The Playgoer: Broadway in the Loop

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Monday, May 07, 2007

Broadway in the Loop

Chris Jones of the Trib reports on a new Chicago theatre phenomenon. No, not another visceral ragtag company of upstarts. Rather, the touring Broadway musical has thrived so well there as of late some may be settling in to stay for a while.

Which would be a big change from the way Chicago--and other major cities--to business with the road companies, which is usually by subscription. (For-profit subscription, that is.)

Broadway itself is a collection of rental theaters where producers rely entirely on single-ticket sales. There's no such thing as subscription to Broadway musicals. But in more prosaic cities such as Pittsburgh and Cleveland -- where most tours come only for a couple of weeks -- Broadway shows have long been packaged in subscription seasons. Gina Vernaci, the vice president of theatricals at Cleveland's Playhouse Square Center, says her season of shows is entirely dependent on this arrangement, wherein subscribers commit to several shows at once, supporting the weaker titles on the back of the hotter tickets.

So is the Chicago market more like New York or Cleveland?
Read on to find out. A potentially watershed moment in Chi-Town theatre biz?

My question is--will all these flashy imported goods steal some spotlight from the fine rough hewn native handiwork?

1 comment:

Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Great question. I honestly don't think so - I believe it can actually propel the home grown theatrical product even more. With great theatre companies all over Chicago already, the entry level shows can springboard further interest in the artform.