By Robert Simonson
11 Mar 2014
Numbers were up at the Neil Simon Theatre this week, as the new bio-play All The Way, with "Breaking Bad" star Bryan Cranston playing Lyndon Johnson, opened March 6 to largely positive reviews. Attendance was up by a few thousand to 82% capacity, the best showing the play has posted to date.
Box-office collections stood at 61% of what's possible. If/Then, the new musical starring Idina Menzel, opened strong at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, playing to 95% capacity over seven previews. The show's profile was considerably raised when John Travolta flubbed Menzel's name when introducing her at the March 2 Oscars ceremony, not to mention Menzel's subsequent appearance on the "Tonight" show with Jimmy Fallon. The resulting media frenzy produced in a boost in fame for the actress and the show, as well as a bump at the box office.
Also beginning performances was the new revival of A Raisin in the Sun, starring Denzel Washington. A single preview at the Barrymore ran to full capacity, proving that Washington still has the box-office pull he displayed with his Tony Award-winning turn in Fences a few seasons back. It will be no surprise if those full-capacity numbers continue.
Aladdin, the new Disney musical, also continued to show box-office muscle in its preview period. For the second week running, it played to full houses at the New Amsterdam, with box-office sales standing at 92% of the potential take. The new staging of Les Misérables did almost as well at the Imperial, performing before seats that were 94% occupied.
The 28 shows now on the boards took in a total of $21,278,718, nearly $3 million more than last week. Attendance was up by 20,000. The season to date has pulled in $947,375,018, well above the $870,242,016 Broadway had collected last season at this point.