Broadway Grosses w/e 3/17/2019: Some Luck From the Irish

The following are the Broadway grosses for the week ending March 18, 2018.
The Broadway grosses are courtesy of The Broadway League
Read more here:

How To Involve More Kids In Your High School Musical (No, not through a bigger cast.)

 

It’s common knowledge that the plays and musicals that are produced most often in the high school markets are the ones with the biggest casts.  Why?  The educators want to involve as many students as possible.  And what sets us apart from sports is that musicals and plays have more flexibility with the # of players.  (You can’t add a chorus to a basketball team, but boy oh boy can you rack ‘em and stack ‘em in the chorus of Anything Goes.)

In fact, large musicals get a check in the “Pro” column when considering a show for investment because of how often they are performed over other more intimate, shows. I talk about this at length here.

The more students involved, the better the show, the more tickets you sell (more students = more parents), and the more those students have an experience that will, without a doubt, change their lives.  Because whether a student decides to pursue a career in the theater or decides to be a lawyer, I firmly believe that there is no endeavor in the world that teaches collaboration better than putting up a musical.

So, what if we could get more students involved?

And what if we could get more students involved who wouldn’t usually think about getting involved with a show?  Maybe these folks aren’t the extroverted type that wants to step on a stage and perform.  And they’re not the tech type either.

They’re probably the type that thinks putting on a musical is just a hobby.  Because no one has told them any different. But you and I know it’s a business . . . just like any other.  And that businesses need all sorts of talents to make a show a success.

See, all high school musicals have performers and stage managers and orchestras and light board operators and costume designers and so on.

But you know what they don’t have?

Producers.

General Managers.

Press Agents.

Advertising & Marketing Directors.

Casting Directors.

That’s right . . . I’m proposing that every high school musical out there have an administrative team, set up in the same structure as a Broadway show.

Teachers would get a chance to get more students involved.

And we, as an industry, would get a new training ground for the Producers, General Managers, Advertising and Marketing Directors, and Casting Directors of tomorrow.

Think about it . . . the students would work underneath the teachers, of course, but . . .

The Producer would be in charge of overseeing the production, of course, as well as fundraising.  Yep, give him or her a goal of raising $X and let them find a way to do it (car washes, bake sales, Kickstarter and more).

The General Manager would learn how to put a budget together for the show and keep everyone on a budget.

The Press Agent would try to get articles written in the newspapers, online, and even invite people like me to come to see it.

The Advertising and Marketing Director would get the word out to sell tickets, get a logo designed, manage the social media, and more.

The Casting Directors would schedule the auditions, run them, put out the offers and maybe even convince the high school quarterback that he’d make a great Teyve.

And each position could have a team of people underneath him or her.

See, before I started working on Broadway, I never knew that any of these positions existed… .because these positions didn’t exist on any of the shows I worked on coming up!

But if they had, I might have found out what I wanted to do faster . . . and might have even have been better at it when I got started.

More students involved.  And a stronger administrative future for Broadway.  It’s a win-win.

If you like this idea, I wonder if you could do me a favor . . . send this blog to any high school drama teachers than you know.  Here’s the link.

Because it’s a very easily actionable idea.  You just ask for volunteers, sign ‘em up (and based on the # of students who email me saying they want to produce, etc, you’ll get plenty) and give them a structure of things to do.

In fact, I’ll raise my hand and say that if there is any high school drama teacher that needs some help in creating a job description and a list of duties, I’ll write it up for you so you don’t have to.  Consider it done.

And maybe, just maybe, I can even get some Broadway folks to mentor some of these student administrators . . .

As you can tell, I want this to work.  Why am I so passionate about it?

Because there are over 30,000 public and private high schools in this country.  If only 20,000 did shows, and we add just 5 administration positions to each one, that’s 100,000 more kids who get to experience the magic of putting on a show with their peers.

And, we’d without a doubt, kickstart a few careers of the future business leaders of Broadway.

Send it, tweet it, insta-it or whatever, but please get this blog to a teacher you know.

Yes, we’re producing a brand new theater festival, here’s why!

A few weeks ago, I tweet-leaked the news that we were launching a brand new theater festival this (!) summer.

Now, my publicity muzzle has officially been removed, and I’m able to announce for reals that RAVE, the brand new theater festival for brand new plays, musicals, and more, will take place this summer from August 9th to the 25th, right here in NYC.

Woohoo!!!  (If you can’t tell, I’m super excited.)

Why am I jumping up and down like a kid who just heard the circus was comin’ to town?

Well, first, I love me some theater.

And I believe that the more theater there is in the world, the better off the world will be.

Second, almost one year ago to the day, on March 15, 2018, my office announced a new mission, to help get 5000 shows produced by 2025. 

It’s going great! Shows are sprouting up Off-Broadway, regionally, internationally, and more.  And a whole crap-ton are in line for readings, production, licensing and more.  But a festival is a great way to get a whole bunch up at once!

Third, over the years, I’ve discovered Playwrights, Actors, Directors and all sorts of Theater Makers at other festivals around the country.  And many of these folks I still work with to this day! 

Altar Boyz wouldn’t have been the success it is without me seeing Kevin Delaguila’s 6 Story Building at the 2002 NYC Fringe and asking him to write our book.  I saw Brandon Williams, who I cast in The Awesome 80s Prom in 2004 after seeing him in The Joy of Sex that same year.  He went on to star in Gettin’ The Band Back Together on Broadway this past summer.   And on, and on.

Unfortunately, over the last few years, we’ve lost a few festivals.  Simultaneously, costs for producing off-off Broadway showcases or developing productions have spiked.  And in my discussions with my Pros and emerging theater artists all over the world, I found myself recommending that they submit to a festival . . . but found that the city is actually short on festivals, and those festivals that were still around filled up too fast!

So, we’re starting one with the goal of giving more emerging Theater Makers a chance to be seen in the most important theater city in the world, which is also the hardest theater city in the world to be seen in!

You can find out more about the festival here.

If you’re a Theater Maker with a play, musical or unique “experience” (it is called RAVE after all), I hope you’ll submit.

If you’re a Theater maker without a play, musical or unique “experience,” now is the time to get that great idea of yours on paper and submit it.  What’s the worse that’ll happen?  You won’t get in?  Big whoop.  What’s the best that can happen???  Go ahead, let your imagination run wild.  (Yeah, that’s right, imagine that.  Pretty awesome, right?  Now get on the stick and submit!)

Click here to get the scoop.

If you’re a theater lover, make sure you sign up to be the first to know when we announce the line-up and put tickets up for sale.  Cause I think we’re going to shake up the city this summer, and you’re gonna want to be there.

Here we go!

Experience The RAVE Theater Festival.

Survey Results Revealed! Why do people line up for shows so early?

I’ve been working on Broadway for 2.5 decades now, and a lot of things have changed over those years . . . from the types of lights we use, to how our customers order our tickets . . .to how long people wait in line outside the theater before a show begins!

I don’t remember people getting on the queue as early as they now do.  I’ve seen people in a line that wrapped around the block – an hour before a show was set to begin!

I always want to go up to them and say, “Hey, go get a coffee or a hot dog and come back at like 8:04.  You’ll walk right in, the show won’t start until 8:07.  You’ll be fine.”

But frankly, they’re so serious about standing in line, that I’m a bit scared to talk to them.

Seriously, why do they line up so early now . . . when they didn’t do it years ago?

Curious (and obsessive minds like mine) want to know.

Enter my crackerjack team of interns, who I sent into the streets of Times Square to survey those pre-show wait-ers to ask them my nagging question:  Why are you lining up so early?

In total, we asked over 100 people from all over the world that question, and we got some answers!  And, I’m going to share them with you now!

You ready?  It’s the first ever “Why Are You Waiting In Line?” Survey!

TIME THEY ARRIVED

  • 23% arrived 30-40 minutes early
  • 37% arrived 40-50 minutes early
  • 33% arrived 50-60 minutes early
  • 7% arrived 60 – 70 minutes early

REASONS THEY ARRIVED EARLY

  • 1.9% were on a school trip
  • 10.6% were meeting someone
  • 10.6% were handicapped or needed extra time getting to their seat
  • 18.3% like being early or arrived earlier than they planned
  • 22.1% were avid fans of the production and wanted pictures/merch or the opportunity to meet other fans
  • 36.5% arrived early for no specific reason except that they had nothing else to do

THINGS TO NOTE

  • The average group size of the “Early Arrivers” was 4.
  • The more popular the show (Hamilton, etc.) the more people lining up early and the earlier they lined up.
  • Many families expressed a desire to be there early because of the perceived difficulty of wrangling children in a theater.
  • This survey was done in the winter, which may have affected the results.  We’ll repeat again in a warmer climate!

What’s my takeaway from all this?

Well, people like getting there early.  That’s obvious to anyone walking by a theater on a Wednesday at 1:05 PM before a matinee.  But the 22.1% showing up because they’re superfans makes me think we’re missing out on an opportunity to make them even super-er-er fans.

What kind of content could we provide these Early Arrivers for coming early?

Maybe a pre-show?  A place to sit?  Free coffee?  “Previews” like at a movie theater?

Or . . . here’s a radical idea . . . maybe we should just open up our theaters for them to sit down earlier?

We need to do something.  Security is an issue with those people standing on the streets.  And it’s taking longer to get the audiences in our doors with the intense screening that’s popping up.

I just wonder if there’s a way to get ’em in and turn it into a marketing win.

Do you get to a show you’re seeing early?  Why?  And if you don’t, what would encourage you to do so?  Comment below!

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My new book on Broadway Investing is now a #1 Best Seller New Release!  And you have only eight more days to get it for $2.99.  Click here!

Broadway Grosses w/e 3/3/2019: Droppin’ Like It’s Hot (but it’s snowing!)

The following are the Broadway grosses for the week ending March 4, 2018.
The Broadway grosses are courtesy of The Broadway League
Read more here:

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