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A Spring in Broadway’s Step: After a Grim Fall, the New York Theater Industry Finds Reasons to be Upbeat

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Gordon Cox Theater Editor Are we back yet? That’s the question Broadway has been asking for the past three years, as the theater industry emerged from lockdown into a harsh new reality of rising costs and slow-to-return audiences.

But now, after a grim fall, a springtime surge of buzzy new openings and a heartening spike in sales suggest that bated-breath Broadway may be ready to exhale. “We’re in our second full season out of lockdown, and 15 fully financed new musicals opened on Broadway — many of them from younger producers and younger artists.

That to me is exceptional news,” says Kristin Caskey, executive vice president of content and creative at Ambassador Theatre Group and chair of The Broadway League. “I’m incredibly optimistic about the future, even if we still have to overcome a few of our present challenges.” For many, the main cause for optimism is that since early March, sales and attendance have finally gained momentum.

That’s especially encouraging after an unusually slow summer and autumn: long, fallow months when, by one insider’s estimates, overall box office was 15% short of expectations and attendance was off by some 40,000 people a week.

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