BROADWAY: Theater Parties

Producers have long tried to find a way of escaping the power of the Manhattan drama critics. In recent years they have found a lifesaver: theater parties. Critical condemnation can still be fatal, but more and more shows cheerfully survive a panning, thanks to theater-party cash.

Current examples: Goldilocks, having taken a trimming by the critics, is flourishing on three to four parties a week, is booked solid until January. Despite poor reviews, The World of Suzie Wong is sitting pretty, with 282 parties. Chances are that Rodgers' & Hammerstein's Flower Drum...

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