By Greg Evans
Associate Editor/Broadway Critic
Even with a Covid-shortened performance schedule, Lea Michele’s star turn in Funny Girl was serious business last week, with box office for the musical revival more than doubling from the previous week.
For the week ending September 11 — Michele’s first week as Fanny Brice — Funny Girl grossed $1,639,212, a dramatic upturn from the previous week’s $659,874 and a significant improvement over even the $1.3 million high averages of original star Beanie Feldstein’s early weeks last spring.
‘Funny Girl’: Lea Michele Gets Four Standing Ovations – By Intermission; Jonathan Groff, Ryan Murphy Among The Gleeful Crowd
Next week’s grosses report should provide yet another facet to Michele’s box office impact: She’s out of the production this week due to a positive Covid test (last week she played only four performances, including her first night on Tuesday, then the Wednesday matinee and evening shows, and again on Friday; Julie Benko plays the role on Thursdays and filled in for the three weekend shows that Michele missed). Deadline hears there were a significant number of ticket exchange requests last weekend.
Still, even with Michele’s curtailed performance schedule, Funny Girl filled 96% of its seats for the week, compared to the 70-80ish percentages of recent weeks.
In fact, Funny Girl was one of few Broadway shows that didn’t take a big, post-Labor Day Holiday hit last week. Total grosses for the 19 shows on the boards totaled $20,638,554, a 19% drop from the previous tourist-heavy week. The drop in receipts also reflects a slightly slimmer roster: 19 shows compared with the previous week’s 21 – and one of the missing was the mega-bucks earner The Music Man, on a scheduled hiatus while star Hugh Jackman makes the film festival rounds with Florian Zeller’s The Son. (The other now-gone show was Billy Crystal’s Mr. Saturday Night.)
Producers for The Music Man announced today that the show will close this January 1 with Jackman’s departure.
Other shows that did well last week were a couple of about-to-close productions: Come From Away, which closes October 2, filled 99% of its seats for a $781,173 take, while Dear Evan Hansen, closing September 18, was a sellout, grossing $1,050,167.
Other top earners in the $1M+ range were Aladdin, Hamilton, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, MJ, Moulin Rouge, Six, The Lion King and Wicked. Into the Woods, now with a stellar replacement cast, grossed $1,044,801, a noticeable drop from the previous week’s $1.8M.
Coming weeks will see significant activity on the roster: September alone will see previews begin for Cost of Living, Leopoldstadt, 1776, Death of a Salesman, The Piano Lesson and Topdog/Underdog, with more to come later this fall.
Season to date, Broadway has grossed $449,823,161, with total attendance of 3,501,670 at about 86% of capacity.
The 19 productions reporting figures on Broadway last week were Aladdin, Beetlejuice, The Book of Mormon, Chicago, Come From Away, Dear Evan Hansen, Funny Girl, Hadestown, Hamilton, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Into the Woods, The Kite Runner, The Lion King, MJ, Moulin Rouge!, The Phantom of the Opera, Six, A Strange Loop and Wicked.
All figures courtesy of the Broadway League.
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