Box Office: ‘After Midnight’ Jazzes Up Broadway Blues

“Big Fish,” the fall’s most anticipated musical, announced that it will close on Dec. 29 after just 132 performances (including previews).

That makes it the fifth flop of the new Broadway season and, at a likely loss of its entire $16 million capitalization, the most expensive.

“A Time to Kill” will close Sunday after 58 total performances. And the producers of “First Date,” a hit in Seattle before coming east, will wait until New Year’s to throw in the towel. It will close on Jan. 5 after 208 performances. “Soul Doctor” and “Let It Be” closed earlier following brief runs.

For most of Broadway, on the other hand, it was a week full of good news. “After Midnight,” a song-and-dance revue recalling the glory days of Harlem nightclubs, dazzled the critics and saw an increase of $214,204 at the Brooks Atkinson box office, according to figures released yesterday by the Broadway League, a producers’ trade group.

Comedian Billy Crystal returned to the Theater District with a reprise of “700 Sundays,” his autobiographical one-man show and took in $1,147,436 -- which was $35,650 more than its potential for six preview performances.

Another newcomer, repertory performances of Shakespeare’s “Richard III” and “Twelfth Night” starring Mark Rylance opened Sunday to unanimous raves from the critics and played to 98 percent of capacity at the Belasco Theatre. The shows, with all-male casts, run until February.

Continuing their standing-room-only runs going into the holiday season were “Betrayal,” “Kinky Boots,” “The Book of Mormon,” “The Lion King” and “Wicked.”

Muse highlights include James S. Russell on architecture and Dan Akst on books.

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