What do the Fourth of July and Theater have in common?

Happy Fourth, everybody!

I’d bet that at least 70% of the readers of this blog will catch some sort of fireworks display tonight.

Why?

They’re exciting, explosive, and even a bit dangerous.

Sound familiar?

It should.  Because it’s exactly what you should want in the works you produce or write.

What draws people to watch fireworks, or even light off their own like I dangerously did as a kid, is the same thing that draws theatergoers to buy a ticket.  They want to see something that they don’t see everyday — that’ll make their eyes widen like they did the first time they held a sparkler.

Theatrical fireworks can take many forms . . . spectacular sets, incindiary dialogue, or dynamite performances.

And the most memorable displays incorporate all three.

So when you’re making a decision to produce a show, or you’re reading a redraft, ask yourself . . . is what you’re working on going to light up the sky?

If not, pack it with more powder.

 

(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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FUN STUFF

– Seminars in Chicago, the weekend of July 9th.  Click here!

– Win 2 tickets to Cirque du Soleil’s Zarkana. Click here!

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Comments
  • Kile Ozier says:

    …although, I would offer that the difference between Good Theatre and a Fireworks Show is Substance. Spectacle without substance is just that, a fireworks show. Full of Wow without that gasp of recognition, that moment of emotional connection that connects the story to the audience member at a level beyond the simple, fantastic shallowness can only be induced or created with a well-told story.
    No matter how big the spectacle or show; without that substance, that story, one may just as well produce another “Spiderman…”

  • janis says:

    Exactly Kile Ozier! You’re so right. Theater that is nothing but fireworks is… Well, it’s Spiderman!

  • Ken Morgan says:

    “Mad? Mad indeed, but see how they do Light Up The Sky.” The theatrically literate will know what that quote is from.

  • Hugh Murphy says:

    I recently sent you One Big Onion which is set on Belfast Docks and shows what happens when officials of a Once Great trade union becomes corrupt and side with the employers. THIS IS EXPLOSIVE. Larkin and Connolly’s Union became corrupt and persecuted Belfast Dockers, and sent them to discharge Asbestos without protection. Right now they are dying.
    Also explosive is The Delusions of Grandeur, a two hander with black humour which shows how a person with problems ie an educated alcoholic questions the often contradictory elements of ‘treatment’.
    I concur with the above, Kile Ozier.

  • David C Neal says:

    Ken – I was all ready for you to rail on the NYC vs DC fireworks/concert productions on TV…but since you didn’t, I will….
    How strange is it that the “Capitol Fourth” goes out of its way to promote Broadway – this year featured ‘Million Dollar Quartet’ and Kelli O’Hara – while NYC’s own Macy*s production featured no one from the Great White Way. What a lost opportunity to help promote NYC theatrical offerings.

  • It was a great fourth.
    HOLIDAY IN HEAVEN will be spectacular with a huge ball and costumes, and two weddings with fireworks, it will not only light up the sky, but heaven and earth and the audience as well!!!!
    Demetria Daniels

  • It was a great fourth.
    HOLIDAY IN HEAVEN will be spectacular with a huge ball and costumes, and two weddings with fireworks, it will not only light up the sky, but heaven and earth and the audience as well!!!!
    Demetria Daniels

  • RLewis says:

    notwithstanding Kile’s excellent point, what is “fireworks” to one audience member is not to another. Once you consider the very subjective nature of art, the superficiality of this post becomes more and more clear.

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