Broadway should thank its lucky stars — Julia Roberts and "Jersey Boys" — for its biggest season ever.

A record 12 million seats were sold during the 2005-6 season that ended Sunday, up 4.1 percent from last year.

Along the way, box-office grosses rose to $861.6 million — 12 percent more than last season - stoked in part by $111 orchestra seats, $250-plus "premium" tickets and the Pretty Woman's stage debut.

Not even a plenitude of pans deterred Roberts' fans, who've turned out in droves to see her in "Three Days of Rain," the limited-run revival of a Richard Greenberg play. Nor did lukewarm notices split "The Odd Couple" teaming of Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, which sold out before it even opened.

Among the season's biggest surprises, critically and financially, were "Jersey Boys" - the rags-to-rock-riches tale of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons — and a revived, newly jazzy "Pajama Game," starring a newly muscled and always swingin' Harry Connick Jr., and the campy musical "The Drowsy Chaperone."

Also running strong is "The History Boys," Alan Bennett's critically lauded comedy-drama from London — one of the few straight plays to triumph without a Roberts or Ralph Fiennes ("Faith Healer") as the headliner.

Meanwhile, a few older musicals not only keep on ticking, but keep selling out - "Spamalot," "Wicked," "The Lion King" and "Mamma Mia!" among them. Don't expect to find them at TKTS anytime soon. But not everyone's cheering.

"Come September, there'll be no plays at all on Broadway," veteran producer Manny Azenberg said glumly.

In all, Broadway saw 39 openings last season — and some pretty fast closings, as well. "Whether one wants to admit it or not," Azenberg says, "we need not only stars, but quality."