The Playgoer: Plays on Broadway: Curse of Success?

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Monday, June 27, 2005

Plays on Broadway: Curse of Success?

Variety has an interesting study of the "Average Paid Admission" figures for the recent season. The headline hails good news in that, overall, the ticket only went up 20 cents this year. But if you read the finer points, it's musicals that were kept in check. Plays went up!

Play fans, however, have reason to fret, as the APA for plays skyrocketed by a whopping $5.52, to $60.79, according to the league. This is largely attributed to just two shows -- the high-priced "700 Sundays" with Billy Crystal and "Julius Caesar" with Denzel Washington. But hits like "Doubt" and "The Pillowman" also helped pump average tix.
And there you have the "resugence" of the Drama on Broadway. Praised to the skies and priced out of range of the true theatrelover. The more successful and commercially viable plays on Broadway become, the harder it will be for many of us who care to see them. Who is being served here? (Don't assume the artists are getting their fair share of this intake.)

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