EXCLUSIVE: Comic monologist Mike Birbiglia has made an early Broadway splash with his new show The Old Man & the Pool, selling out his first four previews last week – the only other production with all seats filled was The Phantom of the Opera – and, Deadline can report exclusively, getting a two-week extension of his run at Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theater.
Mike Birbiglia: The Old Man & the Pool – the title references the Hemingway classic The Old Man & the Sea – will now run through January 15. The official opening night is Sunday, Nov. 13.
For the week ending Oct. 30, the show grossed $219,058 at the subscription-heavy nonprofit Vivian Beaumont, where the average ticket price was a modest $51.30. Helping fill all the venue’s seats were some of Birbiglia’s famous friends and fans Questlove, Padma Lakshmi, Nathan Lane, Frank Oz, Lucas Hedges, Michael Cerveris, Jessie Mueller, Conrad Ricamora, Elizabeth Stanley and Drew Gehling.
Overall, though, Broadway was off a bit last week, with only Phantom, ever-nearer its Feb. 18 Broadway closing, at attendance of 100% capacity. The musical grossed $1,602,986 for the week.
In all, Broadway’s 31 shows took in $27,346,822, a 4% slip from the previous week when there were three fewer productions on the boards. Attendance was about even, but average ticket price dropped from the previous week’s $125.87 to $119.63.
Coming close to sell-out status were new musical & Juliet, filling 98.89% of seats in its first two previews at the Sondheim and grossing $316,211; Funny Girl, with Lea Michele & Co. filling 98% of seats at the August Wilson for a big $1,635,860 gross; and MJ, at 99.6% of capacity, breaking yet another in a string of house records at the Neil Simon with a take of $1,810,272.
Take Me Out, last summer’s hit baseball drama, returned to Broadway for its second inning, getting off to a warming-up start of $341,984 for five performances at the Brooks Atkinson, filling about 64% seats.
The Piano Lesson, starring Samuel L. Jackson, John David Washington and Danielle Brooks, continued to lead the pack of the recently arrived play revivals, filling 85% of seats at the Barrymore for an impressive $918,748 gross.
Almost Famous, the musical adaptation of the 2000 hit film, opens this Thursday, and last week was at 77% of capacity at the Jacobs, grossing $575,345 with a $91.18 average ticket price.
The Kite Runner saw a box office bump in its final week of performances, taking $431,556 at the Helen Hayes, a jump of $50,201. Newcomer Walking With Ghosts, the one-man-show starring Gabriel Byrne, had its opening night last week, so press and other comps took their toll on receipts; still the play took in just $176,996 at the Music Box, filling about 62% of seats with a $42.03 average ticket price.
And still at the egregiously undeserved lower end of the financial roster was Topdog/Underdog, a brilliant production of Suzan-Lori Parks’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play, featuring Corey Hawkins and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II giving two of the finest performances on any current Broadway stage. The show should be a hit. Last week it filled just 68% of seats at the Golden, grossing $277,846 with an average ticket price of $63.23, far and away Broadway’s best bargain.
Season to date, Broadway has grossed $639,970,601, with total attendance of 5,030,438 at about 87% of capacity.
The 31 productions reporting figures on Broadway last week were & Juliet, 1776, Aladdin, Almost Famous, Beetlejuice, The Book of Mormon, Chicago, Cost of Living, Death of a Salesman, Funny Girl, Hadestown, Hamilton, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Into the Woods, Kimberly Akimbo, The Kite Runner, KPOP, Leopoldstadt, The Lion King, Mike Birbiglia: The Old Man & the Pool; The Music Man, MJ, Moulin Rouge!, The Phantom of the Opera, The Piano Lesson, Six, A Strange Loop, Take Me Out, Topdog/Underdog, Walking With Ghosts and Wicked.
All figures courtesy of The Broadway League.