Page last updated at 15:11 GMT, Wednesday, 27 May 2009 16:11 UK

Broadway theatres defy recession

Katie Holmes
Katie Holmes has been on stage in All My Sons

Theatres on Broadway have reported record ticket sales, with producers crediting the recession and big Hollywood stars for the rise.

Sales for tickets to see plays and musicals during the 2008-2009 season topped $943.3m (£589.5m).

It was $6m ($3.75m) up on last year, despite attendance being slightly down.

"If you put on a great show, people will come - even in the midst of an economic downturn," said Charlotte St. Martin, of the Broadway League.

"Research has shown that theatre provides escape from everyday life and especially during these tough times, we have given the audiences a reason to see a show."

Hollywood stars

The Broadway League, an industry trade association, said the 2008-09 season featured 43 shows, with revivals of classic musicals Hair and West Side Story among the biggest hits.

Hollywood names like Katie Holmes, Angela Lansbury, James Gandolfini and Susan Sarandon have also proved a big draw, the Broadway League said.

Attendance was 12.15 million, compared to 12.27 million during the 2007-2008 season.

The League's figures were approximate after estimated profits for the now-closed Young Frankenstein.

The Mel Brooks musical, which closed in January after a year's run, did not release its weekly figures.

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