Broadway in Utah

Posted - Jul. 20, 2004 at 11:52 p.m.



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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.

For centuries, audiences have been captivated by live theater. From Shakespeare's Globe Theater to New York City's sellout Broadway productions, it seems everyone likes a good show. And Utah is no exception. Fourteen years ago, Broadway permanently came to Utah. In June, Broadway in Utah sold its two millionth ticket. That equals out to approximately one ticket for every person in the state.

John Ballard, founder of Broadway in Utah, remembers when the company first came to the state. He told me about the company's first production of Les Miserables in Salt Lake City. He drove by the Capitol Theater at 6 a.m. the February morning when tickets went on sale, and a line had already formed. In fact, the line traveled down 200 South, up West Temple and then along 100 South to the theater.

John says the enthusiasm for Broadway didn't stop there. He received a call from the former telephone company, U.S. West, later that day telling him the announcement of ticket sales had knocked out phone service in parts of Utah, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Colorado. The telephone company recorded more than 2.5 million attempts to call the Capitol Theater in a 24-hour period. Needless to say, there wasn't an empty seat in the house.

Broadway in Utah has put on numerous big name shows including Les Miserables and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera, which have attracted people from all over Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and Nevada. It was during the latest engagement of Phantom of the Opera that Broadway in Utah sold its two millionth ticket. This season's schedule is also impressive with shows like Oliver!, Little Shop of Horrors, The Producers, Late Nite Catechism and Thoroughly Modern Millie.

Who knows, at the rate we're going, maybe next year the theater will sell two million more tickets. Now that would be a good show!

For Zions Bank, I'm Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.

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