(CBS/AP) As the American Theater Wing hands out its annual awards for Broadway shows, the health of the Great White Way is good, with shows yielding a record $1.14 billion in grosses this season, and total attendance reaching 12.3 million.
The only concern is that audience numbers were flat, meaning higher ticket prices are pushing the overall box office take. Earlier this month, the revival of "Death of a Salesman" set a record of $499 for the highest ticket price ever charged by a Broadway musical or play.
This season, 40 new shows opened: 14 new musicals, 23 new plays and three specials. Many of the musicals once again relied on Hollywood, with "Once," "Ghost The Musical," "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever,"" "Newsies" and "Leap of Faith" all originating on celluloid.
Some older works - " Follies'' and "Death of a Salesman" - reminded a new audiences why they are classics. And George and Ira Gershwin - or at least their estates - are clear winners, with the revival of "Porgy and Bess" and the musical "Nice Work If You Can Get It" proving Gershwin songs still soar.
But, if anything, this was the season of brilliant original plays: "Clybourne Park" by Bruce Norris, "Other Desert Cities" by Jon Robin Baitz, "Peter and the Starcatcher" by Rick Elice and David Ives' "Venus in Fur."