Theater: How Does Broadway Play in Peoria?

For pizazz, many road shows match the originals -- or outdo them

The 37 theaters that constitute Broadway occupy a few acres in midtown Manhattan. But to much of America, a Broadway show is something to be seen hundreds, even thousands of miles from Times Square -- in Atlanta or Dallas, Phoenix or Detroit or any other of the dozens of cities that make up what suitcase-toting actors wearily call "the road." Like the Shakespearean troupe in Kiss Me, Kate who "open in Venice" and schlepp their show from town to town, ensembles representing recent Broadway hits take to the byways every year. This summer at least a dozen tours have offered purportedly...