These people are officially not allowed to complain.

On BestOfOffBroadway.com, we have a weekly news feature called  “Look Who’s Off-Broadway” that puts the online spotlight on important folks treading the Off-Broadway boards.  By showing our visitors that since television, film and Broadway stars are willing to take a chance Off-Broadway, the ticket-buyers should as well, at the same time hoping to increase the perceived value of Off-Broadway.

It’s a simple 10 question interview that can be done over email and has no deadline.

As Off-Broadway shows scream for attention from the media or even the guy on the street, you would think that any Off-Broadway show would kill for a shot to be featured for free on the most heavily trafficked site that caters specifically to Off-Broadway ticket buyers.

And you would be wrong.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve reached out to the following shows and given them all a chance for their shows and actors to be featured:

Three Changes
Fifty Words
Boys’ Life
Fela!
Forbidden Broadway
The Tempest
What’s That Smell?
Kindness

What have we been told?

“Sorry, he is not available.”

“Unfortunately, due to the rehearsal/performance schedule and other demands at this time, we are going to have to pass on this request.”

“He is not doing interviews.”

And my favorite response?

No response.

Yep, that’s right.  Three shows didn’t even return our calls and emails.

Oooohhhhh, I have so many questions:

  • Are all of these shows really doing so well that they can afford to say no to offers like this or any others?
  • How can actors not do press?
  • How can people not return phone calls?

And most importantly . . .

  • If the star really was too busy (!), why wouldn’t the Press Agent offer
    us another actor or creative team member or janitor or anyone involved with the show to try and still get the media attention?

Look, every show and every star has a choice.  And if you want to be picky about
your press, that’s your prerogative.

But when you refuse opportunities like this, you also lose your whining-privileges, so I don’t want to hear from any of the above or their people that it’s hard to market your show Off-Broadway.

The sad part is that I bet the Producers were never even made aware of this offer.

In which case, they should remind their people that in the Off-Broadway environment, where recoupment is as rare as a unicorn holding a four-leaf-clover, it’s important to take advantage of every free opportunity you can to speak to your buyers.

Oh, and get your stars on board.

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Comments
  • Chris says:

    Well it seems clear the Fela! doesn’t want to associate themselves with “off-broadway” in hopes of their Broadway run (I bet it won’t happen). Forbidden Broadway is closing so they’re probably just not caring anymore. And I don’t have any excuses for the others, they’re just stupid. Why wouldn’t you take every opportunity for promotion?
    By the way, just bought the 13 soundtrack. The music sounds a lot thinner than the promo track you released awhile back, but I love it. JRB is brilliant, and the music is great. Can’t wait to see it. I sent you an @ reply on Twitter mentioning that it was a smart decision to make it iTunes Plus. I wish you could have sold it through Amazon MP3 too, but at least it’s DRM free. Thanks!

  • MissPinkKate says:

    I’ve never even heard of several of those shows, so why they’re passing up opportunities for press is beyond me!

  • Oh, I just had to add my 2 cents to this. It drives me crazy when small productions can’t be bothered with promotion. For my day job, I can’t tell you how many times we’ve offered interviews to big actors in very small films and have gotten the same response back from their publicists with no offer to speak with other actors on the movie. Except for a handful, those movies have flopped, and I have a feeling it’s because the actors were too precious to actually promote the movie.
    But I just recently had the same problem with a very small storytelling event that I wanted to promote on my blogsite, Fierce and Nerdy. The organizers were so wishy-washy about whether or not they wanted me me to post one of the stories from their show in order to encourage people to come out to their show, that I threw up my hands and decided never to offer my blogsite to these people ever again.
    So not only did they not receive any promotion on my blog, but they also burned a bridge.
    Even small shows have to put an effort into promotion. In fact, they should be putting more of an effort. So frustrating

  • Brian Teasley says:

    Who came up with the name “Off-Broadway” anyway? It’s a secondary issue to this post’s topic, but “Affordable Broadway” (not tm’d) sounds a lot more pleasing to a tourist that wants to see a Broadway show. “Off” Broadway says “no, this isn’t what you want to see”.
    Off Broadway is a good term from a descriptive standpoint, but terrible from a marketing standpoint.

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