The Sunday Giveaway: Two Tickets to The Bad and the Better by The Amoralists.

What’s the matter?  Never heard of The Bad and the Better?  Or The Amoralists?

Hmmm, well, how should I describe this downtown theater company . . .

Ok, let’s put it this way.  When we were talking about this giveaway for their new 26 person (!) “detective noir” play by Derek Ahonen, they said, “Hey Ken, could we give away two tickets to the show . . . and a gun?”

Got your attention now?

They weren’t going to give away a real gun, of course.  Maybe a fake one.  Or, since it’s summer, maybe one of these.

But they wanted a headline that would shake you up a bit, which is what they like their work to do as well.

I didn’t do it, as you can see.  Something about it gave me a bit of a pause for some reason .  . . so I wanted to make it the subject of a discussion instead.

So, how can you win the tickets to see The Bad and the Better?

Comment below with your thoughts on this . . .

What the Amoralists wanted to do wasn’t that crazy at all.  I thought it was actually kind of cool.

But how far outside the box is ok with your press and promotions on a show?  Is all press really good press?  Should Broadway take its cue from celebrities and use whatever-means-necessary to get some attention?  Where do Producers draw the line?

Riddle me that, batmen and women and you could win two tickets to this new play.  Gun not included.  Unless you ask them nicely.


(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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  • Morgan M says:

    All press is good press UNLESS the ONLY press you have is bad reviews. I would argue that that is true even if you have good reviews too but sometimes reviews create an audience for a show. (This happened downtown last year with the Neo-Futurists Complete and Condensed). A marketing team needs to make a show about more than just the reviews. People need to be talking about it and they need to be curious enough to see it, even if its not because it is a good show.

  • Bruce Barnard says:

    Good idea? Depends on the type of gun…!…

  • John P. says:

    Yes its sad but true, there’s no such thing as bad press as long as you get press. Get the press, complain later.

  • Brian Weiner says:

    I really believe that Broadeay producers, as tempting as it may be to easily exploit the publicity, should take the high road as much as possible. Theater is a sophisticated experience, unlike many movies that society generally doesn’t hold to high regard (as evidenced by cell phones in audiences, chattiness, and simple mass availability – some of these pertain to theater goers too, but they’re minimal). Keeping theater special is important, and so producers should maintain a classy approach. During the Spiderman previews, I respected the producing team for not exploiting their mishaps (no “come watch someone possibly die!” campaigns) and reiterate its safety priorities.

  • Liz Wollman says:

    Two words: David Merrick.

  • Jillian says:

    All press may be good press in that it can get people talking, but bad press probably won’t help to sell tickets.

  • I think if people are talking about you at all, good or bad, press is press and you are on people’s radar. I agree with Morgan that ALL bad press is probably not the best. But not everyone is going to like everything, and one of the great things about theater is it’s ability to generate discussions and debates. Great ideas, and press, come from thinking outside the box.

  • Pat Rogers says:

    love the nerf gun idea or maybe a water pistol to use in the upcoming heat wave!!!
    But seeriously, Broadway has such a more pleasant reputation and I think more class then Hollywood so good press is a good thing.

  • Nancy Paris says:

    To add to what Liz W. said, I have another two words: Spider Man (well, maybe that’s one word but you get my point).

  • Susan C says:

    Generally speaking, “All’s fair in love and publicity.” But…there is certainly a line that shouldn’t be crossed. A real gun giveaway is definitely over the line, but a nerf gun or water pistol is clever.

  • Ryan McCurdy says:

    I think producers should be willing to advertise/market within the confines of what their target demographic would find acceptable. The caveat being, of course, that said producers should be prepared to expect exactly who they targeted (i.e. a downtown company advertising a free drink with ticket purchase can’t complain when only 20-somethings show up).

  • Robert HP says:

    Broadway is not Hollywood (or Washington DC), and even the most TMZ-addicted gossip monger isn’t going to respect theater morphing into a Kardashian/Lohan spectacle. That said, however, look what a certain level of sensationalism and daily reporting was able to do for Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark. And at the experimental theater, there is a long history of grabbing headlines with nudity, edgy content and the like.
    Having attended Porgy and Bess this week, and being more stunned than usual at the high average age of the attendees (I’d thought, perhaps, the cast and star might have attracted a higher percentage of younger, more urban patrons teased into Broadway with “In the Heights” and such), I would say anything you *can* do to get butts in seats might be worth exploring. Guns and all.

  • virginia vanderbilt says:

    As much as we not not like it Hollywood & TV do have an effect on Broadway. Ricky Martin-Hugh Jackman-Daniel Radcliff and many others. They bring in the people for better or for worse. Although I always took the teens to the feel good shows, lately I’ve been taking them to the “Lyons” and other shows with substance, and they have fallen in love with Broadway all over again.We now see at least one show a week and our friends are multiplying. I do however the dilemma,someone always comments “we’re the only young people here”

  • ECP says:

    Hmm. Is that a pistol in your pocket? Or you just happy that your promotion intrigued people and sold tickets?

    Press that stimulates talk is good. The prob I have with many promotions is that they’re mundane, rarely out-of-the-box, and appealing to a typical target demographic–probably already aware of the production
    –rather than trying to attract new blood.

    Theater sophisticated?? That label has its own limitations at the box office. Popular entertainment, anyone?

  • Cheryl Dzubak says:

    These days, you have to do what it takes to draw people and although, I don’t favor the usage of a “gun”, the Nerf gun was kind of clever.

  • burt e says:

    a whaling harpoon would get my attention–a gun? might as well get tickets for the sound of music….

  • Shannon D. says:

    So let’s stay on that superhero idea…
    Spiderman had NOTHING BUT BAD PRESS and look what happened… everyone (outside of the biz, lol) wanted to go (unfortunately to hopefully see a malfunction).

  • Ellen Orchid says:

    Publicity is great; I say “Bring it on!” Do everything and anything you can do to entice people to come see your show. Give nerf guns! Nudity is a great turn-on. Why not – if it’s “tastefully done”. People need excitement to distract them from their mundane existence. I draw the line only at things that offend people and put them down personally.

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