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Terry Teachout's Memo to Broadway

Times square_night

In response to the trail of falling dominoes that is Broadway right now, Wall Street Journal theatre critic Terry Teachout has an idea that might save the Great White Way, at least until the economy recovers and shows stop closing in such rapid succession.

Teachout's advice is to draw a crowd without breaking the bank. Instead of big-budget blockbusters like Young Frankenstein (which is closing) and Spider-Man (scheduled to open, eventually), Teachout suggests several smaller-scale productions that could economically fill all these empty theatres.

As you may have ready today in Espresso, current productions of The Seagull and All My Sons have recouped their initial investments, but far more shows are closing at a loss. Now seems like a good time to think small, in hopes of earning big.

Teachout thinks that David Ives' 1989 "screwball tragedy" Ancient History, or a star-studded version of Don Juan in Hell (to rival the 1951 production starring Charles Boyer, Cedric Hardwicke, Charles Laughton, and Agnes Moorehead), or maybe even revivals of Kenneth Lonergan's This Is Our Youth and Alan Ayckbourn's Relatively Speaking (neither of which have ever been performed on Broadway) could all provided a spark to the fading candle that Broadway is becoming.

Do you have ideas for other plays that might be able to make a timely (and cheap) leap to Broadway? Leave a comment and let us know what you think!

-- Daniel Lehman

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