The Theater: Actors in the Living Room

Tickets to such Broadway hit musicals as South Pacific, Guys and Dolls and Call Me Madam are still harder to get than rush-hour seats in the Manhattan subways. But, for roughly the price of a ticket, a theater fan anywhere can hear the shows tunes just as they sound from the stage without stirring from the living-room sofa.

In ten years, original-cast recordings of Broadway scores have boomed into big business by appealing to 1) those who cannot see the shows, and 2) theatergoers who want something more than a playbill to remember them by. Columbia Records has sold 980,000 copies of...

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