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The 1960s bring a new mood to theatre in North America.

Theatrical productions reflected the disaffection felt by many Americans and Canadians, especially with regard to the Vietnam War.  The result was many highly political and adventurous productions.  However, as theatre prices continued to rise, the public’s expectations were rising also.  Poor productions, no matter how much star power was employed, were rejected by discriminating theater-goers.

The decade of the Sixties opened with a warning of the turbulence that was to come: theatres experienced the first blackout since 1919.  This came as a result of a dispute between actors and producers.

Even after the 10-day dispute was settled, the season did not go well.  There were some hits: Bye Bye Birdie, Camelot, The Sound of Music, Toys in the Attic, and Beckett.  There were some notable flops: Happy Town (closed after five performances), The Conquering Hero (five performances), and The Girls Against the Boys (16 performances).

After this, the legitimate theatre seemed to go into suspended animation, with the impulse for innovation shifting further towards off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway.

Despite successes such as Hello, Dolly, Funny Girl, Fiddler on the Roof, Barefoot in the Park, and The Odd Couple, by the mid-Sixties the legitimate theatre seemed to be dead or dying.