They Just Keep Rolling Along

On sudden-death Broadway, what makes musicals like Cats and Les Miserables so durable -- and why do they last so much longer than hits of the past?

When the Nygaard family of Cupertino, Calif., went to New York City for vacation this month, they didn't visit the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building. For them, as for more than a third of the tourists who visit the city, the lure was the Broadway stage. They had already seen Cats twice and Les Miserables three times, mostly in London and San Francisco, so they headed straight for The Phantom of the Opera and Miss Saigon. They emerged elated -- and ready, despite the $60 ticket prices, to go back and see the shows again.

The Nygaards and...

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