Look what’s poppin’ up all over!

Pop Up BroadwayPop . . . pop . . . pop.

What’s that you hear?  Is it the sound of my old school favorite snack, Jiffy Pop Popcorn?

Unfortunately not.

It’s the sound of the newest fad in retail . . . the pop-up store.

For those of you who don’t have a poppin’ clue what I’m talking about, a pop-up store is a shop that takes over a retail space for a short period of time, usually around a certain event, and then is gone . . . almost as fast as it came.

One of the first successful examples of this in the city was the Halloween Costume pop-ups that started appearing a few years ago in the weeks leading up to Halloween.  And then, when the sun rose on November, like a ghostly spirit they disappeared . . . only to return again the following year.

There was one such Halloween pop-up in the space-formerly-occupied-by-Colony Records.

And after it disappeared like Brigadoon this year, another pop-up took its place.  And this one was selling Christmas (see photo below).

Christmas Store

Well imagine my surprise when I walked by what used to be my favorite slice place in Manhattan just one block away from Colony, and found another pop-up Christmas store in its place.

I gotta hand it to the owners of the real estate for loosening up their usual year long leases and finding a way to monetize their “dark time” between long term tenants.  The pop-up store is a win-win for both sides.

And obviously it’s working.

It’s working so well that I see it expanding pretty soon to other areas.  Like, oh, I don’t know . . . tickets?

We’re in the busiest time of the year right now. Those huge numbers that were posted in last week’s grosses (Kinky Boots grossed 1.9 million!  Take that Twitter-bombers!) are just the beginning.  Wait until you see what happens in the week between Christmas and New Year’s!

So I think it’s just a matter of time before someone pops up a store to take advantage of all those people roaming around through Times Square looking for a show.  But who will it be?

Will it be Telecharge?  Ticketmaster?  Broadway.com?  Or . . . another broker?  (There’s already one broker that has a store a block away from the booth, and it seems to be doing decent enough business.)

Online sales are great.  But at certain times of the year, an ol’ fashioned brick and mortar strategically placed can capture people that the web can’t.

A pop-up ticket store will happen.  The only question is who will get there first.

(Oh, and btw, the title of this blog is a heck of a lot more fun if you read it to the tune of “June is Bustin’ Out All Over” from Carousel.)



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TKTS. It ain’t just for discounts anymore.

Talk to tourists about where they get tickets to Broadway shows, and a lot of them will say, “The Tickets Booth” or “That red place in the middle of Times Square” or “Where the people line up, you can’t miss it.”

Because of its location, and its brand-iful branding, the TKTS booth has become a go-to destination for ticket shopping . . . regardless of whether the shoppers were looking for a discount or not.

Well, TDF, the org that runs TKTS, addressed that issue this week by starting to sell full price tickets at The Booth.

(cue cheers)

Yep, that’s right, one of the windows at The Booth will now “serve as a “Full-Price Ticket Window” for future performances of all shows and for same-day performances of shows not available at a discount.”

The goal, of course, is to make sure our buyers know that half price tickets aren’t the only way to see a Broadway show.

(Another service rolled out this week is that matinee and evening tickets will be sold simultaneously on matinee days – a win for the consumer who wants to get up early and take of their plans for the day – and a win for the show that may decrease available inventory earlier, allowing them to variable price remaining inventory and potentially increase their overall gross.)

Read the full press release here.

The TKTS booth has been a savior for the industry for so many years, by giving shows a way to get cash for unsold inventory before the potential is lost.  And it has been so good at what it does,  it became a one-stop shop for theater tickets for so many.

Now, that one-stop shop, has multiple ways to get tickets:  50%, 40%, 30% and now full price.

It’s got something for every kind of shopper.

And when you have something for everyone, you have less attrition to other industries, and more profit for ours.


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TEDx Broadway is back. And it’s where all the cool speakers are.

Last year, fellow cage-rattlers Jim McCarthy, Damian Bazadona and I, introduced the first ever TEDx Broadway.  We got some great speakers in a room and posed the question, “What’s the best Broadway can be?”

And the answers blew us away.  We heard about Sleep No More’s zero dollar marketing budget, and how our society was knocking on the door of another renaissance.  It was so fascinating that we said, “We have to do this again.”

So we’re doing it.  On January 28th.

This time around we’ve got another set of insightful speakers including Seth Pinsky, President of NYC’s Economic Development Corporation and Thomas Schmacher, President of Disney Theatrical.  We’ve got Terry Teachout, the super-sharp critic from The Wall Street Journal, and Josh Harris, internet pioneer and the subject of the Sundance Award-Winning film, We Live in Public.  Add to that Randi Zuckerberg of Zuckerberg Media and Christine Jones and her theater for one (one performer and one audience member).

And more to come.

It’s a diverse group of thought leaders with one thing in common – an endless imagination that conjures up incredible ideas.

We expect to be blown away again.  And we’re guaranteeing you will too.

You can learn more about TEDx Broadway and the other speakers at, surprise, surprise, www.TEDxBroadway.com.  And purchase tickets at www.goldstar.com/tedxbroadway.  And do get ’em fast.  We sold a bunch of tickets to this year’s event even prior to today’s speaker announcement, so we expect to sell out.

Come.  You’ll come in with a love for the theater and leave with a LOVE for the theater and what it can and WILL be, when we all work together.

See you there.

Oh, and if you want to watch our last year’s sessions (including my trip down future memory lane), click here.


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– Get Your Show Off The Ground!  Workshop coming up on 11/17.  Only a few spots left.  Register today.

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It’s time for Somewhere In Time. World Premiere Announced!

Twelve years ago, I was strolling through a video store (!) on the Upper West Side that is long since gone, and I fell in love . . . with a story.

It was the story of a man who, while strolling through a hotel on Mackinac Island, fell in love with the portrait of a woman, who was long since gone.

And yet somehow he found a way to be with her . . .

It’s the story of Somewhere in Time, of course, the movie and novel by the incomparable author Richard Matheson (I Am Legend, What Dreams May Come, Stir of Echoes, and so many more).

I rented the movie that night I found it in that Upper West Side shop . . . watched it . . . twice . . . and started working on getting the rights to adapt it into a musical the very next day.

It took me five years to get those rights.  But get them I did, and seven years later, I’m thrilled to tell you that Portland Center Stage (in Portland, OR) will present the world premiere this Spring.

I’m also super excited to announce that Scott Schwartz will be directing, John Carrafa choreographing, and Alexander Dodge designing the sets (the rest of the team, as well as the cast, will be announced before you can say, “Is it you?”).

The score is by Emmy Award Winner Doug Katsaros (composer) and Jonathan Larson Award Winner (and nationally ranked crossword puzzle solver) Amanda Yesnowitz (lyricist).  And yours truly is writing the book.

Performances begin on May 28th with a limited run of only 5 weeks.  Because this story is so loved by fans all over the world (check out the fan site here), we expect tickets to be in high demand, so you can get yours now by clicking here.

If you’ve seen the movie or read the novel then you know . . . it just feels like a musical.  And when I tested the title at a focus group a few years ago along with some others names of shows I was working on, it was by far the one that the group was most excited to see.

The whole team has loved putting the show together so far, and I can’t thank Portland Center Stage and Chris Coleman enough for falling in love with the story like I did . . . and to the incredible Richard Matheson, for entrusting it to me and this team.

Like I said at the beginning of this blog, I’ve been working on this idea for awhile.  But now, just like the lead character when he arrives at that hotel and sees that portrait of Elise McKenna . . . the journey has truly begun.

I look forward to giving you an inside peek at the process along the way (sign up here to get all the updates) . . . and I look forward to seeing you in Portland.

And who knows what city we’ll end up in after that.  Maybe something a little closer to home would be nice.  🙂

Here’s hoping you fall in love with our story . . .

Get tickets here.

Check out the official starter website here.

Read the official announcement here.


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The best deal on theater tickets of the year is here.

Oh ye who think theater tickets are too expensive!  Yes, ye know who ye are.  This post is for ye (and even me!).

Twice a year the Off-Broadway Alliance sponsors one of the most awesome programs in town, and it’s that time again.

I’m talking 20at20.

$20 tickets.  For more than 20 Off Broadway shows.  Available 20 minutes before show time.

And this year, the offerings are huge!

Avenue Q is up on the roster for the first time.  And the Olivier Award winning Cock (which only has 6 more weeks in its run).  And what a great time to see the brand new version of Forbidden Broadway!

And all for only $20.  A couple of sawbucks and you’re in.

20at20 runs from the 4th of September through the 23rd.  That’s a ton of time to see a ton of shows.  And, see a total of 7 shows (which would still equal less than most Broadway tickets), and the Alliance will buy you dinner.  I’m totally serious.

You can see a list of all the shows available in this awesome promotion here.

So go see an Off Broadway show.  See an ol’ stalwart (like my own Awesome 80s Prom) or experiment on something new (like Harper Regan at The Atlantic).  But see something.

Because if ye don’t, ye can’t ever complain that theater tickets are too expensive.

Especially if you drink Starbucks 4 times a week.  🙂


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