The Theater: The Boom in Britain

The Broadway hit musicomedy Kismet opened in London with at least two handicaps. The show was housed in a vast theater off the beaten track, and it was saddled with an immense (for England) $126,000 budget. But after opening night, it looked as if Kismet would also be a London hit. "Obviously, a great success," said the Times.

Kismet is only one indication of a British theater boom this season. Despite a 25% increase in the price of theater tickets since 1939, attendance is up by at least 30%. In London's West End, 42 playhouses are running full blast; 100 repertory companies...

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