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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 December, 2003, 10:38 GMT
Broadway attendances fall again
New York's Broadway
Broadway's attendances are still down
Fewer people saw shows on New York's Broadway during 2003 - but takings have gone up during the past year.

Theatres predict the year will end with 11.2 million people visiting Broadway's venues, down from 11.4 million in 2002.

But takings are expected to be up to $730m (414m), compared with $707m (401m) the previous year - helped by top ticket prices hitting $100 (56).

Broadway theatres are putting the drop in visitors down to a lack of big shows opening during the summer.

League of American Theatres and Producers president Jed Bernstein said: "If you were grading the year, I think you would give it a solid 'B'.

"Attendance is off a little bit, whether you look at it on a 12-month basis or on a season-to-date basis.

"I think that's largely because we had only a few shows opening over the summer and in September and October, and a larger number opening toward the end of October and into November.

"So we haven't been able to appreciate the full impact of all that yet."

This year's Broadway hits have included The Boy From Oz, Wicked and Cat On A Hot Tin Roof - but a number of high-profile failures have also hit the headlines, including Farrah Fawcett comedy Bobbi Boland, which closed before its official opening.

'Reasonably full'

Mr Bernstein said business was "okay" for his members.

"Theatres are reasonably full, there are the usual schedule of January closings, although not more so than normal," he explained.

Revivals of Fiddler on the Roof and Assassins are planned for 2004, and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Bombay Dreams is also due to open.

Mr Bernstein predicted that for the 2003/4 season, which will end in June, attendance figures would be "virtually the same" as last year, at 11.4 million.

Broadway smash heads for London
17 Dec 03  |  Showbiz

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