Did you know this? Caryn Rousseau reports for the Associated Press (emphasis added):
The New York-bound musical “Kinky Boots” enjoyed a pre-Broadway run at a downtown Chicago theater this fall, but only after the state of Illinois lured producers with something that’s scarce these days — money.
The Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Fierstein production that’s based on a 2005 movie, along with a second musical, “Big Fish,” were the first to apply for a certificate making them eligible for a state theater tax credit. …
Producers say the credit — worth up to $500,000 per production or a cap of $2 million per year — was instrumental in their decision to bring the shows to Chicago instead of going straight to New York or previewing in Seattle, Toronto or San Francisco.
[Proponents] say the unique tax break brings Chicago something more than money — a show-business shine that generates buzz. Only Louisiana and Rhode Island have similar legislation, intended to bring shows to cities like New Orleans and Providence.
Rhode Island’s tax credit didn’t get much attention when it passed this year, but GoLocalProv did a story:
The state is expanding its film tax credit program to include musical and theatrical productions in a new law that will likely benefit just one local theater business ….
Under the new law, production companies whose shows have been or will be on Broadway can apply for tax credits to offset the costs of developing and rehearsing their shows in this state. But the law stipulates that those companies must use a venue with seating for 1,500 and where “live exclusive theatrical productions are, or are intended to be, exclusively presented.” …
Just two theater venues, out of about a dozen in the state, meet the criteria in the law: the Providence Performing Arts Center, or PPAC and the Veterans Memorial Auditorium, which PPAC manages through a subsidiary company. …
The lead sponsor of the original Senate bill, Sen. Josh Miller said that’s because “adventurous” arena shows like the ones at the Dunkin Donuts Center don’t have the proven track record of economic development that Broadway shows at the PPAC do. (Miller’s bill, along with its House counterpart, eventually got absorbed into the House budget, which passed last week.)