NEW YORK (AP) — Broadway's revenue and attendance figures were both up this season, largely fueled by classics from Harold Pinter and William Shakespeare rather than brash, new musicals.
The Broadway League said Tuesday that box offices reported a record total gross of $1.27 billion — up from $1.13 billion from the previous season. The trade association for theater owners, operators and producers said attendance was up 5.6 percent to 12.2 million.
New musicals — "After Midnight," ''Rocky," ''If/Then," ''A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder," ''Bullets Over Broadway" and "Violet" — mostly recorded fine but not spectacular business.
A few flopped — "Big Fish" and "The Bridges of Madison County" — and a few have soared, like Neil Patrick Harris in "Hedwig and the Angry Inch."
Pushing the overall numbers higher were first-rate play revivals, including a double bill of Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" and "Richard III." They recouped their $3.1 million capitalization costs, despite putting aside 250 seats at every performance for just $25.
A revival of Harold Pinter's "Betrayal," starring Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz and Rafe Spall, wrapped up its 14-week engagement with a stunning cumulative gross of just over $17.5 million. It set a record for best single week for a play ever on Broadway.
Another revival — Tennessee Williams' "The Glass Menagerie," starring Zachary Quinto and Cherry Jones — recouped its $2.6 million investment, while a double bill of Pinter's "No Man's Land" and Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot," starring Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, left after 23 weeks with a $14.3 million haul. A revival of "A Raisin in the Sun" with Denzel Washington has been a sure thing, with the Ethel Barrymore Theatre packed each time and making over $1 million a week.