A Broadway opening night where you actually get to celebrate.
I’m writing this blog at 2 AM, just a few minutes after getting home from the opening night party of my latest Broadway show, The Bridges of Madison County. It was a fantastic performance and a super fun party that was still rockin’ when I left.
And believe it or not, that’s rare for an opening night party.
Well, normally at about 10 PM or so at an opening night party, the attention of the partygoers turns away from the celebrity sighting or the fun theatrical gossip and goes right to their phones . . . as they wait to find out what the NY Times and the other reviewers thought of the show.
It’s an anxiety-filled downer that sucks the celebratory energy out of the party faster than a fleet of nuns. And it doesn’t matter if the reviews are great or not . . .because everyone is usually on such edge just waiting to hear what the almighty reviewers have said, that they can’t focus on the incredible accomplishment of getting a Broadway show up in the first place.
It wasn’t always this way. Because it wasn’t too long ago that you had to wait until the actual papers came out the next day to find out If He Liked It! So the parties raged on! Sometimes, until the wee hours when you could stumble out to your local newspaper stand and read the reviews hot off the presses.
But technology has changed the tone of our parties, especially if the reviews aren’t what you want – because in that case the party usually empties out as soon as the reviews make their way around the room. Everyone goes home to cry into their pillows and gear up the courage to do the show the next night (movie casts and crews s don’t have to summon that strength, now do they?).
But we didn’t have that anxiety at the Bridges opening. We had a blast and celebrated the magnificent performance we all just witnessed.
See, the Lead Producers, in convos with the creatives, decided to do something a little different with our opening – have two of them.
Last night was our opening. That’s right . . . the opening for us. The cast, staff, investors, ushers and everyone else who worked their tails off for the last 1, 2 and up to 10 years.
And tonight, we’ll have the official press opening . . . and the reviews will be posted tonight at the usual 10 PM. (Click here to register for your DidHeLikeIt email and be the first to know what Ben Brantley thought!)
We got press for last night, and we’ll get press again tonight. Two openings, two major press hits.
Having two openings didn’t make sense to a lot of folks . . . including me when I first got wind of the idea. But that’s because it just hadn’t been done before.
And just because something hasn’t been done before, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done, especially when the conditions around that tradition have changed. In fact, my business mission is to do just that – to do things that haven’t been done, and I advise you to do the same. Because that’s how you get attention, and in this case, allow people to celebrate their accomplishments.
What do you think of the two opening idea? Think it’s the beginning of a trend? If you were opening a Broadway show tomorrow, would you want two openings? One?
Let me know . . . and don’t forget to sign up for DidHeLikeIt so you can read the reviews TONIGHT!
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