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A Big Beneficiary of 2017 Tony Awards? ‘Oslo,’ a Play About Diplomacy


Jennifer Ehle in “Oslo,” which has experienced an increase in ticket sales since it won a major Tony Award.

Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

The big money and the media attention at the Tony Awards are invariably directed at the musicals and the host, but the biggest short-term beneficiary of this year’s broadcast is a three-hour play about the Middle East peace process.

“Oslo,” which won the Tony Award for best new play, had a 22 percent jump at the box office, according to figures released on Monday by the Broadway League.

The play, written by J. T. Rogers and produced by the nonprofit Lincoln Center Theater, is about the little-known back story of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians that led to the 1993 Oslo accord.

“Oslo,” which also won a Tony for Michael Aronov as best featured actor, is the top-grossing play on Broadway at the moment, running slightly ahead of a popular revival of “Present Laughter,” starring Kevin Kline, who won the Tony for leading actor in a play.

“Oslo” grossed $808,195 during the week that ended on Sunday, up from $660,561 the week before.

Another contender for best new play, “Indecent,” had its best week yet, $377,789, as its Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, Paula Vogel, urged supporters to see the play before it closes this Sunday.

Also notable at the box office last week: “Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812,” which featured a much-praised and rambunctious musical number on the telecast, grossed $1,319,766 at the box office, a nice jump given that it won only two small prizes, and “Bandstand,” which also was seeking a bounce from its musical number, had its best week yet, at $642,594. “Hello, Dolly!,” which won the Tony for best musical revival, grossed $2,297,057, fueled by enthusiasm for its star, Bette Midler, who won a Tony for her performance.

But “Waitress,” a musical that opened last spring, saw a huge drop, to $782,982 from $1,385,059, after the departure of its composer, Sara Bareilles, from the lead role.

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