Overheard at Angus: Volume V

Old.timerAn Old Timer and a Medium Timer were sitting at a table near mine the other day, and this is what I heard:

Old Timer:  Did you see those reviews for XXXXX?

Medium Timer:  Yep.  Fantastic!  

Old:  How long was the line at the box office the next morning?

Medium:  At the box office?  There was no line.

Old:  Too bad for them.

Medium:  Just because there wasn't a line doesn't mean they didn't sell tickets. There was no line . . . because it's all online.

There was nothing too revelatory in their conversation, but it did get me thinking.

It wasn't too long ago that the day after a show opened, you went by the box office on the way to work to see if people were waiting in line to be the first to buy tickets.  

Not so much anymore.  

What other things are we doing right now that will be antiquated in a few years?  What thermometers are we using to judge the temperature of our shows that will be obsolete tomorrow?

Great businessmen and great producers are the ones who can figure out the answers to these questions . . before tomorrow comes. 

  • NicholousBailey says:

    The Times is a Dying institution. YOu can spend $100,000 for a page in the arts section, and move 0 tickets, or pay $25,000 for a radio add, and actually see a difference.
    The truth is, why buy a paper where the critics main focus seems to be themselves, and their own agenda. Moreover, why buy a paper? We can pick up Brantley’s Nasty and Isherwood’s irrelevant reviews for free online! While we are checking out what an average audience goer is saying on the boards, or what people UNDER the age of 300 think

  • J says:

    True it’s rare anymore, but lines still exist at the box office… Although my most recent memory of such a happening on Broadway was THE PRODUCERS.
    I hate buying tickets online. I hate not seeing multiple seat options over the course of several days and most of all I hate service fees. Change both and I’ll gladly start booking more seats online. But for now (and I’m lucky, I live in and work near the ‘hood) I’m printing out my discount voucher and headed to the box office during lunch or after work.
    (I’m not sure, but I doubt) a producer isn’t losing money by selling the bulk of their tickets online, but I’d aregue they are losing on the perception that their show is a hit by the thousands of people who walk by their theatre everyday. How about more box office only events?
    I think lotteries give the impression of something ‘important’ happening at a theatre. If there is a crowd of 100 people trying for front row seats, to the untrained tourist eye walking by they may be thinking “That’s a show I have to see…”
    Bye, Bye, Birdie had the luxury of selling cheap first preview tickets at the box office only which gave them some nice PR — plus the chance to win tickets to the opening night performance and party. Let’s have more of those.
    Or what about snaking the line to the box office out the theatre on to the street, rather than in the (sometimes) small lobby. Even with three or four people in line it’ll make people think they should be in the line too. (And if it’s a nice day the customer wouldn’t care.)
    Pass out discount flyers in Times Square and direct them to the box office, persuading them to avoid the long TKTS lines. You may even get a few extra bucks out of them by doing that.

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