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A Theatre of Pre-Depression: Economics and Apathy in New York

  • Glenn Loney

Abstract

In an article in NTQ22 (May 1990), Glenn Loney clarified, with special concern for a British readership, the many ‘Factors in the Broadway Equation’. In NTQ 30 (May 1992), he took a closer look at the productions of the 1990–91 season, with its glut of musicals, from the lavish to the just plain lousy, economic ‘single-person shows’ – and the sometimes more challenging products of the off-Broadway and not-for-profit sectors. Here, he continues to trace the long decline of the ‘fabulous invalid’ through the season of 1991–92 – a season overshadowed by the death of Joe Papp, the mourning for a great showman mixed with concern for the future of his Public Theatre enterprises. The paucity of productions on Broadway – where, while one show could lose its backers four million dollars overnight, Peter Pan took American audiences happily back to the traditions of English pantomime – continued to contrast with signs of life elsewhere, and new productions marked milestone-anniversaries for La Mama and the Manhattan Theatre Club. Glenn Loney, is a widely published theatre writer and teacher based in New York.

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