Even when you can’t sell your show, you have to.

I got my Tony Voter invite to see one of this season’s shows the other day.

It was the most boring letter I’ve ever read.  It might as well have been inviting me to a three-day symposium on 15th century Hungarian cabinet making.

It was filled with names of the people involved in the production and gave me the specifics on how to reserve my tickets.

Nuts and bolts and bolts and nuts.

Oh, except there was one big nut missing: a synopsis of what the show was about.

Yep, there was no mention of the plot.  There was no blurb to peak my interest. No description to rev my engines.  No story copy to convince me to pick up the phone and reserve my tickets now.

There are rules and regulations on marketing to Tony Voters, as there should be. But as Producers and Marketers we have to find a way to work within the lines, and still do our jobs.

Otherwise we won’t have to worry about nuts and bolts . . . because we’ll be screwed.

I still haven’t made my reservation for the aforementioned show yet.  

  • Brian Myers Cooper says:

    Maybe when preaching to the choir, producers take too much for granted – like our innate desire to see everything that lands in one of those 40 sacred cathedrals of American Theatre we so lovingly call Broadway houses. When writing those letters, the subtext is something like “You’re a voter. We built it. You will come.” I always appreciate invitations that put the team’s passion for and pride in their work unashamedly front and center.

  • J says:

    Why isn’t there anyone in the Tony Voter pool that is a member of the general public? There’s always so much hoopla every year about which voter has seen every show or did they hand their ballot over to their assistant to fill out.
    I guarantee you if you get 10 passionate theatergoers, you’re going to have 10 voters who have seen all the nominated productions and stand behind each vote they make – and not because the show might work well on the road or because they have a friend nominated.
    I’m not saying this because I want 40-50 free pairs of theatre tickets for the year, but I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to you making the reservation for that show and sending me the tickets with our without a description of the show (unless it’s “Fela”). I’m passionate about Broadway and it’s likely I might have actually seen it already, but it’s even more likely I would go back to see it if I liked it the first time. How many times do Tony Voters go back to see a show multiple times?

  • Richard says:

    I think you may have coined one of those sentences that get uttered once ever in history.
    Just as Stephen Sondheim remarked to a rehearsal cellist for the most recent revival of “Sweeney Todd” when she shrieked at someone, “You got blood on my cello!” I suspect that the phrase “15th century Hungarian cabinetmaking” has never been uttered in the English language before.
    Just kind of cool, that’s all.
    Of course, now I’m wondering what Hungarian cabinetmaking in the 1400’s was like…

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