Theater: Hooray, Big Spenders

Two savvy corporate players are giving Broadway a jolt of life

A few years ago, it was home to hookers, dirty bookstores and grungy B-movie palaces. Now a little stretch of 42nd Street west of Broadway in New York City is the most happening piece of show-biz real estate in the world. On one side of the street is the refurbished New Amsterdam Theater, where Disney's The Lion King, a stage version of Simba's tale that opened to raves in November, is the hottest-selling show in Broadway history. Just across the street, at another rebuilt theater dubbed the Ford Center for the Performing Arts, the eagerly awaited Ragtime has just opened. The...

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