By Robert Simonson
16 Oct 2013
The Broadway box offices were booming this past week, with more shows playing to capacity than has been the case since the heady days of mid-summer. The popular new revivals of Harold Pinter's Betrayal and Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie ran to capacity, and the new musicals Matilda The Musical and Motown were back in fighting form, playing to over 100% capacity for the first time in several weeks. Dependable performers like Kinky Boots, Pippin, The Lion King and The Book of Mormon packed them in as usual. Top ticket prices were up for several of the shows, as well.
The revival of Horton Foote's The Trip to Bountiful, which enjoyed its final three performances on Broadway, got very near to that full-house mark. It performed to houses that were nearly 99% full and collected 87% of its potential till. A nice send-off. Wicked, too, got close to the 100% mark after many weeks of trudging along well under that ceiling.
The jump in business was apparent in the overall numbers. While the Street boasted the same number of shows as last week — 28 — moneys collected leaped $3 million to $24,614,027, and audience numbers climbed nearly 20,000 to 232,400.
Another show that closed, the hapless Soul Doctor, also marched off with its head held reasonably high, performing before 75%-filled auditoriums, even if it did only collect on 17% of its box-office potential.
A Night With Janis Joplin opened to mixed reviews, but managed to sell 93% of its tickets, which amounted to roughly 57% of the possible box-office intake. And one week after suffering lackluster reviews, the big new musical Big Fish found itself playing to houses just under 90% full. There was a mild bump in box office of $200,000 or so, but a slight dip in theatregoer numbers.