Why are Wednesdays the worst night of the week?

Wednesday evenings suck.

That simple.

If it wasn’t for the more successful Wednesday matinees, most shows would take the whole day off.

But why are they so bad?  Ok, it’s the middle of the week.  It makes sense.  You’re sitting on the hump, so who wants to go out and see a show?

That’s not the only reason, though.

Our friends at Telecharge shared some more data yesterday that helps us understand one of the reasons why a show’s Wednesday mats might be strong and the evening weak.  Take it away, Telecharge!

We look at a lot of data on theatergoers whose addresses indicate they’re from out-of-town, but we often neglect the fact that they may not be overnight visitors. Many of them are from nearby metro areas within the Northeast Corridor, who are traveling into the city just for the day. And while most overnight visitors arrive closer to the weekend, these day-trip visitors come to the city, see a matinee, and return home — many on weekdays. Almost three-quarters of the people who arrived on a Wednesday saw a show on Wednesday — the highest percentage for any day of the week — and nearly 80% of those out-of-town customers live within the Northeast Corridor.

If we take a closer look at the habits of these Northeast Corridor day-trip buyers, we see that 70% of these visitors who attended a Wednesday show saw a matinee; on Saturdays, 60% of Northeast Corridor visitors saw the matinee. This is probably not surprising, but it helps us understand why some shows struggle to sell Wednesday nights. If most of the Wednesday tourist audience are day-trippers who leave town after the matinee, then are shows who depend on tourists trying to paddle upstream by playing Wednesday nights?

Visitors from the Northeast Corridor have buying patterns similar to suburban customers.   In fact, the performances preferred by Northeast Corridor visitors in order of sales are:  Saturday Matinee, Saturday night, Sunday Matinee, Wednesday Matinee, and Friday evening.

So next time you think about how your show markets itself to buyers from Philly or Hartford (or even Boston and D.C.), consider that those folks may just be here for the day.

Good stuff, right?  I love these reports and was happy to see this one arrive in my inbox, so thanks T-Charge.   Looking forward to the next!

But back to the Wednesday nights for a sec – if we all know they suck, and since it’s really hard not to play them, shouldn’t we try to figure out a way to make these performances more special?

Should Wed eves be cheaper than other performances?  Should Wednesdays be like bat-day at Shea Stadium and every ticket holder get a piece of merch?  Should it be Wednesdays at 7 instead of Tuesdays at 7?  Should we work with the unions to figure out an easier way to play the Wed mat without the Wed eve (playing it now means you also have to play Tuesday night, which is another night when tix are in less demand).

We’ve isolated an issue.  And thanks to the Telecharge data we even understand why it is the way it is.  Now we have to address 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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The Official 2011 Drama Desk Award Nominations

Here are this year's Drama Desk Award nominations:

OUTSTANDING PLAY

Jon Robin Baitz  Other Desert Cities
Adam Bock  A Small Fire
Stephen Adly Guirgis  The Motherf**ker With the Hat
Samuel D. Hunter  A Bright New Boise
Rajiv Joseph  Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
David Lindsay-Abaire  Good People
Nick Stafford  War Horse

OUTSTANDING MUSICAL

In Transit
Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical
See Rock City & Other Destinations
Sister Act
The Book of Mormon
The Kid

OUTSTANDING REVIVIAL OF A PLAY

Born Yesterday
The House of Blue Leaves
The Importance of Being Earnest
The Merchant of Venice
The Normal Heart
Three Sisters

OUTSTANDING REVIVIAL OF A MUSICAL

Anything Goes
Hello Again
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A PLAY

Charles Busch  The Divine Sister
Bobby Cannavale  The Motherf**ker With the Hat
Al Pacino  The Merchant of Venice
Geoffrey Rush  The Diary of a Madman
Mark Rylance  Jerusalem
Michael Shannon  Mistakes Were Made
Paul Sparks  Dusk Rings a Bell

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A PLAY

Nina Arianda  Born Yesterday
Stockard Channing  Other Desert Cities
Frances McDormand  Good People
Laurie Metcalf The Other Place
Michele Pawk  A Small Fire
Lily Rabe  The Merchant of Venice

OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL

Norbert Leo Butz  Catch Me If You Can
Colin Donnell  Anything Goes
Daniel Radcliffe  How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Andrew Rannells  The Book of Mormon
Tony Sheldon  Priscilla Queen of the Desert:The Musical
Christopher Sieber  The Kid

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL

Sutton Foster  Anything Goes
Beth Leavel  Baby It's You!
Patina Miller  Sister Act
Donna Murphy  The People in the Picture
Sherie Rene Scott  Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR IN A PLAY

Brian Bedford  The Importance of Being Earnest
Christian Borle  Peter and the Starcatcher
Boyd Gaines  The Grand Manner
Logan Marshall-Green  The Hallway Trilogy
Zachary Quinto  Angels in America
Tom Riley  Arcadia
Yul Vázquez  The Motherf**ker With the Hat

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTRESS IN A PLAY

Lisa Emery The Collection & A Kind of Alaska
Edie Falco  The House of Blue Leaves
Julie Halston  The Divine Sister
Sarah Nina Hayon  A Bright New Boise
Celia Keenan-Bolger  Peter and the Starcatcher
Linda Lavin  Other Desert Cities
Judith Light  Lombardi

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR IN A MUSICAL

Adam Godley  Anything Goes
John Larroquette  How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Brian Stokes Mitchell  Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Rory O'Malley  The Book of Mormon
Bob Stillman  Hello Again
Tom Wopat  Catch Me If You Can

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL

Laura Benanti  Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Kerry Butler  Catch Me If You Can
Victoria Clark  Sister Act
Jill Eikenberry  The Kid
Nikki M. James  The Book of Mormon
Patti LuPone  Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Laura Osnes  Anything Goes

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A PLAY

Trip Cullman  A Small Fire
Joel Grey and George C. Wolfe  The Normal Heart
Moisés Kaufman  Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Davis McCallum  A Bright New Boise
Daniel Sullivan  The Merchant of Venice
Kirjan Waage and Gwendolyn Warnock  Baby Universe

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A MUSICAL

Rob Ashford  How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Joe Calarco  In Transit
Jack Cummings III  Hello Again
Jack Cummings III  See Rock City & Other Destinations
Kathleen Marshall  Anything Goes
Casey Nicholaw and Trey Parker  The Book of Mormon

OUTSTANDING CHOREOGRAPHY

Rob Ashford  How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Scott Graham and Steven Hoggett  Beautiful Burnout
Steven Hoggett  Peter and the Starcatcher
Kathleen Marshall  Anything Goes
Casey Nicholaw  The Book of Mormon
Siudy  Between Worlds

OUTSTANDING MUSIC

Brad Alexander  See Rock City & Other Destinations
Alan Menken  Sister Act
Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone   The Book of Mormon
Marc Shaiman  Catch Me if You Can
Mike Stoller and Artie Butler  The People in the Picture
David Yazbek  Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

OUTSTANDING LYRICS

Rick Crom  Newsical The Musical – Full Spin Ahead
Jack Lechner  The Kid
Adam Mathias  See Rock City & Other Destinations
Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone  The Book of Mormon
Glenn Slater  Sister Act
Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman  Catch Me if You Can

OUTSTANDING BOOK OF A MUSICAL

Kristen Anderson-Lopez, James-Allen Ford, Russ Kaplan and Sara Wordsworth  In Transit
Iris Rainer Dart  The People in the Picture
Stephan Elliott and Allan Scott  Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical
Adam Mathias  See Rock City & Other Destinations
Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone  The Book of Mormon
Michael Zam  The Kid

OUTSTANDING ORCHESTRATIONS

Mary-Mitchell Campbell  Hello Again
Bruce Coughlin  The Burnt Part Boys
Simon Hale, Jim Abbott and David Yazbek  Women on the Verge of a Nervous
Breakdown
Larry Hochman and Stephen Oremus  The Book of Mormon
Marc Shaiman and Larry Blank  Catch Me if You Can
Lynne Shankel  The Extraordinary Ordinary

OUTSTANDING MUSIC IN A PLAY

Wayne Barker  Peter and the Starcatcher
Kathryn Bostic  Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Lars Petter Hagen  Baby Universe
Alan John  The Diary of a Madman
Tom Kitt  The Winter's Tale
Dan Moses Schreier  The Merchant of Venice

OUTSTANDING REVUE

Fyvush Finkel Live!
Newsical The Musical – Full Spin Ahead
Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles on Broadway

OUTSTANDING SET DESIGN

Rachel Hauck  Orange, Hat & Grace
David Korins and Zachary Borovay (projection design)  Lombardi
Derek McLane  Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Derek McLane  Anything Goes
Tony Straiges  Treasure Island
Mark Wendland  The Merchant of Venice

OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN

Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner  Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical
Desmond Heeley  The Importance of Being Earnest
Ann Hould-Ward  A Free Man of Color
Martin Pakledinaz  Anything Goes
Ann Roth  The Book of Mormon
Paloma Young  Peter and the Starcatcher

OUTSTANDING LIGHTING DESIGN

Jean Kalman, John Gabriel  Borkman
R. Lee Kennedy  See Rock City & Other Destinations
David Lander  Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Laura Mroczkowski  Spy Garbo
Ben Stanton  The Whipping Man
David Weiner  A Small Fire

OUTSTANDING SOUND DESIGN IN A MUSICAL

Lindsay Jones  The Burnt Part Boys
Michael Rasbury  Hello Again
Brian Ronan  Anything Goes
Brian Ronan  The Book of Mormon
Jon Weston  In Transit

OUTSTANDING SOUND DESIGN IN A PLAY

Acme Sound Partners  The Merchant of Venice
Acme Sound Partners and Cricket S. Myers  Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Ian Dickinson, John Gabriel  Borkman
Brett Jarvis  Baby Universe
Bray Poor  Wings
Eric Shimelonis  The Hallway Trilogy

OUTSTANDING SOLO PERFORMANCE

Daniel Beaty  Through the Night
Mike Birbiglia  Mike Birbiglia's My Girlfriend's Boyfriend
Juliette Jeffers  Batman and Robin in the Boogie Down
John Leguizamo  Ghetto Klown
Colin Quinn  Colin Quinn Long Story Short
Joanna Tope  The Promise

UNIQUE THEATRICAL EXPERIENCE

Being Harold Pinter
Circus Incognitus
Gatz
Play Dead
Room 17B
Sleep No More

OUTSTANDING ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE SPECIAL AWARDS

In Transit
The Normal Heart

SPECIAL AWARDS

A.R. Gurney
Reed Birney
The New Group and Artistic Director Scott Elliott
The Pearl Theatre Company
The Creative Team of War Horse – Paul Constable, Marianne Elliott, 59 Productions, Adrian Kohler with Basil Jones for Handspring Puppet Company, Tom Morris, Rae Smith, Christopher Shutt, Toby Sedgwick, Adrian Sutton and John Tams.

The Official 2011 Outer Critics Circle Award Nominations

Here are this year's Outer Critics Circle Award nominations:

OUTSTANDING NEW BROADWAY PLAY
Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo

Good People
The Motherf**ker With the Hat
War Horse

OUTSTANDING NEW BROADWAY MUSICAL
The Book of Mormon

Priscilla Queen of the Desert
Sister Act
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

OUTSTANDING NEW OFF-BROADWAY PLAY
Blood From a Stone

Kin
Other Desert Cities
The Other Place

OUTSTANDING NEW OFF-BROADWAY MUSICAL
Freckleface Strawberry

In Transit
The Kid
Tomorrow Morning

OUTSTANDING NEW SCORE
(Broadway or Off-Broadway)

The Book of Mormon
Catch Me If You Can
Sister Act
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A PLAY
(Broadway or Off-Broadway)

Born Yesterday
The Importance of Being Earnest
The Merchant of Venice
The Normal Heart

OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL
(Broadway or Off-Broadway)

Anything Goes
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Hello Again
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A PLAY
Marianne Elliott & Tom Morris War Horse

Emma Rice Brief Encounter
Anna D. Shapiro The Motherf**cker With the Hat
Daniel Sullivan Good People

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A MUSICAL
Rob Ashford How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Kathleen Marshall Anything Goes
Casey Nicholaw & Trey Parker The Book of Mormon
Jerry Zaks Sister Act

OUTSTANDING CHOREOGRAPHER
Rob Ashford How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Ross Coleman Priscilla Queen of the Desert
Kathleen Marshall Anything Goes
Casey Nicholaw The Book of Mormon

OUTSTANDING SET DESIGN
(Play or Musical)

Desmond Heeley The Importance of Being Earnest
Derek McLane Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Neil Murray Brief Encounter
Todd Rosenthal The Motherf**ker With the Hat

OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN
(Play or Musical)

Lez Brotherston Sister Act
Tim Chappel & Lizzie Gardiner Priscilla Queen of the Desert
Desmond Heeley The Importance of Being Earnest
Lizz Wolf Baby It's You!

OUTSTANDING LIGHTING DESIGN
(Play or Musical)

Paule Constable War Horse
Natasha Katz Sister Act
David Lander Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Malcolm Rippeth Brief Encounter

OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A PLAY
Reed Birney The Dream of the Burning Boy

Bobby Cannavale The Motherf**ker With the Hat
Joe Mantello&#01
60;The Normal Heart

Al Pacino The Merchant of Venice
Mark Rylance Jerusalem

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A PLAY
Nina Arianda Born Yesterday

Edie Falco The House of Blue Leaves
Judith Light Lombardi
Frances McDormand Good People
Laurie Metcalf The Other Place

OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Norbert Leo Butz Catch Me If You Can

Josh Gad The Book of Mormon
Daniel Radcliffe How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Tony Sheldon Priscilla Queen of the Desert
Aaron Tveit Catch Me If You Can

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Victoria Clark Sister Act

Sutton Foster Anything Goes
Beth Leavel Baby It's You!
Patina Miller Sister Act
Donna Murphy The People in the Picture

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR IN A PLAY
Brian Bedford The Importance of Being Earnest

Evan Jonigkeit High
Stacy Keach Other Desert Cities
Seth Numrich War Horse
Yul Vázquez The Motherf**ker With the Hat

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTRESS IN A PLAY
Renée Elise Goldsberry Good People

Linda Lavin Other Desert Cities
Estelle Parsons Good People
Alison Pill The House of Blue Leaves
Elizabeth Rodriguez The Motherf**ker With the Hat

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Colin Donnell Anything Goes

Adam Godley Anything Goes
Chester Gregory Sister Act
John Larroquette How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
John McMartin Anything Goes

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Laura Benanti Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

Nikki M. James The Book of Mormon
Patti LuPone Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Marla Mindelle Sister Act
Laura Osnes Anything Goes

OUTSTANDING SOLO PERFORMANCE
Daniel Beaty Through the Night

Mike Birbiglia My Girlfriend's Boyfriend
John Leguizamo Ghetto Klown
Michael Shannon Mistakes Were Made

JOHN GASSNER AWARD
(Presented for an American play, preferably by a new playwright)

Amy Herzog After the Revolution
Matthew Lopez The Whipping Man
David West Read The Dream of the Burning Boy
Kim Rosenstock Tigers Be Still

SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS
Ellen Barkin for her Outstanding Broadway Debut in The Normal Heart

Adrian Kohler with Basil Jones for Handspring Puppet Company Puppet Design, Fabrication and Direction for War Horse

This year’s Tony Award nominees for Best Musical and Best Play are . . .

Break out the thermometer and the Tylenol because I’ve got Tony Fever!

In just one week, all Hellzapoppin will break loose when the 2012 Tony Award nominees are announced live on NY1.

The prognosticators and theatrical handicappers have already started laying odds and placing bets on who is going home with Tony gold on June 12th.  But in order to be up for the trophy, you’ve got to get nominated.  And what many people forget is that a nomination (or lack thereof) can seal the fate for many a show that is holding onto their grosses, in hopes for the national exposure that a telecast Tony Award mention (or performance) will get them.

So who will be nominated?

I’m not going to even try to guess who the nominees will be in all the categories. It’d be too much like pin the tail on the Tony.  Instead, I’m going to focus on two of the three awards that actually have an effect on the bottom line, Best Musical and Best Play (the other gross-affecting award is Best Revival of a Musical).

Here are my predictions . . . and remember, this is not who I think should be nominated, but who I think will be nominated:

Best Play

– Jersualeum
– Good People
– War Horse 

And . . .

The fourth spot is always the tough one. I’d bet a pretty penny that the above three are locks. But what about the fourth spot?  Possible contenders in my opinion are Motherf**ker with the HatPitmen Painters and maybe even Brief Encounter.  But when it comes down to it, the Nominators will forget those fall shows and nominate . . .

 – Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo.

Best Musical

– Book of Mormon
– The Scottsboro Boys

Those are the two locks in the musical category, and then the field is wiiiiide open. You’ve got Catch Me If You Can, Priscilla, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Baby It’s You, Sister Act, Wonderland, People In The Picture, Elf, Women on the Verge . . . who said the new musical is dead?

But there are only two spots left!  Who will be “Legally Blonded” this year? (Explanation:  The Nominators tend to slap one commercial enterprise every year by snubbing them for the big award . . . Legally Blonde, Addams Family, Aida.  I was shocked at the Blonde snub, so I turned it into a verb.)

And the third spot goes to . . . .

– Catch Me If You Can.

A classic, old-fasioned musical with a creative team like Catch Me’s will not be overlooked.

 The final and fourth slot?

– Bloody, Bloody, Andrew Jackson

Unfortunately, I think Priscilla, which is next in line for a nod, may be the Blonde of the year.

Now, I may be wrong about a bunch of these predictions.

But one thing I know for certain . . . if Spider-Man HAD opened this year, there is no way it would be have been nominated amongst this field.

Hmmmm . . . wait a minute . . . could that have been the reason for the final delay?  Did the Producers of Spider-Man push it to next season in the hope that a bounty of new musicals this season could mean a lack in the next?  Are they hoping that they could actually compete?  Could be, could be . . .

What do you think of my predictions?  Agree?  Disagree?  Who do you think will be nominated in this year’s Tony Awards?

 

(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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Will there ever be another Dark period on Broadway?

The last time Broadway had a number of dark theaters was in the 70s and early 80s. (That period is one of the reasons Broadway lost the Mark Hellinger Theatre to the Times Square Church.)

A lot of people whisper that a bunch of empty theaters is exactly what we all need to get our costs back in line. The theory being that some dark houses might put the power back in the hands of the Producers, since we’re the ones who fill them.  Unions, Theatre Owners and Vendors might need us more than we need them.

Makes sense, right?

But will it ever happen?  Will there ever be another Dark Ages?

I’m thinking . . . No.

How come?

Something else happened in the late 70s and 80s that forever changed the theatrical real estate landscape.

The super duper long running musical was born.

When Oklahoma! first opened it ran for a magnificent five years.

When West Side Story first opened it ran for two.

My Fair Lady?  That one got six!

A show running for a decade . . . or more . . . was unheard of.  And then A Chorus Line happened.  And the British Invasion happened.  And then the 90s brought us the Disney shows and Rent and so many more that made the run of Oklahoma! look like a limited run revival starring Isaac from The Love Boat.

What the uber-long runners have done is taken a bunch of theaters off the table. They are simply not-in-play for Producers.

See, there are about 40 Broadway houses.  Take out the non-profits and that number drops to 35. I count eight shows that ain’t going anywhere any year soon, which drops the availability by 23%!  And that’s not even counting any of the shows that just opened as potential long runners (and I think we’ve got a couple that could go the distance).

That means only 28 theaters are in play.  Take the play houses out, and the musicals are left with just a handful.

As long as the 5+ year shows are more the norm, theater availability will be forever decreased, and a dark period becomes a thing of the past . . . which leaves the power with the Unions, Theater Owners, Vendors, etc.

Unless, of course, you’re the Producer of one of those megahits.

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Ken Davenport
Ken Davenport

Tony Award-Winning Broadway Producer

I'm on a mission to help 5000 shows get produced by 2025.

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