Broadway Grosses w/e 4/8/2018: At least the sun is shining on the box office!

The following are the Broadway grosses for the week ending April 8, 2018.
The Broadway grosses are courtesy of The Broadway League
Read more here:

Should actors be “required” to stage door?

In 1991, I moved to New York City and while making my way to my tap class on 53rd St., I discovered my first Stage Door.

It was the Broadway Theatre’s SD and Miss Saigon was playing at the time.

“So that’s how all the actors I admire so much get into the building,” I thought.  “Wow they walk through that very . . . ” and before I could finish the thought, the actor playing Thuy, Barry K. Bernal, stepped up to the stage door to cross the magical threshold from the street to the stage, and prepare for his matinee.

“Have a good show,” I mumbled, a bit nervous to be speaking to an actual Broadway star.

He smiled, grateful for being recognized, thanked me and in he went.

As you can tell, I’ll never forget it.

A lot has changed since then.  Unfortunately, Barry K. Bernal passed away at the tender age of 31 years old, three years after I saw him at that Door.

And Stage Doors are no longer empty, vacant areas where actors just come and go as they please.

Now, fans flock to the doors, before and especially after each show, for a chance for a sighting, an autograph and maybe even a few kind words from the stars they admire.

One of the great things about the theater is that our stars are so accessible.  You can’t “stage door” a football game or a rock concert in the same way you can a Broadway show.  It’s just not logistically possible.

And with Broadway booming, the crowds around the doors of hit shows often spill into the street, as selfies get snapped and autographs get signed by the hundreds.

You can’t buy that type of promotion . . . because when people fall in love with actors, they also fall in love with the show they’re in.

Last fall, “stage dooring” reached a tipping point when a controversy erupted when Ben Platt, who was practically puking up his heart onto the stage at Dear Evan Hansen every night, said that there were some nights that he just couldn’t do it . . . and still deliver the type of performance the next night’s audience paid to see.

And oh, the tweetlash that he received, including one “fan,” calling him an “a**hole” and “garbage.”

And I’ve seen plenty of other comments on message boards and across the twittersphere hating on actors for wanting to save their voices, and keep their energy up, by skipping out on what can be an added hour or more to their day.

Actors in Broadway Shows are not only more accessible than any other “celebrity” out there, but in my experience, our actors WANT to be more accessible than any other performers out there.  And as fans and Producers we should be so thankful that they’re willing to give that extra hour or more that it can take to sign every Playbill and take every photo before they can head home.

And, of course, as Ben unfortunately learned, they take more of the heat than the actual show if they choose to opt out of appearing for their fans.

So if that’s what they decide, we must trust that they know best, and they are doing it to protect what is most important . . . the show and themselves.

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Are you an actor?  Read one of my most popular posts . . . My 10 Audition Tips for Actors by clicking here.

 

 

GUEST BLOG by Sara Fitzpatrick: 5 ways to make sure you’re ACTUALLY connecting with your audience online

The Internet is the child of Al Gore and that’s why we capitalize it like a first and last name.

The Internet is the end.

The Internet is the beginning.

The Internet has made virtual space more valuable than physical space.

The Internet is___________.

All these statements about The Internet are equally true… including the blank statement. So if The Internet is and is not all of these things, how do you use it as an effective marketing tool? This has become an increasingly important question as the days of treating digital as an afterthought are gone. The Internet is constantly evolving, but here are some approaches I’ve discovered from my fifteen years of digital marketing to make sure I’m actually connecting with an audience online.

1. Exercise empathy

If you’ve ever secretly wanted to be an actor, here’s your opportunity to get method.

Start looking at things from the audience’s point of view. The days of big brands shaming people into buying a lifestyle are gone. Now, it’s about welcoming them into your brand world and engaging them in a dialogue. This is not to suggest people will ever stop buying things out of a place of deep shame, that will never get old for some of us! But thinking that people want to hear a monologue about a brand from a rigid entity is outdated and ineffective. Modern marketing engages your audience in a conversation where they feel welcomed into your brand world.

So, if your marketing strategy is based on a dialogue, you need to define your voice. But how do you do that?

2. Create and abide by your brand guide

Your show is meant for somebody and the better you can figure out who that person is, the more effectively you can reach them.

What does your show’s brand pyramid look like?
What are its key attributes?
Who are your competitors?
What are your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?
What does the consumer look like for your show?
What are the visuals, tone and creative that will best convey your brand message to your most likely consumer?

When you’re able to clearly abide by that brand voice you can generate tailored, high-quality materials. The digital space may be a person’s first touch point for your brand, so pay attention to what you’re saying. The quality of your content online is more important NOW more than ever, which leads us to the next guideline–

3. Weight quality over quantity

Your brand voice in the conversation will come through in the content you create. Be thoughtful; it’s easy to understand why consumers are increasingly wary of anything online. Create quality content you stand behind. Once you’ve created this content, you need to be strategic about where it goes.

Advertising is not always content and content is not necessarily advertising. What’s impactful in print may equally fall flat on a smartphone. The time and effort spent creating content that tells us what your brand voice is will be wasted unless you’re also smart about where it’s being heard. Different advertising and social media platforms have taken on distinct personalities; personalities you need to consider for your messaging.

Additionally, it’s important to remember that even if someone isn’t “following” you, it doesn’t mean they’re not engaged. Consumers are using social media as a research tool for brands instead of blindly following them—which is another reason your brand voice needs to be consistent and true. A new user is as likely to see your Instagram post as a loyal fan. “Followers” don’t carry the same amount of weight as they used to because they don’t necessarily translate to popularity or customers and vice versa. And speaking of followers….

4. Beware of fake news

Bots and followers leave everyone with that uncanny valley feeling: looking at a face that appears human but isn’t actually a flesh-and-bone human being. It’s a vile and insidious feeling. You’re unable to trust that anyone is who…or even what they say they are. I feel horrible even talking about it, I need to go buy something.

Buying followers and utilizing bots is a big example of putting quantity or quality… or quantity over reality. We don’t buy bots and I would never recommend it to anyone. Not only because it’s an ethically grey area, but because it’s not actually helpful in gathering insights for your brand. It really has more to do with how the audience is reacting to your product. How is the audience growing? What are the elements of your marketing matrix that drive traction and interaction? What are the messages that spark the most engagement? Fake follower data isn’t going to help you with that.

And alongside bots, the last important trap to avoid in your path to becoming the Beyoncé of branding-

5. Just because your friends are jumping off the bridge…

Just because everyone is buying New York Times triple trucks in July, doesn’t mean you should too. ALWAYS consider your brand voice and be loyal to it. Like your savvy customers, you can see what the competition is doing as research, but that doesn’t mean you should blindly follow and do the same thing.

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Sara Fitzpatrick is the Founder and President of ARTHOUSE, a full-service media agency that partners with forward-thinking web advertisers in the strategy and design of innovative brand campaigns. Their services include branding, content creation, social management and media buying with a focus on how creative drives campaign success.

You can hear her podcast interview with Ken here.

Broadway Grosses w/e 4/1/2018: The Easter Bunny Brings Good Business to Broadway.

The following are the Broadway grosses for the week ending April 1, 2018.
The Broadway grosses are courtesy of The Broadway League
Read more here:

The newest additions to our slate.

I made some pretty juicy announcements about some new musicals we’re developing recently, and yesterday I realized . . . I never blogged about ’em!

Well, today’s the day . . . especially since these two will definitely count towards our #5000By2025 mission we announced here two weeks ago.

So here are the two new musicals we just announced and more importantly, why we’re producing them.

JOY

Like so many people on earth, I first met Joy Mangano when I was hanging up a shirt.

That’s right, if you have a velvet hanger in your closet, then you know her too.

Joy is also the woman behind the Miracle Mop. And the mini steamer.

But this isn’t a story about consumer goods.  This is a rags-to-riches story about an unstoppable single mother of two, who defies the odds and turns a dream into a reality and then into a mega-million dollar empire.

Hollywood spun her story into a movie starring Jennifer Lawrence, but there’s so much more to it than that.

It’s a joy-filled tale of a female who triumphs over adversity. . . which is exactly what Broadway needs right now.

Oh, and the dancing mop number is going to be amazing.

BROADWAY VACATION

I’ve been after the rights to the Vacation movie franchise for years.  Literally years.  Every twelve months, an alarm would go off on my ToodleDo and say, “Bug Warner Brothers for the rights to Vacation.”

Well, not too long ago they finally said they were open to it . . . and they also said, “Hey, you know who also has been bugging us?  Kurt Deutsch.  You two should talk.”

Talk we did. And then we secured the rights . . . but not to do the movie on stage.  But instead, to take those iconic Griswold characters, and set them out on a new adventure.

That’s right, you’ve seen Vacation, European Vacation, Vegas Vacation  . . . here comes Broadway Vacation The Griswolds take Manhattan.

As I mentioned in my Facebook Live video on the day of this announcement, I’m a believer that if you’re going to take a big brand and adapt it into a musical, you gotta do something different with it.  It has to be unique.  You can’t just put a movie on stage . . . that’s not the medium that the story was designed for!

But when you can take the characters and create a new story (like what Harry Potter has done) you get all the value of the original brand, and you get the excitement of creating something new.

We’ve got a long “Holiday Road” ahead, but we’re excited.

(Oh, and note to you folks trying to get the rights to something . . . in business, “No” often means “not now.”)

Both of these rights acquisitions have been in the works for some time, and are all part of a new focus of mine towards the development of large-scale new musicals (In the last year, I even raised money for a “front money fund” to pay for the development of up to ten musicals so I could focus solely on the creative).

You’ll see a few more announcements in the coming months about the other shows that I’m growing up from the ground floor.

And they are just as exciting as the above.

Stay tuned.

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I announced both of these shows LIVE on my Facebook Page.  Join me every day for an impromptu Facebook Live giving you a glimpse into the day and the life of a Broadway Producer.  Click here to see the past videos . . . and make sure you like the page, and turn your notifications on to see the next time that I go LIVE!

Interested in learning more about topics like this? CLICK HERE to join The TheaterMakers Studio, an online community, certification training program, and resource for playwrights, producers, directors, actors, and theater makers of all kinds!

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