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Hanks, Midler Sell Well as ‘Hands on a Hardbody’ Closes

'Breakfast at Tiffany's'
Emilia Clarke and Cory Michael Smith as Holly Golightly and her friendly neighbor Fred, in "Breakfast at Tiffany's." The play closes Sunday amid poor sales. Photographer: Nathan Johnson/O&M Co. via Bloomberg

April 16 (Bloomberg) -- “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” posted its closing notice yesterday as “Lucky Guy” with Tom Hanks toasted its best week so far.

“Tiffany’s,” based on the Truman Capote novella and starring Emilia Clarke (“Game of Thrones”) as Holly Golightly, has played to half-empty houses since opening to unenthusiastic reviews. It will close on Sunday after taking in barely one-third of its $896,000 box-office potential.

The Hanks play offered stark contrast, grossing $1.4 million, according to figures from the Broadway League, an association of producers and theater owners. That beat the show’s official potential of $1.135 million, which doesn’t include the extra money from “premium” tickets.

And after enthusiastic notices but not raves, “Kinky Boots” had its first week above $1 million in sales. The musical, with songs by Cyndi Lauper, played to 95 percent capacity.

Another new musical, “Motown,” played to standing-room capacity even as sales dipped 15 percent to $959,000. The paean to soul music gave away tickets in connection with its April 14 opening. Critics praised production numbers while dismissing the hagiographic book written by Motown founder Berry Gordy.

Broadway theaters sold $23.1 million in tickets last week, a drop of 11 percent from the previous week. With six weeks left in the 2012-2013 season, attendance is off 5 percent from a year ago, while grosses are up nearly 1 percent.

The average ticket price this season is about $98, up from $93 at this point last season.

Tabloid Columnist

Hanks plays the late tabloid columnist Mike McAlary, chasing stories around New York and celebrating scoops at various bars in Nora Ephron’s drama.

As superagent Sue Mengers in “I’ll Eat You Last,” Bette Midler in her first full week of previews also played to nearly full houses. The show, which grossed $564,000, opens on April 24.

Among other solo, or near-solo, shows, “Macbeth,” with Alan Cumming (“The Good Wife”) as a mental patient whispering, shouting and quivering as he takes on all the roles, did $444,000 in its first full week of six previews. The show played at 85 percent capacity.

Meanwhile, Holland Taylor playing former Texas Governor Ann Richards in “Ann” sold $315,000 -- up from last week -- but with half the seats empty.

Even with Fiona Shaw and a script by Colm Toibin, “The Testament of Mary” is proving to be a tough sell in previews. With an average ticket price of $35, it grossed $185,000, down 7 percent.

Christopher Durang’s acclaimed comedy “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” has also struggled, grossing $367,000, half of its potential. Attendance hovered at 70 percent.

“Hands on a Hardbody” sold $219,000, down 9 percent. It closed on Saturday.

Muse highlights include Jeremy Gerard on theater and a books roundup.

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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