Yesterday’s Super Bowl and the mid-Winter funk contributed to Broadway lowest grosses in four months. Sales last week dipped 10 percent to $24.9 million, according to the Broadway League.
The upside to lower grosses: more affordable theater.
The average ticket to the Tony Award-winning musical comedy The Book of Mormon was $133, the lowest in almost seven years. (Prices may have been skewed because there were seven performances, instead of the customary eight.) Seventh-row center are available for tomorrow for $149.50. (Tickets still go for as much as $477.50 on weekends.)
Sales for younger shows have also cooled. Waitress, with Sara Bareilles playing the lead in the year-old musical she wrote, dipped 28 percent to $1.2 million. A Bronx Tale dropped 9 percent to $648,000, its lowest in five months. On the other end of the spectrum, Chicago, the revival that opened in 1996, fell 12 percent to $514,000, its lowest in a year.
If you buy last-minute for the weekend for Waitress, you can pay $600. But sixth-row center for tomorrow night: a relative bargain at $229.
Hello, Dolly! with Bernadette Peters, which like Mormon is a Scott Rudin production, dropped 14 percent to $1 million, its worst week in three months. As a commercial draw, Peters to-date has been on par with Donna Murphy, who got terrific reviews as Bette Midler’s fill-in but nowhere near Midler’s sales. Sixth-row center seats are to be had tomorrow for $180. Balcony seats are available from discount sites for $59. (The best tickets were as much as $998 for Midler.)
Hamilton grosses dipped 10 percent to $2.8 million — but not because of weakness, seasonal or otherwise. Its sales slip when it stages a Wednesday matinee for public school students, known as the Hamilton Education Program, as it did on Jan. 31.
As for the stock market rout, which is in its second week and wiped out gains for the year, it’s unlikely that it’s impacted Broadway. Yet.