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Billy Elliot (musical)
Utility costs cripple Hippodrome
Utility costs cripple Hippodrome

Seven years after the Hippodrome Theatre reopened with a citywide celebration and an outpouring of civic optimism, the historic venue is struggling, beset by exorbitant utility expenses and an audience that is seemingly deserting in droves. Attendance has fallen 54.3 percent since the gala celebration on Feb. 10, 2004, and subscriptions have declined by 37.5 percent. Revenues far short of projections have forced the state to absorb a deficit of nearly $2 million. And the center's financial struggles have diminished the quality of the shows that audiences see on stage. But that bleak scenario could be about to change. State officials and the theater's operator are pinning their...