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‘Motown’ Pulls in Broadway Crowds as ‘Ann’ Sales Sputter

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'Hands on a Hardbody'
Allison Case and the cast of "Hands on a Hardbody." Photographer: Kevin Berne/The Hartman Group PR via Bloomberg

April 2 (Bloomberg) -- Overcoming skeptical industry buzz, “Motown: The Musical” is selling lots of tickets prior to its opening on April 14.

The show, based on the life of Berry Gordy and scored with the iconic music he produced, sold $1.2 million of tickets last week, according to figures provided by the Broadway League trade association.

The show has taken in more than $1 million in each of the three weeks of previews so far, a feat that has the producers on “Cloud Nine.”

Other winners, in a week that included the Easter holiday, were “Matilda,” $961,000 as it rolls toward an April 11 opening; “Cinderella,” which grossed $1.4 million, up 26 percent from a week earlier; “Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark,” leaping 62 percent to $1.9 million and “Wicked,” which took in $2.6 million over nine performances.

‘Kinky Boots,” a new musical set to open Thursday night, took in $894,000. That’s little changed from a week earlier, but the production gave away tickets to reviewers.

With mixed reviews, “Hands on a Hardbody,” about contestants in a small Texas town competing for a Nissan truck, showed some life, jumping 52 percent for a weekly gross of $321,000.

Even with press comps, Nora Ephron’s “Lucky Guy” with Tom Hanks grossed $1.3 million and is on track to be one of Broadway’s bestselling plays.

“Ann,” Holland Taylor’s ode to Ann Richards, the former Texas governor, grossed $287,000 with ticket sales dropping 21 percent.

Muse highlights include Jeremy Gerard on Tom Hanks’s Broadway debut and Daniel Akst on books.

Related News and Information: Top arts and lifestyle stories: {MUSE <GO>} Theater reviews: {NI THEAREV <GO>} Top Stories: {TOP <GO>}

To contact the reporter on this story: Philip Boroff in New York at pboroff@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff in New York at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.

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