Broadway’s lights not so bright in February

Timing isn’t just everything in theater, but theater-going as well.

I’m going to New York City in early February for the American Theatre Critics Association’s mid-year professional development conference, which is usually a tax-deductible way to go see theater. (Burglars: A close family friend who is frequently armed and our two attack dogs are staying in the house.)

I tell you this because the timing could not be worse. Thanks to the recession (and $100-plus tickets) this is the black hole on the theater calendar. More than two dozen shows will have closed because the holiday season tourists have disappeared (would you be in New York in February if you didn’t have to?) The new ones don’t even open in previews for two to eight weeks so even short runs can be fresh in the minds of the Tony voters.

Other than the theme park shows, all that will be there is the holdover of The Merchant of Venice with Al Pacino, The Importance of Being Earnest with Brian Bedford in drag, and, if OSHA doesn’t shut it down, Spiderman: Will the Last Person Leaving Turn Off the Lights.

Thank God for off-Broadway.

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