Broadway Newcomers Fill Seats: ‘A Doll’s House’, ‘Sweeney Todd’, ‘Parade’, ‘Life Of Pi’ & ‘Shucked’ Report Strong Attendance

A raft of Broadway’s recent arrivals led by Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street helped push the industry’s total box office last week to $28,638,821, up 13.8% from the previous week. Total attendance was up commensurately to 229,771.

Sweeney Todd, starring Josh Groban and Annaleigh Ashford, contributed a whopping $1.8 million to the kitty, selling out its seven previews at the Lunt-Fontanne for the week ending March 12. The Stephen Sondheim-Hugh Wheeler musical had a healthy average ticket price of $172.18. Opening night is March 26.

Another strong performer last week was A Doll’s House, the critically acclaimed Ibsen revival starring Jessica Chastain. The play, which opened March 9, took in $728,913, filling 97% of seats at the Hudson.

Parade, with only seven preview performances (the Saturday night show was canceled due to a technical malfunction) was at $861,707 – a drop of $52,803 no doubt reflecting the loss of the sold-out weekend preview – with 95% of seats filled at the Jacobs. The musical revival starring Ben Platt and Micaela Diamond opens March 16.

Beginning previews was Camelot at the non-profit Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center. Adapted by Aaron Sorkin, the revival of the classic musical filled 95% of seats at the venue, grossing $486,692 for four previews. Average ticket was $122.35, and opening night is April 13.

Some other notable numbers:

  • Bob Fosse’s Dancin’, in previews at the Music Box ahead of a March 19 opening, took in $415,251 for six performances, at 82% of capacity;
  • Bad Cinderella, the new Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, grossed $592,938 for seven previews at the Imperial. Attendance was 89% of capacity, with an average ticket price of $68.44. Opening night is March 23;
  • Life of Pi began previews at the Schoenfeld ahead of a March 30 opening, grossing $376,362 for five performances and filling 99% of seats. Average ticket was $77;
  • Shucked, the new musical comedy with a book by Robert Horn (Tootsie), score by Grammy-winning songwriting team Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally and directed by Hairspray‘s Jack O’Brien, began previews at the Nederlander, grossing $291,972 for five performances. The musical, about a young farm girl out to save her town, sold out 99% of available seats, with an average ticket price of $50.14. The low ticket price was in keeping with producer Mike Bosner’s plan to bring preview pricing back to Broadway, with orchestra seats for all previews as low as $69 (and capped at $149) and mezzanine seats as low as $29. The hope is to encourage ticket-buyers to take a chance on an unknown, entirely original show. With the near sell-out for the first week of previews, the decision seems to be a promising one.

Among the long-running shows, Chicago, now featuring Jinkx Monsoon as Mama Morton, had its highest grossing non-holiday performance week in the it’s 26-year history. The production grossed $913,161, surpassing the previous record of $912,003 set in 2013.

Season to date, Broadway has grossed $1,241,489,742, with total attendance of 9,595,685 at 88% of capacity.

All figures courtesy of The Broadway League. For the complete box office listings, visit the League’s website.

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