Variety (March 1950)

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fvJneMlay, Hvch 29, 1950 LE6XTIMATS <* . \ The following art the comparative figures based on Variety'* boxoffice estimates for last weeh (the 43d week of the season ) and th* corresponding week of last Season: k This Last .:(■ BROADWAY Season Season Number of shows current. •■« »» • * * . ♦ ••••»*» 27. , 27 Total weeks played so far by all shows .,.. 923 988 Total gross for all current shows last week $663,900 $622,700 Total season’s gross so far by all shows. .$23,006,400 $23,582,200 Number of new productions so far ......,48 60 ROAD (Excluding Stock) • Number of current touring shows reported 18 25 Total weeks played so far by all shows.... 830 978 Total road gross reported last week...... $3.16,444 $630,800 Season’s total road gross so far ......... .$16,932,344 $20,213,000. Chicago, March 28. Chi boxoffice still is trying to weather the Lenten doldrums arid lack of convention trade. Busi- ness picked up a little, but not enough to cheer about. Best gross- er seems to be "Madwoman of Challlot.” All things considered, advance for "Lend An Ear” is pretty strong. ’’Private Lives” seems lean in first of three-week stand. "Kiss Me, Kate" has been having very heavy weekend, traf- fic, but the rest of the week has been off.. Chi theatregoers don’t have much to look for in the near future, only' a revival pf "Oklahoma!” in five weeks, and a possible engagement of "Miss Liberty.” Mae West has decided, for the nonce, to skip Chicago with "Diamond Lil.” Out- side of a May week stint of the Metropolitan Opera at the .Chicago Civic Opera, this is the future, un- less UBO swings something else in at the last moment. Estimates for Last Week "Kiss Me, Kate” Shubert (27th wk) (2,000; $6.18). Doing bright $28,200: "Lend an Ear,” Great Northern (1,500; $4.33). Opened last night (Mon.). "Madwoman of Challiot,” Erlan- ger (2d Wk) (1,334; $4.33). Second week of Guild above first with $21,000; has a $42,000 advance for the hext four weeks. "Private Lives,” Harris (1,000; $4.33). First week of Tallulah Bankhead Vehicle only a moderate $14,300. Faye Emerson-’ Good $16,000 in Wast. Ht Washington, March 28; Goodbye, My Fancy,” headed by Faye Emerson; came off credi- tably as second attraction at the newly converted Gayety. Mid- week rain on two consecutive nights hurt, but show still racked up a good $16,000, at $3.60 top, for the 1,500-seater. Comedy was on a Tuesday-tb-Suriday schedule because of star’s Monday night TV commitment. Advance for current and final Week is promising. Sendbff by town’s bricks, who went all out for the combo of Miss Emerson, Haila Stoddard, Bramwell Fletcher and Sam Wanamaker, Is helping. Hefty advance for "Streetcar Named Desire,” with Judith Eve- lyn, which comes in April 3 for three weeks. Slow Los Angeles Week Los Angeles, March 28. Only three tiny houses were alight last week and though busi- ness was good the whole town’s take registered only a mild $11,600. Things begin to pick up again this week with El Capitan ablaze again with- "Goodnight Ladies,” which bowed last night, and with Bilt- more readying coast bow Of "The Silver Whistle,” starring Lloyd Nolan, next Monday (3). Estimates for Last Week "Of All Things,” Century (1st wk) ($3.60; 382). New revue bowed Wed. (22) to mixed notices and breezed through first four nights with near-capacity take of $4,000. Opening night top Of $6 helped swell the tally. "Strange Bedfellows,” Las Palmas (1st wk) ($3,60; 388). Gen- erally good notices greeted the Tuesday (21) bow and first five nights registered okay $3,700. "The Banker’s Daughter,” New Globe (7th wk) ($2.40; 299). Off to around $3,900. Complexities of tiny house plus size of cast puts this iil red. Needs to do virtual capacity to break even. to $23,000 IN TORONTO Toronto, March 28. First venture into legit in the history of the Odeon, plush, show- case of the J.. Arthur Rank trans- Canada film chain, saw a smash $23,000 for the first' half of the San Carlo Opera Co.’s week’s en- gagement, which commenced March 23, with the 2,313-seater scaled at $4.20 top. "La Traviata” .opening brought out the carriage trade for a capac- ity attendance,. with management later selling standing room at $1.50 for "Carmen,” "Madame But- terfly” and "Aida,” and turning would-be standees away for all three performances. Heavy ad- vance sale reported for the re- maining three evening perform- ances and matinee. Phenomenon is that hitherto an- nual visits of the San Carlo troupe, to Massey Hall or the Royal Alex- andra, with both houses scaled at $2.40 top, never sold out, but customers went for that Odeon scale of $4.20. ‘0kla.r Neat $30,506 In New Orleans Week New Orleans, March 28. "Oklahoma!” pulled in a vigor- ous $30,500 in eight performances at the Poche here last week. Musical is at the Tower, Atlanta, this Week. Christians-'Vinegar Tree' Neat $5,500 in Atlanta Atlanta, March 28. Mady Christians in "The Vinegar Tree”: proved- to he a boxoffice natural and did a neat $5,500 in eight performances at Penthouse theatre last week. Lead male role was ,handled 1>y Gerald Savory, who directs 'Penthouse plays. Susan Peters opened Monday (27) ip Tennessee Williams’ "The Glass Menagerie.”. Advance sales indicate another banner week. Penthouse is scheduled to shutter for season in one more Week. Final play will star Sarah Churchill in Philip Barry’s "The Philadelphia Story.” It will be a repeat engage- ment for the star-and-play combi- nation, since -they were the attrac- tion here during the third week of Penthouse’s 29-week run of star stock. . ~ Second week of Penthouse ex- perimental six-week run in Jack- sonville, under aegis of Atlanta group, grossed a satisfactory $5,- 000 with Moss Hart’s "Light Up the Sky” in Roosevelt hotel ball- room. Audrey Christie, who starred in "Light Up” here, moved to Jack- sonville and .played two nights there, then moved out! of starring role to make way fdr Diana Barry- more. Latter had suffered a spine injury three weeks before in an automobile accident in Virginia and had to cancel her Atlanta Pent- house appearance. Susan Peters and "Menagerie” will move to Jacksonville after Atlanta date and so will the Churchill"Philadelphia Story” combo. Bridgeport, March 28. Tent operetta season is skedded m 12 weeks starting June! 19 on Property in nearby Norwalk ad- jacent to James Melton’s old car JJJuseum. James Westerfield, in .Detective Story” on Broadway; "cri Boyar, Max Gordon’s general manger, arid Mrs. Katherine Shea, Bridgeport legit promoter, are as- sociated in operation of outdoor venture, \yhich Will likely preem With "The Chocolate Soldier.” Melton and Ralph Bellamy, star “Story,” are financially inter- ested, Westerfield has previous operetta experience in Dallas, Meniphis and L, A. '• .. .yonture is being financed at $40,000, as a limited partership; it will have an estimated *“,000-a-week break-even point. Philadelphia; March 28. "The Wisteria ‘ Trees,”' Helen Hayes starrer, broke the straight- play house record at the Shubert here last week with a capacity-plus $36,144, at $4.55 top. The previous mark, set by Katharine Cornell in "The Barretts of Wimpole Street” in 1932, was $33,657, at $3,60 top. The town has only a . single legit attraction again this week. "Cry of the Peacock,” in for a single- week tryout at the Locust. Nothing is slated for next week. Estimate for Last Week "The Wisteria Trees,” Shubert (2d Wk) (1,877; $4.55). Riding the second-week swell of rave reviews and strong word-of-mouth* the try- out .topped capacity with a record- setting $36,144. Moved out Satur- day night (25) for Broadway, where it opens tomorrow night (Wed.). OKAY IN Detroit, March 28, "A Streetcar Named Desire,” with Judith Evelyn and Ralph Meeker, grossed a vigorous $21,- 200 for 9 eight performances in three engagements last week. Show took in $7,500 at the Orphe- um, Davenport, Monday-Tuesday (20-21); $6hOO at the Palace, South Bend, Wednesday-Thursday (22- 23), and $7,700 at the Shubert here* Friday-SatUrday (24-25). ... Play continues at the Shubert until Saturday (1). Mae West’s ‘Lil’ Fair $20,000 in Kansas City Kansas City, March 28. "Diamond Lil” wound up an eight-day run in the: Orpheum theatre here Sunday. Mae West-, starrer was especially heavy on mats Thursday, Saturday and Sun- day. It played. at $4.27 evening top, and racked up $20,000, fair figure for the 1,9.12-se!at Fox Mid- west house. "Lil” Was second straight legit attraction in the house, which re- mains dark until . April 8. It then reverts to films with "Three, Came Home.” Later in. the spring other legit attractions are set. in Hershey, Pa., March 28. "Brigadoon” grossed over $28,- 000 in eight performances last week split between the Commu- nity theatre here and the Play- house, Wilmington. Musical played latter Mortday-Wednesday ‘ (20-22), ! coming here Thursday (23) and (playing through Saturday (25). Show is dividing current week between the Victory, Dayton, and the Hartman, Columbus, O. : Further Coast Talks On ‘Guys and Dolls’ Cy Feuer and Ernest H. Martin, whose presentation of "Guys and Dolls” is slated for early fall; went to the Coast over the weekend for further production confabs With Frank Loesser, composer-lyricist of the show, and Jo Swerling, li- brettist, Feuer Will be pack in about a week, but Martin will re- main a month or so. The musical, based on Damon Runyon characters and stories, is completely written arid the entire financing is already in hand. Priri- cipal problem at the moment is casting. As soon as the. leads are set a rehearsal date will be an- nounced, Jo Mielziner will design the scenery and have. overall charge of the production, with Dan- iel Mann stagihg the book arid Je- rbme Robbins doing the choreog- raphy. A theatre hasn’t been se : lected. ’SALESMAN’ $23,400, CLEVE. Cleveland, March 28. "Death . of a Salesman,’*: with Thomas Mitchell, scored a strong $23,400 in eight performances at the Hanna here last week. Show stays here this wek. Business showed a marked im- provement on Broadway last week, Attendance topped the previous week from the start, but the rise was particularly notable Friday and Saturday (24-25). The total gross for all 27 shows was 77.76% of capacity, a rise of 7.36% over the preceding week, A slight drop is anticipated this week* with the traditional Holy Week slump the next week, a lively recovery due for Easter Week. One opening is scheduled for this week. Estimates for Last Week Keys: C (Comedy), D (Drama ), CD (Comedy-Drama), R (Revue), M (Musical), O .(Operetta). Other parenthetic figures refer, respectively, to top price, number pf Seats and capacity gross. Price includes 20% amusement tax, but grosses are net: i,e., exclusive of tax. '• "Arms and the Girl,” St; (fith wk) (M-$6; $1,319; $42,000). Jumped with the field;i new high at - : "As ’ You Like It," Cort (9th wk) (C-$4.80-$6; 1,064; $27,000). Eased a bit to $24,500. "Caesar and Cleopatra,” Na- tional (14th wk) (CD-$4.80-$6; r,172; $30,000). Registered a slight rise to $20,400. "Clutterbuck,” Biltmore (I6th wk) (C-$4.80; 920; $22;600), Using twofers and jumped back from the previous week’s $10,700 to nearly $13,500. "Cocktail Party/’ Miller (10th wk) (C-$4,80; 940; $21,600). An- other capacity week; $21,600. ’’Come Back, Little: Sheba,” Booth (6th wk) (D-$4.80; 712; $20,- 000). Dipped to $11,300. "Death of -a Salesman,” Morosco (59th wk) (D-$4.80; 914; $23,800). About the same; $18,200. "Detective Story,” Hudson (53d wk) (D-$4.80; 1,016; $23,675). Moved up a couple of notches to $16,300. "Devil’s Disciple,” Royale (5th Wk) (C-$4.80-$6; 1,035; $27,500). Up again, to excellent $25,100. "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” Ziegfeld (16th wk) (M-$6; 1,628; $48,244); Capacity again at over $48,200. “Great to Be Alive,” Winter Garden (1st wk) (M-$6; 1,510; $42,- 000). Musical opened Thursday night (23) to three favorable no- tices, four pans and one non com- mittal; first four ! performances grossed a non-indicative $21,500, plus $4,000 for one preview; "Happy Time,” Plymouth (9th wk) (C-$4.80; 1,063; $29,019). Moved up to $28,200. "Howdy, Mr. Ice of 1950,” Cen- ter (44th wk) (R-$2.88-$3; 2,964; $58,000L ; About the same; $18,500. "I Know My Love,” Shubert (21st wk) (CD-$4.80; 1,391; $33,- 000). Also did better at $24,200. "Kiss Me, Kate,” Century (64th wk) (M-$6; 1,645; $46,650). Climbed back a bit to $45,400. "Lost in the Stars,” Music Box (21st wk) (M-$5.40; 1,012; $26,600). Moved back up to $24,200. "Member of the Wedding,” Em- pire (12th wk) (D-$4.80; 1,082; $24,000). Held about even; $24,000. "Miss Liberty,” Imperial (37th wk) (M-$6 60;1,400; $44,500). Trifle better at $24,400. "Mister Roberts,” Alvin (110th wk) (CD-$4.80; 1,360; $34,276). Keeps on piling Up profits; climb- ed back to nearly $28,800. "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep,” Broadhurst (4th wk) . (CD-$4.80- $6; 1,160; $29,500). Rode up a bit on the general trend, plus the help of one theatre party; over $18,200. ’’South Pacific,” Majestic (51st wk) (M-$6; 1,659; $50,186). Gets all the: house will hold every week; over $50,600. i "Texas, Lil Darlin’,” Hellinger j (18th wk) CM-$6; 1,543; $42;000). j Maintaining a comfortable pace; $27,200. "The Consul,” Barrymore (2d wk) (M-$4.80-$6; 1.066; $30,000); Off to a fast start; first full week got $28,500. "The innocents,” Playhouse (7th' wk) (D-$4.80; 819; $18,740). Jump- ed back promisingly to $13,400, "The Man,” Fulton (10th wk) (D-$4.80; 966; $23,000). Slated to j vacate the house after two or three more weeks; twofers haven’t helped; $7,200. "Velvet Glove,” Golden (13th Wk) (CD-$4,80; 769; $18,127). Also shared the improved business; about $7,500. "Where’s Charley?” St James (75th wk). (M-$6; 1,509; $37,800). Bounced to lively $33,300. Opening "Wisteria Trees,” Martin . Beck (D-$4.80-$6; 1,214; $33,000). Helen Hayes starrer, authored by Joshua Logan based bn Chekhov’s "Cherry Orchard.” presented by Logan and Leland Hayward; financed at $100,- 000, cost about $110,000 to bring in (including bonds) and can break even at around $22,000; opens to- night (Wed). Futiue pates . "Cry of the Peacock,” April 6 at Mansfield; "With a Silk Thread,” April 12 at Lyceum; ‘-’Peter Pan,” April 24_at Imperial; "Tickets, Please,” week of April 24 . at Cor« onet; "Phoenix Too Frequent”— "Freight,” April 29 at the Fulton* ' Boston, March 28. /‘Mister Roberts” remains the sockiest straight legit to hit town in seasons, still doing capacity all performances at the Colonial for. a smash $30,600 plus. Ah ad- ditional starter last week kept the season from setting a record low in houses lighted for this time of year, with Cornelia Otis Skinner doing a one-week stand at the Wil- bur for about $9,000, which isn’t had; "King Lear,” setting both a b o. and a h.o. record at the Brattle, is now in its sixth and final week, with "The Country Wife” set for April 5. Other prospects in view now are "Riverside Drive,” which opened last night (27) to stay until April 5. Qther prospects are "Tickets,, Please,” "Miss Liberty,” "Ahi Gezunt,” the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, "Lady From Paris,” "Diamond Lil” in a return engagement, and "Kiss Me, Kate/* IN NEW HAVEN PREEM New Haven, March 28. Preem of "Cry of the Peacock” drew a light response at Shubert last weekend (23-25). In for four shows at $3.60 top, estimated gross of $5,000 was mild. . Breakin of "Tickets, Please” (the Hartmans), originally skedded for this week* has been shifted to April 6-8. Also on the premiere list is "House on the Cliff” (Fay Bainter-Ernest Truex), due April -. 13 - 15 , " ; in Detroit, March 28. The sickly Detroit legit patient took a sharp turn tor the better last week. A very good $24,500 resulted from the six-day Criss presentation of "Les Ballets de Paris.” Theatre is dark again this week with reopening set for April 3 for second appearance here this season of "Death of Salesman.” The 2,000-seat Shubert did a swell $8,500''in three performances of "Streetcar Named Desire,” which opened Friday (24) and is booked until Saturday (1). Woolley-‘Dinner’ $20,000 in Split Wk. Tacoma, March 28, Monty Woolley in "The Mart Who Carrie to Dinner” drew a healthy $20,000 last week in seven performances split between the Temple here and the Metropolitan, Seattle* Show played latter Mon- day-Wednesday (20-22), coming here Thursday (23) for a two-day engagement ending Friday (24). Comedy is current at the inter- national Cinema, Vancouver. in Keys: Q ( Comedy ), D < Drama ) 1 ; CD (Comedy-Drama) t R (Revue), M (Musical), O (Operetta). "House on the Cliff” (C)—Peggy Wood, Joseph Moon arid Roger j Stearns; Leo Mittler, director. "Peter Pan” (C-D)--Peter Law- rence; John Burrell, director. "Phoenix Too F t eq ue n t” — "Freight” (Double-Bill) (D)—Ste- phen Scheur, "The Liar” (M) — Dorothy Wil- i lard and Thomas Hammond; Nor- i rls Houghton, director. "With a Silk Thread” (D)-lrving Kaye Davis; Elsa Shelley, director.