'42nd Street' stars China run

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SHANGHAI -- China's first Broadway production of "42nd Street" starts its three week run on Sept. 5 with the first five nights sold out, said producers from Nederlander Worldwide Entertainment visiting China's commercial capital on Monday.

"We plan to bring three shows to China each season," said Robert Nederlander, Jr. president of Nederlander Worldwide Entertainment, the show's producer at a speech to the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. "Similar to our model in the U.S., we plan to develop a circuit of theaters in China linked under a common strategy to take advantage of economies of scale."

However, unlike its U.S. model of owning many of the theaters in which shows are staged, Nederlander said the company has no plans to acquire or develop theaters in China. Nederlander declined to say which show the company would bring to China next.

Shanghai's Majestic Theater, which seats 1,324, will host the show's China premiere on Sept. 5, with ticket prices from $13.25-$172.30. The show, cast in North America, will run through Sept. 23 before touring the eastern cities of Hangzhou, Nanjing, Ningbo, Hefei, Wuhan and finally closing in Beijing Nov. 18. The show will move on to other countries in Asia starting with South Korea.

This first production promoted by Nederlander New Century International Theatre Management Company Ltd. was on course to produce a profit in China based on sponsorship from firms including American International Group, Inc. and strong ticket sales, Nederlander said.

Shanghai Media & Entertainment Group (SMEG) is acting as the production's local partner.
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