Moving slowly out of its seasonal slump this past week, Broadway posted better figures for box office sales with $12,353,027 compared to last week’s...

Moving slowly out of its seasonal slump this past week, Broadway posted better figures for box office sales with $12,353,027 compared to last week’s low of $11,924,371. The season to date posts cumulative figures of $656,351,851 compared to last season at the same time of $615,086,778.

Helping move the Broadway economy out of its slump were Wicked at the Gershwin, Billy Elliot at the Imperial, both at more than a million dollars and Jersey Boys at the August Wilson at just over $934,000. Improving significantly over the previous week were Shrek at the Broadway Theatre drawing a 21 percent greater audience, followed by Mamma Mia! at the Winter Garden posting more than a 15 percent increase and In The Heights at the Rodgers with almost 11 percent. Of course, each saw a corresponding increase in dollars at the box office.

After enjoying a well-received preview period, You’re Welcome America. A Final Night With George W. Bush enjoyed its Opening Night on Feb. 5.

Opening to previews were The Story of My Life at the Booth Theatre, a musical featuring a cast of two telling a tale of friendship with its joys and sorrows, with its Opening Night scheduled for Feb. 19. The revival of Guys and Dolls is in previews at the newly refurbished Nederlander Theatre, its Opening Night is scheduled for March 1. “Equus” closed on Feb. 2.

Adding to the woes on the Way are a proposed four percent New York state tax on tickets according to Playbill. Representatives for Broadway are asking that the legislature reject the tax, proposed by Governor Paterson. Approval of the tax would lead to a further tax of four percent levied by New York City. The combined effect could add up to ten dollars to the cost of top tickets.

Metropolitan Opera fans will welcome a slightly reduced 2009-10 season schedule, according to Variety, with just eight new productions on tap. A few of the highlights include Richard Eyre’s “Carmen”, Ambroise Thomas’ “Hamlet” and Verdi’s “Attila”. The Met, like Broadway, is suffering from the punches below its economic beltline with a 10 percent pay cut coming for senior and administrative staff.

Broadway Gross Ticket Sales Week ending February 8, 2009
All data provided by The Broadway League

Broadway Gross Ticket Sales
Week Ending February 8, 2009

Weekly GrossTotal Atten.Prev.Perf.Total CapacityAvg. Ticket PriceAtten. %
August: Osage County
(Music Box)
Avenue Q
Billy Elliot
Guys and Dolls
Hedda Gabler
(American Airlines)
In the Heights
Jersey Boys
(August Wilson)
Mamma Mia!
(Winter Garden)
Mary Poppins
(New Amsterdam)
Pal Joey
(Studio 54)
South Pacific
Speed the Plow
The 39 Steps
The American Plan
The Lion King
The Little Mermaid
The Phantom of the Opera
The Story…Life
You’re Welcome…