The Playgoer: Shanghai Surprise?

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Shanghai Surprise?

From Crain's NY Business (firewalled)

"Everybody is talking about Asia right now, especially China," says Broadway Asia Chairwoman Simone Genatt, who has been inundated with calls from New York producers who want to take their shows to Asia. "Given the rising costs in the U.S. market, producers are forced to figure out ways to make money in other places in the world."
Yes, you heard right. Socks ain't the only thing cheaper to make in China.

According to the story--from the excellent Miriam Kreinin Souccar--the Nederlanders are shooting to be the Marco Polos, if you will, of the "Great Wall" Way:
"We're going to be able to provide a sense of comfort and continuity for Broadway producers in China," says Bob Nederlander Jr., president of Nederlander Worldwide.
And they have gotten quite far along already:
Nederlander New Century is a joint venture of Nederlander Worldwide and Beijing Time New Century Entertainment. In the works for four years, it is the first such enterprise to be approved by China's Ministry of Culture since it opened its entertainment industry to foreign investors in September 2005. The firm is even helping the government design the new theaters in some cities.
Disney already scored big with "Lion King" in Shanghai (not to mention, in South Africa, too) and now the Nede's are bringing "42nd Street" there in the fall. It's time to get international fast, I guess. Especially since in the US, The Road is drying up in audience and rising in real estate.

Oh, and by the way--you thought there were union issues with non-Equity tours in this country?

Apologies for lazy use of negligible random movie title for a subject heading. Newspapers may do it. But I'm ashamed!

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