It's a Broadway apocalypse as 6 big musicals close in 2 weeks

What was that old saying that the only sure industries in a recession were sin, sex, and entertainment? Word must not have filtered down to 42nd Street, because in the past few weeks, the cream of Broadway's musicals have soured. By the end of January, six long-runners--most of them once tipped to run for years--will be dead.

The hurdle of paying $120 a ticket has finally proved too great an obstacle for the average theatergoer, and audiences are drying up. The Broadway bloodletting, which represents about a third of its long-running musicals, includes Hairspray (closing Jan. 18), Young Frankenstein (Jan. 4), Spring Awakening (Jan. 18), Grease (Jan. 4), and 13 (Jan. 4), Monty Python's Spamalot originally posted a closing date in mid-January, but even that suicide note proved too optimistic, and it recently shortened its life by another week, ending Jan. 11. One long-running non-musical, the farce Boeing-Boeing, will also take its final bow Jan. 4.

Add those casualties to the recent closures of Legally Blonde, another long-runner and A Tale of Two Cities, which got its head chopped off after just a few weeks. Gypsy shutters March 1 after the contract of its headliner, Patti LuPone, expires.

Disney Theatricals, which currently produces Mary Poppins, The Lion King, and The Little Mermaid, is so desperate for business that it's giving tickets away. Between Jan. 6 and March 13, it will give one kids' ticket away free for every adult ticket purchased to one of its shows. For that deal, available until Friday, call 866/870-2717 and give the code KIDS.