Broadway box office: Michael C. Hall scores, but not Carol Burnett
It’s a tale of two A-list replacements: Dexter star Michael C. Hall put on some makeup for Hedwig and the Angry Inch and kicked up $544,166 for his first six performances, according to figures from the Broadway League for the week ending Oct. 19. That’s down just 4 percent per-show from what Andrew Rannells took in during his final seven shows the previous week—but it still represents an impressive 85 percent of the potential gross for the Belasco Theatre.
But another high-profile substitution proved less successful: Carol Burnett, returning to Broadway for the first time in a decade, failed to lift ticket sales for the already flagging revival Love Letters that opened last month with Mia Farrow and Brian Dennehy. Dennehy is still in the two-hander, but box office for Burnett’s first eight-show week fell nearly 6 percent, to $319,810. That’s only 36 percent of the show’s maximum earnings—a bad sign. Maybe Carol should bring on Andy Cohen’s dog and reprise her Tarzan yell?
The biggest gainers for the week were new productions. In the first full week since its Oct. 9 opening, the star-studded comedy It’s Only a Play grew 14 percent to $1.375 million—a record for the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre. The reteaming of Nathan Lane-Matthew Broderick was also one of five Broadway hits to exceed the maximum gross potential of its venue, a feat made possible by high demand for premium tickets. (The others were The Book of Mormon, Aladdin, Beautiful, and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.)
The musical revival On the Town had a heckuva opening week, also gaining 14 percent to $696,571. That amounts to just 40 percent of its maximum earnings in the cavernous Lyric Theatre, but producers must be counting on the widespread raves from last Thursday’s opening to lift the show into profitability.
There are fewer worries for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, which gained 10 percent last week to $848,236. That’s nearly 89 percent of its potential gross, a huge achievement for a nonmusical without a celebrity in its cast.
Overall, Broadway takings were down 4 percent to just shy of $26 million. The top earners: The Lion King ($1.89 million); Wicked ($1.68 million); The Book of Mormon ($1.65 million); Aladdin ($1.44 million); and It’s Only a Play ($1.375 million).