B'way bright due to 'White'

'Woman' lights up B.O. on the Great White Way By Gordon Cox

'The Woman in White' is no wallflower. The latest Andrew Lloyd Webber tuner to arrive on Broadway roared out of the starting gate, taking in a boffo $351,682 for its first three previews.

Attendance was up at 95.7% of capacity. That's better than half the entries in the top 10, which may have to make room for the lady when she puts in seven performances next week. (The show begins a full eight-show sked the following week.)

Otherwise, biz fell a bit for the week ending Oct. 30, with grosses for 29 shows tallying $15,191,023, down $657,208 from the previous week. Drops were reported nearly across the board, even if the total reps a solid sum for a sesh that, in recent years, hasn't earned much more than $14.5 million.

Biggest stumbles came from 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' ($429,747), 'Fiddler on the Roof' ($471,149) and 'Sweet Charity' ($444,683), all falling more than $100,000 from the previous week.

(The steepest dip, actually, came from 'The Odd Couple,' down $170,755 to $707,216, thanks to a heavily comped opening week. But no one's too worried about the sold-out smash.)

The trailer for 'The Producers' ($821,699), which hit theaters Oct. 21, hasn't seemed to goose biz yet, show was down $45,120.

Along with 'Woman in White,' two more shows joined the fray, with 'Seascape' ($55,716) and 'Souvenir' ($35,634) playing three previews each.

Playing to just 31% of capacity, 'Souvenir' joins a sparsely attended club that includes foundering shows 'Latinologues' ($72,391) and 'In My Life' ($126,713).

Date in print: Tue., Nov. 1, 2005, Gotham


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