In its first full week since its April 24 opening, Nice Work If You Can Get It joined Broadway’s million-dollar club with a gross of $1,022,115, up a whopping 23 percent from the previous week. For the week ending May 6, the “new” Gershwin brothers’ musical starring Matthew Broderick (pictured above) and Kelli O’Hara also had the largest gain of any production on the Great White Way and was the biggest beneficiary of its 10 Tony nominations. It joined five other shows that earned at least $1 million last week: The Lion King, Wicked, The Book of Mormon, Evita, and Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark.
The Tony season’s most-nominated new show, the movie-based musical Once, also had a significant 16 percent sales boost, to $707,302 for the week. Other new productions that saw a notable increase in box office include the John Lithgow-starring historical drama The Columnist (up 31 percent, to $298,094); the Pulitzer-winning drama Clybourne Park (up 10 percent, to $373,230); and the star-studded revival Death of a Salesman (up 5 percent, to $943,884). And for the third time, the Ricky Martin-led revival of Evita broke a record at the Marquis Theatre with a weekly haul of $1,533,055 (91 percent of the venue’s potential gross).
Disney’s musical Newsies, with eight nominations, continues to perform well ($907,388), and there were modest upticks for The Lyons, Don’t Dress for Dinner, and End of the Rainbow. But for the second straight week, overall Broadway grosses declined. Most productions saw a box office dip, including several that might have been expecting a burst of post-Tony bookings. Despite its 10 Tony nods, for instance, the Audra McDonald-led revival of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess grossed $492,622 last week, down nearly 12 percent from the previous week. Meanwhile, the most-nominated straight play, the inventive Peter Pan prequel Peter and the Starcatcher, took in $286,477, a 5 percent decline. More alarmingly, earnings for Gore Vidal’s The Best Man fell nearly 24 percent, to $683,019. And Leap of Faith, with a single nomination for Best Musical, also fell nearly 24 percent, to an anemic $171,381 (just 13 percent of its potential gross). That show about a conman preacher may need a miracle (or deeper-pocketed producers) to survive through the June 10 Tony ceremony.