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Friday, 21 September, 2001, 10:06 GMT 11:06 UK
Broadway makes further cuts
Phantom of the Opera is sty the city's Majestic Theatre
Phantom of the Opera is at the city's Majestic Theatre
Workers on five of Broadway's biggest shows have agreed to take pay cuts in a bid to save their productions after a slump caused by the attacks on New York.

Theatre attendances in the city have dropped by up to 90% after the hijacked planes were flown into the World Trade Center.

Behind-the-scenes workers on Les Miserables, Chicago, The Full Monty, Phantom of the Opera and Rent will take a 25% pay cut for one month in the hope that the productions can weather the storm and will not be forced to close.

The Producers
The Producers: Had rare empty seats
Five other shows have been forced to close this week and six have said they are at risk.

Actors' Equity Association executive director Alan Eisenberg said action was being taken to save the shows and to save Broadway itself.

"Without question, this is going to be an extremely tough time for everyone," he said.

Rent's producer Kevin McCollum said: "The bulk of our audience is tourists and we want to be here when the tourists come back, and we are willing to lose significant amounts of money to wait for that."

The five shows at which workers will take pay cuts have been some of the most popular on Broadway.

But even the most coveted performances - including The Producers and The Lion King - have had empty seats since the attacks.

'Millions lost'

New York mayor Rudolph Guiliani has said shows will get financial aid, while other city officials have urged New Yorkers to go to see a show as their "civic duty".

The shows that have already announced their closure include A Thousand Clowns, starring Tom Selleck, The Rocky Horror Show and Stones in His Pockets.

Average box office takings on Broadway are down by 60%, according to entertainment correspondent Tom Brook.

"Millions of theatre dollars have already been lost," he says.

"Even with the best efforts of theatre-goers, it's going to take a long time for Broadway to recover."

See also:

21 Sep 01 | Americas
Tourism shaken to the core
18 Sep 01 | Showbiz
Cash aid for struggling Broadway
18 Sep 01 | Arts
Broadway shows signal closure
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