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Broadway Gobbles Up Thanksgiving Records

NEW YORK (AP) — Thanksgiving was rough on turkeys but pretty good for Broadway theaters — several shows broke records over the holiday weekend, including the new "Kinky Boots," the rocking "Motown" and the old ruler "The Lion King."

Even William Shakespeare joined the party, with his repertory of "Twelfth Night" and "Richard III" led by Mark Rylance shattering an 8-year-old record at the Belasco Theatre.

"Kinky Boots," which won the 2013 Tony Award for best musical, grossed $1,912,568 over eight performances during the week ending Sunday, smashing the all-time house record at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre. It beat out the crown held there in January 2012 by the revival of "How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," which had one more performance.

The circus-themed revival of "Pippin," which announced Monday that it had recouped its $8.5 million investment, reported that it had beaten its own Music Box Theatre house record for a single show, earning $151,219.

"Motown the Musical," the story of Motown founder Berry Gordy and featuring an astonishing Motown catalog, took in $1,522,002 over eight shows last week, the show's best week ever and a record for the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.

"The Lion King" shows no signs of losing its roar — the show netted $2,365,402, setting a house record for an eight-performance week at the Minskoff Theatre. The show, celebrating its 16th year, will pass "Les Miserables" next month to become the fourth longest-running show on Broadway.

The Rylance-led "Twelfth Night" and "Richard III" grossed $826,486, despite setting aside 2,000 seats a week for students for $25. Its haul easily beat the theater's last box-office ruler, "Julius Caesar," another Shakespeare classic starring Denzel Washington that earned $754,296.