Who knew what Disney would ultimately bring with “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Lion King”?
In certain Broadway theaters, booster seats for kids are outpacing hearing devices for seniors. Children at “Little Women” and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” often outnumber the adults, who often mistake the cacaphony of candy being unwrapped as a malfunctioning, static-prone sound system. Elsewhere, clever marketing tie-ins have the “Wicked” tweens at the Gershwin running downstairs to check-out the middle-school-themed “Spelling Bee” at Circle in the Square. That theater’s co-owner Paul Libin remarked on a phenom he has not seen in his 49 years on Broadway.
“There is a new paradigm for parents and grandparents taking their children and grandchildren to the theater,” says Libin. ” It will start these children going to the theater for the rest of their lives.”
Marketers say the love of theater needs to be planted young. If so, Broadway can look forward to a fabulous 2025-26 season at the box office.