Has the economy affected Broadway sales?

Broadway?  I don’t think Broadway has seen any major downturn that can be directly attributed to the current economic situation . . . yet.

But frankly, it’s too early to tell.

When there’s a drought or a famine, the first ones to go aren’t the rich folks on the hill in their big houses.  Oh no, the first to go are the smaller, the weaker . . . the poor.

In the past three months, three of the longer running Off-Broadway shows have announced their closing:  I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish and I’m in Therapy and (I still can’t believe it) Forbidden Broadway.

I Love You
ran for over 12 years, My Mother’s Italian for 2 and Forbidden Broadway has been running for 26 years (at almost as many theaters).

In those many years, these shows have seen a lot:  a dot-com bubble-busting, a black Monday, and the obvious day in September.

And they got through it all.

And they’re not getting through this.

So, either this drought is different from the rest, or expenses have inflated more than prices, so shows can’t tighten their belts as tight as they used to.

My feeling?  It’s a bit of both.

Will the drought ever reach those rich fat-cat Broadway shows on the hill?

Well, let’s hope that something settles soon, because I think it’s creeping closer . . . and closer (think it’s a coincidence that both of these “closers” are basically big Off-Broadway shows?)

Does that mean you should run for this hills if you’re looking to put up a show in the next 12 months?  Nope, but like the modern consumer, you have to be more discerning with where you spend you money and what you spend your money on.

Related Posts


Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.