Be our guest, be our guest, put our discounts to the test....please? Disney begs for your business on B'way

Last week, I wrote about the upcoming bloodletting on Broadway, in which six big musicals would close in two weeks. Well, make that seven. Another struggling show, the Patti LuPone revival of Gypsy, has moved its closing date to Jan. 11.

Current movies such as Frost/Nixon and Doubt may have arrived at your multiplex by way of Broadway, but as the economy seizes up, that fertile proving ground is quickly becoming a desert. One of the most parched producers is Disney Theatricals, which currently has three expensive productions on the Great White Way, none of them on steady financial footing.

Whereas a year ago, obtaining a discounted ticket to a Disney show was nearly impossible, last week the entertainment giant was shoring up business by saying if you bought a full-price ticket ($121.50) to one of its shows from January through mid-March, you could bring someone 18 or younger with you for free.

The original plan was to only offer the deal through last Friday. Unfortunately, that didn't work out. Not enough people signed up, so the company extended the offer by a week and a half. Now, perhaps as a last-ditch effort, Disney has said you can use this buy-one-get-one-free offer all the way through December 24, Christmas Eve. Disney is hoping that parents use the occasion to grab last-minute holiday gifts for their kids. If this doesn't work, expect a few more deaths on Broadway soon, including for a certain mermaid and an umbrella-riding nanny.

Incidentally, Disney isn't just hurting on Broadway. It's also doing a kids-go-free promotion on its cruise line. Kids 12 and under can travel for free in the same cabin as two paying adults from January to May. That includes their food, activities, and everything. And the Walt Disney World resort's offer of three days free when you buy four is still available for purchase until December 20. Suddenly, the entertainment giant that never discounts is crawling to the bargaining table, and your kids are the main beneficiaries.
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