(Not So) Favorite Quotes: Volume XIII

1083089025_398830e2aeFrom the New York Times, this past Wednesday:

Best Buy, the electronics retailer, cut its fiscal 2009 earnings outlook on
Wednesday and said it was being hammered by the worst retail
environment in its 42-year history.

“Rapid, seismic changes
in consumer behavior have created the most difficult climate we’ve ever
,” the chief executive, Bradbury H. Anderson, said in a statement.

It may seem like running a big business and running a Broadway show are as different as HD and Blue-ray, but they are not.

As a Producer, it’s your job to not only look at today’s numbers, but also at tomorrow’s, next week’s, and next year’s and then . . . adjust accordingly.

Shows and theaters in NYC and around the country should be cutting their gross projections right about now, and making expense cuts to keep their heads above the water, because the tide is rolling in.

The tall kids (the hits) will be fine, but in storms like this, the average-sized kids, who would normally be able to withstand the waves, are going to get pulled under.

Simply put and without the water:  we’re looking at losing the middle of our market.

Just like the electronics industry is losing theirs.

  • As we ramp up for our big debut next summer, your blog really hit home! We’ve been talking with a very prestigious venue and their facility is indeed, world class. But the labor (union) costs send the budget into the stratosphere. So we’re looking at a quainter theater that will (hopefully) cost us about half the amount. With much more relaxed labor requirements.
    I don’t know how the middle sized kids (as you call them) CAN withstand an impending slow economy if they are already locked into expensive venues with exorbitant labor costs. You had suggested once (or twice) a B’way show moving Off Broadway instead of disappearing. Perhaps this is the perfect impetus? Or will the unions in NYC put a kibosh on such moves?

  • LizG says:

    Interesting. How did Broadway fare in the early 80’s and 90’s recession? How does one market a Broadway show to cash-strap consumers? Or do you have (or can you build) room in your budget to reach out to this segment and present shows as a “guilty pleasure”?…

  • WildBird says:

    I read the story about Circuit City filing bankruptcy and was really shocked….
    At some point during the TRU Panel on Developing Theatre in the Current Economy I wondered if there were opportunities to woo audiences who typically go to Broadway towards the Off-Broadway market…
    Why spend $100 on theatre when you can spend $70? I realize their current demographics are different but couldn’t that adjust?
    I’d rather be Best Buy than Circuit City but I suppose my question relates more to a third, smaller shop ready to come up through the ranks and grab market share.

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