The Broadway League announced that in the 2007–08 season, 12.27 million tickets were purchased for Broadway shows for a gross sale amount of almost a billion dollars. The League further reported that during the 2006–07 season, approximately 65% of Broadway tickets were purchased by tourists, and that foreign tourists were 16% of attendees. (These figures do not include off-Broadway and smaller venues.) The Society of London Theatre reported that 2007 set a record for attendance in London. Total attendees in the major commercial and grant-aided theatres in Central London were 13.6 million, and total ticket revenues were £469.7 million. Also the international musicals scene has been particularly active in recent years. However, as Stephen Sondheim has noted:You have two kinds of shows on Broadway – revivals and the same kind of musicals over and over again, all spectacles. You get your tickets for The Lion King a year in advance, and essentially a family... pass on to their children the idea that that's what the theater is – a spectacular musical you see once a year, a stage version of a movie. It has nothing to do with theater at all. It has to do with seeing what is familiar.... I don't think the theatre will die per se, but it's never going to be what it was.... It's a tourist attraction."
The success of original material like Urinetown, Avenue Q, Spelling Bee and In the Heights, as well as creative re-imaginings of film properties, including Thoroughly Modern Millie, Hairspray, Billy Elliot and The Color Purple, and plays-turned-musicals, such as Spring Awakening, prompts theatre historian John Kenrick to write: "Is the Musical dead? ...Absolutely not! Changing? Always! The musical has been changing ever since Offenbach did his first rewrite in the 1850s. And change is the clearest sign that the musical is still a living, growing genre. Will we ever return to the so-called 'golden age,' with musicals at the center of popular culture? Probably not. Public taste has undergone fundamental changes, and the commercial arts can only flow where the paying public allows."
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Famous quotes containing the word relevance:
“Wherever the relevance of speech is at stake, matters become political by definition, for speech is what makes man a political being.”
—Hannah Arendt (19061975)
“The most striking fault in work by young or beginning novelists, submitted for criticism, is irrelevancedue either to infatuation or indecision. To direct such an authors attention to the imperative of relevance is certainly the most usefuland possibly the onlyhelp that can be given.”
—Elizabeth Bowen (18991973)
“... whatever men do or know or experience can make sense only to the extent that it can be spoken about. There may be truths beyond speech, and they may be of great relevance to man in the singular, that is, to man in so far as he is not a political being, whatever else he may be. Men in the plural, that is, men in so far as they live and move and act in this world, can experience meaningfulness only because they can talk with and make sense to each other and to themselves.”
—Hannah Arendt (19061975)