On Broadway, the pay's the thing

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NEW YORK -- Whether arranging individual or group theater tickets, or packages that include hotel accommodations and tickets, agents who book through reputable companies such as Broadway.com and Applause can earn commissions simply by putting a customer in a theater seat.

"By taking five minutes to book a Broadway show, travel agents can save their clients the hassle of overpaying a hotel concierge for good seats or waiting in line at discount ticket outlets for substandard seating to a show that wasn't their first choice to begin with," said Janette Roush, director of marketing for Broadway.com. "Plus, agents earn commissions not only on individual tickets but also on hotel/theater packages.

"We're selling individual tickets to the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City and to every Broadway and Off-Broadway show in New York as well as restaurant vouchers in three different price ranges," Roush added.

New York's fall theater season is shaping up to be an exciting one. The Hugh Jackman headliner "The Boy From Oz" started well, with preview grosses in sync with those from recent long-running hit shows such as "The Producers," "Mamma Mia!" and "Hairspray."

Rosie O'Donnell is the lone backer of "Taboo," Boy George's musical portrait of the flamboyant London nightlife of the 1980s.

Joel Grey joined the $14 million New York production of "Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West," a retelling of the Wizard of Oz story.

The San Francisco transfer marks the Broadway return of composer/lyricist Stephen Schwartz ("Godspell," "Pippin," "The Magic Show") after a long absence as a composer of Disney movies.

Revivals of "Little Shop of Horrors" and "Wonderful Town" promise successful runs, as does "Never Gonna Dance," the latest Broadway musical based on a film, in this case the 1936 classic "Swing Time."

Two one-woman plays are running simultaneously on Broadway: Ellen Burstyn's "The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All (previews begin Oct. 31)" and Tovah Feldshuh's "Golda's Balcony," a recent off-Broadway transfer that opened Oct. 3.

Also expected to do well are four new plays: the Pulitzer Prize-winning "Anna in the Tropics," by Nilo Cruz; "The Violet Hour," by Richard Greenberg ("Take Me Out" is still playing on Broadway); Richard Alfieri's comedy "Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks"; and William Nicholson's "The Retreat from Moscow."

Play revivals include limited runs of Tennessee Williams' "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" and Harold Pinter's "The Caretaker."

To contact the reporter who wrote this story, send e-mail to [email protected] .

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