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Tax credit luring pre-Broadway shows to Chicago

CHICAGO (AP) — The new musical "Kinky Boots" enjoyed a pre-Broadway run at a downtown Chicago theater this fall thanks to a little-known tax break aimed at luring productions to Illinois.

"Kinky Boots," based on a 2005 movie, and new musical "Big Fish" are the first productions to apply for a certificate making them eligible for the credit.

The statewide tax break is worth up to $500,000 per production or a cap of $2 million a year for eligible pre-Broadway shows or long-run productions. Producers say it was instrumental in bringing the musicals to Chicago instead of elsewhere.

The credit is being offered as Illinois is mired in a financial crisis. Some financial experts are skeptical of the timing of the move. But proponents say the musicals are evidence of the credit's success.

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