To move or not to move: You Make The Call!
There’s never a dull moment on Broadway . . . even when you have a hit!
In case you haven’t heard, my pinch-me-so-I-know-I’m-not-dreaming, hopefully-this-happens-more-than-once-in-a-lifetime production of It’s Only A Play announced that it’s extending!
Rather than close our doors on January 4th, we’re adding another 10 weeks to the run, all the way through March 29th!
And, pinch-me-yet-again, but we were lucky enough to get one my favorite “amigos,” Martin “Marty” Short, to join the company!
I’d see anything Martin Short does, never mind be lucky enough to produce it (he attended the opening night of Godspell, and watching him take-in the show that helped launch his career was a show in itself!).
But man, to get him for this? Talk about the “stars” aligning.
Except for one thing.
You would think that extending a show would be easy-breezy. But not in modern theatrical times.
I talk a lot about how the current theater crunch is affecting a ton of shows waiting to land on Broadway, and now it’s affecting those already here. You see, our little show slipped into this season late in the game. And our theater, the Schoenfeld, had a tenant (the import of The Audience starring Dame Helen Mirren) already lined up to open after the end of our previously announced limited run. And then, of course, our box office blew up even more than my partners and I could ever have imagined.
Then what happens?
Well, Patrick Healy of the NY Times wrote a story about our request to The Audience to allow us to stay put, and all the internal back-channel chatter of such a deal. Read it here.
But to cut to the end of the tale . . . The Audience is opening at the Schoenfeld as originally planned and we’re making the move.
But that’s not where this blog ends.
The article in the Times is a fascinating one, because it asks the primal producer question . . . art or commerce? As you’ll read, it’s no secret that we offered to make it worth The Audience‘s while to make the move (we’d save money by not moving so why not pass some of them on to them to entice them – simple business, right?). The Audience believed that a different theater might affect the audience’s response to the show, as well as require some redesigns, etc. They had to balance that with an immediate return of capitalization to their investors.
Decisions, decisions, and honestly, I’m glad I was not the one making it.
Which is why I’m going to ask you to!
Balancing the desires of your creative team along with your fiduciary responsibilities to your investors is one of the hardest things we have to do as Producers. And this was a tough, tough choice.
We know which way the team of The Audience chose (and I have an incredible amount of respect for that choice). But in the spirit of those old football commercials that allowed you to play ref and “make the call,” I want you to tell me in the comments below . . . what would you have done? Would you have taken the money and moved, lowering the risk to your investors? Or would you have stayed put, and put the show in what you thought was the best artistic home for it?
Can’t wait to read what you think, because honestly, I’m still not sure what I would have done . . . except stay up at night anxious about it.
(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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