick Shanley work Outside Mullingar. The Manhattan Theatre Club mounting, at the Friedman Theatre, netted very healthy 96% capacity houses — many of which theatregoers were likely attracted by the presence of star Debra Messing in the cast. That tally made the Shanley drama the best-attended play currently on Broadway.
In these chilly January days, only a couple attractions commanded capacity crowds: The Book of Mormon and the superbly-performing double bill of Twelfth Night and Richard III. The two shows were, incidentally, the only ones to pull off the same feat last week.