Got a question about Broadway? Then call the Hotline: 1-855-SEE-BWAY

I talk to lots of theatergoers: in focus groups, at the TKTS booth, in the lobby at Godspell, on the subway, on vacation, and everywhere in between.

It’s become somewhat of a hobby.

What amazes me every time I talk to them is how much they don’t know.  They’re not “dumb”, by any means.  It’s just that there are a lot of myths, urban legends and just plain bad info about Broadway out there.  And since our industry doesn’t have megabucks to spend on public service announcements (or rather, the people with the megabucks won’t spend it on public service announcements), a lot of this bad information gets spread instead of getting stomped out.

What also amazes me is how fascinated theatergoers are with talking to someone like me who does know what shows are running, who is starring in what show, how to get the best tickets, what time the TKTS booth actually opens, if Hugh Jackman is as good looking as he is on TV,  and so on.

After disseminating whatever info I have, I also usually direct them to a website or two.

And here’s where it really gets interesting (but not that surprising).

That’s when they usually complain about the websites, and the lack of easy-to-find info, the navigation, the ads, etc., etc., and they usually say something like, “Sometimes I just want to talk to a person.”

You know the feeling, right?  Ever have a problem with a computer?  An airline ticket?  Something outside of your everyday world . . . and all that you want to do is get a person on the phone who can give you the answer to your question, or steer you in the right direction?

Wouldn’t that make your whole process more positive?  Maybe it would even make you want to do more of it?

Well, that’s exactly what I thought . . . so then I wondered . . . why doesn’t Broadway have a hotline?  Why doesn’t it have a toll free number that people can just call to find out stuff?  Ivory Soap has one.  Coke has one.

And now Broadway has one too!

Introducing 1-855-SEE-BWAY, the first ever free Broadway hotline.

Yep, we created 1-855-SEE-BWAY (733-2929) to help answer your questions about Broadway.

It’s staffed by a bunch of the nicest Broadway theater lovers you could ever imagine (they also happen to be my staff, in a very Zappos-inspired “we all answer the phone including the boss” structure), and we guarantee we’ll get you the answer to whatever question you have about Broadway theatergoing.

Need to know what’s playing?  Need to know at what times?  Price of tickets?  Suitability for kids?  Location?  Parking?  Restaurants nearby?  Sure, we got that.  And if we don’t, we’ll get it for you.  Promise on our autographed original cast recording of Company.

Oh, and before you ask . . . no, we’re not selling anything.  This isn’t about us trying to make any money.  This is about a service that should exist.  And needs to exist if we’re going to grow our audience (just like Zappos increased theirs).

So starting today, the Broadway Hotline is open for biz.  Call it yourself, or give it to your friends, or write it on a bathroom wall for all I care.

Everyone on my team loves talking theater, so we’re just taking turns trying to help theatergoers see more theater.

And when people see more theater, everyone wins.

1-855-SEE-BWAY.

 

(Got a comment? I love ’em, so comment below! Email subscribers, click here, then scroll down, to say what’s on your mind!)

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Comments
  • Kevin Lambert says:

    THANK YOU!

  • David Merrick Jr. says:

    Brilliant!!!

  • Love this– posted it to Facebook with a request to re-post. Will mention it, when appropriate, to my list of 25,000 wannabe authors.

  • Ed K. says:

    GREAT idea!
    I hope you issue a press release and it gets picked up worldwide- and you get credit for it! You deserve it! I will posting this on Facebook & Twitter!

  • LizG says:

    Great idea! Shared on G+.
    Ken, you should add a +1 button to your blog, for quick sharing on Google+.
    Cheers!.

  • Excellent idea, Ken! Especially for people like me who love Bway but aren’t really part of the scene (living far away and all), this is an excellent resource!

  • Well done, Ken! What a great service to Broadway fans all over the country. Lots of respect coming your way from Seattle today!
    Tim Gonzalez-Wiler
    Teatro ZinZanni
    dreams.zinzanni.org

  • EmS says:

    I just called to see how this works. Was put on hold while being transfered to a “broadway genius.” Then before getting anyone on the phone I was disconnected. I have to admit I’m disappointed. It’s a great idea in theory, but if you get someone on the phone talking about theater tickets 7 times out of ten (I counted calls I got recently) they will want to buy tickets with you on the phone. And if your company is not in a position to sell tickets it can turn them off. What would you do if someone offered to give you their credit card info over the phone so they could buy the tickets right then and thee. Would you take it and buy the tickets for them online?
    The recording says it’s backed by thebroadwaygenius. So I googled that. Nowhere on that website is this phone number. Might be a good idea to connect the two so if someone stumbles on The Broadway Genius website they have a number to call. I also googled the number regularly – not spelled out and got no hits anywhere on the internet. Sadly people are dumber than we give them credit for and if they have to spell something out on their phones they will get the wrong number.
    I have to admit when I went to The Broadway Genius I thought it was an advertisement for The Lion King because I just saw row after row of pictures of the window card. When you click on the how does it work link it brings you back to the same page.
    I’m curious what the call volume has been like since this project started.
    Thanks!

  • EmS says:

    I Just tried the BroadwayGenuis website and it suggested I go see 3 shows that have closed: A Steady Rain, A Raisin in the Sun & Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo. Sounds like you might be in need of a customer service manager for this website and phone line.

  • Not sure what happened, but it must have been a glitch in the phone system. Because we are here and have answered other calls today!

  • I’m confused. What site did you go to that suggested shows?

  • EmS says:

    http://www.thebroadwaygenius.com/
    It’s the first thing that comes up when you google Broadway Genius. Now I’m guessing that’s not your site?

  • EmS says:

    Now I notice your’s is yourbroadwaygenius.com. It would be awesome if the number was staffed 24/7. Maybe not practical – but people work all different shifts and have questions at all hours. Or maybe a live chat feature? Sorry I’m opinionated!

  • The hotline is powered by this site: http://yourbroadwaygenius.com/ which launches next week. Sign up!

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