‘Billy Elliot’ Outselling Buzzy ‘Equus’ Three to One?

From left, ; . Photo: Photos: Alastair Muir (Billy Elliot); Getty Images (Equus)

Let's say you got over your bitterness and finally resigned yourself to taking a stay-cation this fall. Hey, I'll save money on travel and see the latest Broadway shows, you thought. Well, bad news, buddy. Michael Riedel brings the depressing yet not unexpected news that shows are having trouble finding backers in these dire economic times. (Producers apparently will admit this "after a drink or two.") "Everybody's tightening their belts," says producer Elizabeth I. McCann. Ha!, we thought, immaturely. Not Daniel Radcliffe — we're pretty sure he's loosening his.

But the real news of Riedel's column — other than the closing-before-its-opening of the Whoopi Goldberg–backed for colored girls… — pertains to Mr. Radcliffe's untrousered turn in Equus. Apparently the drama has advance sales of $3 million, which, while better than almost any other show, is far less that Billy Elliot's "more than $10 million and counting." Really? But everyone's been buzzing about Harry Potter's wang for over a year! Is it because Billy Elliot is more family-friendly than "the powerful and provocative story of a stable boy and a psychiatrist who seek to understand the sexual and religious mystery which leads to a climatic and unbelievable event"? Would audiences rather see a British boy in tights than a British boy naked? Or have Equus promoters just not distributed enough sexy photos? —Lori Fradkin

B'WAY FEELS MONEY SLUMP [NYP]

Earlier: Vulture Exclusive: ‘Equus’ Star Richard Griffiths Without a Shirt On