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A man looks at advertisements for Broadway plays in the theater district of New York City. - 


Steve Chiotakis: Here we are in a traditionally bad month for Broadway. But this year, the white lights could be dimmer and less profitable. Andrea Gardner explains.

Andrea Gardner: In light of falling ticket sales, Broadway producers are closing the curtain on a number of plays and musicals. Among them one-time box office hits, like Monty Python's Spamalot and the teen musical Spring Awakening.

Even many lower-budget road shows around the country are feeling the pinch and are being forced to cut costs. Broadway is hoping for a stronger second act this spring.

Gordon Cox covers theater for Daily Variety. He says it'll depend on investors, and right now, they are wary.

Gordon Cox: They are more comfortable holding onto their money right now than they are opening up their wallets to invest in a . . . what is always a risky theater production. And so the act of fundraising has become more difficult, even among those investors who regularly invest.

Shows currently attracting investors have attached big-name celebrities to guarantee ticket sales. Or they have smaller budgets, so even a modest run might be enough to recoup initial investments.

I'm Andrea Gardner for Marketplace.