The longest running plays don’t get revived.

We often talk about the longest runnings show in Broadway history . . . Phantom, Cats, Les Miz, Chicago . . . but rarely do we talk about the longest running plays.

Why?

Because you wouldn’t recognize ’em if we did.

Here are 10 longest running plays in Broadway history, along with whether or not it has been revived, and the year the last or original production closed.  Make sense?

Here we go.

  1. Life with Father, No revivals, 1947
  2. Tobacco Road, 3 revivals, 1950
  3. Abbie’s Irish Rose, 3 revivals 1954
  4. Gemini, No revivals, 1981
  5. Deathtrap, No revivals, 1982
  6. Harvey, No revivals, 1949
  7. Born Yesterday, 2 revivals, 2011
  8. Mary, Mary, No revivals, 1964
  9. The Voice of the Little Turtle, No revivals, 1948
  10. Barefoot in the Park, 1 revival, 2006

Interesting, no?  The three longest running plays of all time haven’t been on Broadway in well over fifty years . . . and I don’t see any one of them coming back anytime soon.  The only two revivals that were produced in this century failed.  And the lack of revivals in the rest suggests a trend contrary to what we’re seeing with musicals . . . which is when one works, we’ll revive it sooner rather than later (See La Cage, Ragtime, A Chorus Line, etc.)

What’s the reason?

Is it because it’s harder to blow the dust off these plays, because dialogue can’t be updated as easily as orchestrations and arrangements?  Is it because the play going audience is shrinking, and the musical audience is growing?    Is it because plays need stars to get on these days and no stars want to do these plays?

It would seem to me that this would be the list Producers would run to to look for revivals . . . yet these titles aren’t being touched.

Plays are different animals than musicals, and what makes a title in one genre successful doesn’t run parallel with what makes a title in the other genre successful.

That would be too easy.

When looking for a successful play, revival or not, it’s imperative that it resonate with the drama of the day . . . otherwise you’ll be on the 10 shortest running show list.

 

(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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FUN STUFF

– 27 Days to Godspell!  Read the day-by-day account of producing Godspell on Broadway here.

– The next Get Your Show Off The Ground seminar is on 9/17.  Only 1 spot left.  Register today!

 

 

The Sunday Giveaway: 2 Tickets to By The Way Meet Vera Stark at Second Stage.

Did you see Ruined?

People are still talking about how that play, by the Pulitzer-Prize-winning Lynn Nottage, didn’t make it to Broadway, even though it had more extensions than Kim Kardashian at an Oscar Party.
Will they be saying the same thing about By The Way Meet Vera Stark, the new play by Ms. Nottage that is up and running at 2nd Stage?

You tell me!  Because one of you is going!

To win?  All you have to do is enter my Tony Pool (I’m giving away an iPad if that helps).  I’ll pick a winner for the Vera Star tickets from the entrants in the Pool.  If you’ve already entered the Pool, then sit back and relax, because you’re in it to win it.

Enter the Tony Pool here.

Good luck!

Who won the tix to Lombardi?

Let's do an e-version of the wave for Drew, who is going home with 2 tickets to see Lombardi on Broadway!

Drew wins this week's giveaway for his suggestion of a Tiger Woods musical in the style of Nine, with one man, and 8 women, representing the many strippers women in The Tiger's life.

Email me, Drew, and off you go to the show!

Tomorrow we've got more stuff to give away so tune in!

(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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FUN STUFF

– LAST CALL for the Seminars and Social in Minneapolis!  Click the link and RSVP today!

– Enter my Tony Pool!  You can win an iPad!  Enter today!

 

The Sunday Giveaway: 2 Tickets to Lombardi on Broadway.

If there was a Tony Award for the show this season that brought the most new audience members to the theater, it would be Lombardi.

I can’t tell you how many times people said to me last Fall, “Ken, are they really doing a play about football on Broadway?”

My answer?  “No, they are doing a play about a great man . . . who just happened to coach football.”

Lombardi, like the Green Bay Packers themselves, surprised everyone by making it through the winter and well beyond as plays by Mamet and Guare closed around it.  Their breakaway success was partly due to the fantastic job the Producers did in partnering with the NFL.  It’s a success story that Lombardi himself would be proud of.

The show is closing on May 22nd, but we’ve got 2 free tickets for you to see this show before the 4th quarter buzzer goes off.

And here’s how you win!

Sports and Broadway have not always gone together, but could Lombardi be the beginning of a new trend?  The Producers of Lombardi are already sheparding a new play about Magic Johnson and Larry Bird to Broadway in 2012.  What sports hero is next?

What sports figure(s) do you want to see a play about?  They can be real or fictional (i.e. Rocky – which was rumored at one point).

Comment below (email subcribers click here) and I’ll pick a winner from your ideas!

Good luck!

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