Broadway Weekly Sales Drop by a Third Amid Cancellations

Al Pacino
Al Pacino plays Shelly Levene, on Broadway in "Glengarry Glen Ross." The actor earns $125,000 a week for the role. Source: Jeffrey Richards Associates via Bloomberg

Broadway ticket sales last week fell by more than a third from the week before, as regional blackouts and transportation paralysis forced theater owners to cancel performances.

Broadway sold $13.6 million of tickets in the week ending Sunday, down from $20 million the previous week and $21.2 million a year ago. The grosses were the first full week reported by the trade association the Broadway League since Hurricane Sandy clobbered the New York area.

Some shows failed to sell enough tickets to cover their weekly operating expenses. “Peter and the Starcatcher” reported receipts of $185,508 for seven performances, down 43 percent. A preliminary production budget obtained by Bloomberg estimated the show’s weekly operating expenses to be $264,000.

“Cyrano de Bergerac,” “Grace,” “Nice Work if You Can Get It” and “Scandalous” -- a musical in previews co-written by Kathie Lee Gifford -- all saw sales fall by about half.

The critically acclaimed revival of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” sold $212,620, down 25 percent.

Power outages, gas shortages and other transportation headaches around the region continue to depress Broadway.

“We may feel a bit of an after-effect,” said Daryl Roth, who’s part of the producing team of a new revival of “Annie” and lead producer of the musical “Kinky Boots,” which opens in April.

Pacino Sells

“Glengarry Glen Ross,” starring Al Pacino, generally held up, taking in $744,703 over five performances. The revival, still in previews, is charging as much as $377 per ticket before fees.

On Monday, the producers postponed its official opening to Dec. 10 from Nov. 11. Lead producer Jeffrey Richards attributed the delay to the fact that three rehearsals were truncated.

Elsewhere in New York culture, Carnegie Hall reopens tonight with newly restored heat and hot water, spokesman Synneve Carlino said in an e-mail. It was initially affected by street closings caused by a dangling crane.

Muse highlights include Ryan Sutton on dining and Jeremy Gerard on theater.

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