Broadway set a box-office record for the third consecutive year, selling $283 million in tickets during the 1989-90 season.
The figure was up 8 percent from the previous season when sales totaled $262 million, according to the League of American Theaters and Producers.Attendance climbed to 8.03 million during the season that ended Sunday, from 7.97 million the previous season but lower than the 8.14 million tickets sold two years ago.
There were more new plays, more new musicals and more revivals on Broadway during the recently concluded season than in the previous season. Thirty-five productions opened during the 1989-90 season including 15 new plays, eight new musicals, six revivals of plays, four revivals of musicals and two special attractions.
But ticket prices also climbed, with the average paid admission for all shows at $35.25, up 7 percent from the 1988-89 season when the average was $32.90. The top price was $60 for "Jerome Robbins' Broadway," with most other big musicals charging $55.
Receipts for Broadway touring shows jumped to $367 million, up from $256 million the previous year, a hike of 43 percent. Contributing to the increase were two productions of "The Phantom of the Opera," doing great business in Los Angeles and Toronto.
Among the hits of the season were such diverse shows as the musical "City of Angels," the revival of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," and "Lettice & Lovage," a British comedy starring Maggie Smith. There was strong competition for best play in this season's Tony Awards between "The Piano Lesson," "Prelude to a Kiss" and "The Grapes of Wrath," the eventual winner.