Favorite Quotes Vol. XXVI: How to get young audiences to see your show.

It’s been 9 months since the theater-owner line up was shaken up big time when young gun, Jordan Roth, was called up to head the Jujamcyn Organization.

New York Magazine checked in on the young turk in a fantastic feature published a week or so ago, that describes how Jordan plans to take the theater into the 21st century (yes, I know we’re technically already in the 21st century, but the theater has a habit of lagging behind, so in my mind, it’s still 1998).

So what is Jordan’s advice on getting the younger audience to the theater?  He sums it up like this:

“What I believe in is product. Don’t waste your time trying to figure out how to get a young audience to see The Music Man. If you want a young audience, don’t f*cking do The Music Man.”

Great quote, right?  It’s definitely hot enough to qualify for this FQ column.

But it was Jordan’s final comments in the article that really resonated for me.

“The shows that change the world do it because they offer something you haven’t seen before.”

Unique product is the key to any industry and any art form.  Marketing is great and fine and important and all that bologna and cheese.  I mean, give me a show, and I’ll market the bejesus out of it with promotions and advertising and stunts and more.

But if you really want to be successful?  Give us something that we don’t even know we need . . . but once we get a taste of it, we can’t get enough and don’t know how we ever lived with out it.
Read the feature here to learn about Jordan’s renovation plans, how he chooses product, and the secret door that leads to the St. James Theater.

A student’s private parts end up on the Billboard charts.

Here’s something that couldn’t have happened 10 years ago.

Thanks to the democratization of production and distribution, a self-produced cast album from a student-run theatre group at the University of Michigan made it oh-so-close to the top of the Billboard Cast Album Charts.

Yep, tucked between the original London cast recording of The Phantom of the Opera at #10 and Rock of Ages at #12 was Me and My Dick.

Oh, right, ahhh . . . this is probably where I should say that the subject matter of this student production might not be suitable for all ages (I can probably confirm right now that there will never be a Theatreworks tour of this show).

Regardless of the cheekiness of the humor in the show, you have to give HUGE props (yes, that was a Johnson Joke) to Team StarKid who produced MAMD (as well as their previous hit, A Very Potter Musical, which has racked up millions . . . yep, millions . . . of views on YouTube).  Clearly these guys know how to develop a creative idea that spreads like creamy peanut butter on a slice of Wonder Bread (sorry about that, I’m writing this right before lunch).

And they’ve monetized their idea as well!  The MAMD recording is available on iTunes.

The Billboard article about the charting MAMD says that the creators are waiting to hear if the show will be accepted into this summer’s NY Fringe Festival.

Ahhh, guys?  I’d bet my left and right you-know-whats that you get in.  And that you sell out.

Whether you’ll open at The Palace next season on Broadway?  Well, that’s another story.

Now, before I go sink my teeth into a peanut butter and fluff sandwich (or “fluffernutter” if you’re ol’ school), let’s all ponder what Lord Lloyd Webber said when he saw that right behind Phantom on the Cast Album Charts was a semi-profane student production.  Can you imagine?  “Me and my whaaaat?”  (It’s funnier if you say it with a British accent).

How are you getting your show noticed by people like Lord Lloyd Webber?

In the 21st century, you can make a cast album yourself.  You can make your own videos.  You can do your own press.

In the 21st century . . . you have the tools to do it all by yourself.  (and no, that was not a Johnson Joke).

You just need the desire.

How I get my theater news.

If you enjoyed yesterday’s blog, then you shouldn’t thank me. You should thank Mr. Thomas Cott.

Tom has worked in a lot of areas in the entertainment industry over the last 25+ years, from marketing to producing to fundraising and so on. He’s an incredibly dedicated believer in spreading ideas and information in order to encourage education, which by its nature encourages change.

Tom runs a news clipping service called “You’ve Cott Mail,” where he serves up a handful of the day’s most interesting arts related articles from publications, blogs, newsletters, etc. from around the globe.

It was in a recent edition of “You’ve Cott Mail” that I discovered the article that I blogged about yesterday, hence the props due to Tom.

If you’re not signed up on Tom’s list, visit his site and click on the link on the left for YCM.  You’ll be glad you did.  “You’ve Cott Mail” is a like a vegetable that tastes like french fries.  It’s oh-so-good for you and should be consumed daily, but it also tastes great going down.

And if you’re looking for more than a handful of the day’s articles, then make sure you bookmark supersite, www.BroadwayStars.com, started by one of the original theater bloggers, James Marino.  All of the news that’s fit to type is on that site.  I refresh the page about 30 times a day looking for the latest news.

Consuming news in the 21st century is not like it used to be when you had one paper, or one TV channel.  The best news sources are like giant buffets, serving up dishes of all different types and temperatures from all over the world (e.g. HuffPo).

“You’ve Cott Mail” and BroadwayStars are the two of the best buffets in town.  And I gorge myself at both every day.

X