Mark Nichols, 40, is the new general manager of the Shubert Theatre, replacing Lawrence O'Connor, who recently resigned the post. Nichols has been general manager of Radio City's Christmas shows outside New York since 1996. Before that, he spent six years in L.A. with the Center Theatre Group, rising from intern to associate general manager.
The Shubert, L.A.'s largest theatre, hasn't housed a multi-month run since Ragtime closed a year ago.
Since Ragtime left, the Shubert has hosted eight weeks of Chicago, two weeks of The Last Empress and six weeks of Rent.
Many local observers believe that neither the city nor the Shubert can support a long run, but this is disputed by Shubert's New York-based president Philip Smith, who said "It's all based on the availability of product."
One show that might attract major audience interest is The Lion King, but the Disney Co. has thus far not shown any inclination to mount a production at the Shubert.Disney's Beauty and the Beast only broke even during its 1995-96 at the Shubert.
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent