The ticketing war hits the skies.

http://www.theproducersperspective.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/my_weblog/6a00e54ef2e21b88330147e174b04a970b.jpgI noticed a billboard on 7th Avenue the other day that I hadn’t seen before. I snapped a picture so you could see what it was advertising.

Yep, it’s pitching . . . Telecharge, the official ticketing agent of Broadway.

There was a time when Telecharge didn’t have to advertise.  Heck, there was a time when Telecharge didn’t have to give out seat locations.  But with brokers and websites hitting media hard with adwords, banners and even taxi tops (Have you seen that Broadway.com buy?), Telecharge super smartly decided use some of their service fees to fight impressions with impressions, in an attempt to educate the consumer that the fastest and cheapest way to buy is through the official source for tickets.  I’ve seen them spending money on adwords, but the outdoor angle looks relatively new to me.

And I like it.

Ticketing companies are like department stores.  They have a lot of different types of products of all different shapes and sizes.

And the money that is spent supporting the store helps to support all the products inside.

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5 Shows that stand out at NYMF.

Six years ago, Altar Boyz debuted at the NYMF.  And it changed my life.

Yesterday, the 7th season of NYMF kicked off.

And hopefully, a lot of lives will be changed when it’s over.

If you don’t know NYMF, you should. If the Fringe Festival is the Walmart of theatrical offerings (and for the record, there is nothing wrong with Walmart – it’s got everything you could ever want and then some at “everyday low prices”), then NYMF is the Madison Avenue boutique of musicals.

During the voting at NYMF’s Next Broadway Sensation last Sunday, which I was honored to judge, I flipped through the catalog of shows to see what stood out to me.

Here are five shows that caught my show-shoppin’ eye (in reverse alphabetical order, because, well, you gotta do things differently every once in a while):

1.  V-Day

If you’ve been in NYC a while, then you’ve probably heard of the late night escapades of the Don’t Quit Your Night Job crew.  Well, two of the crew, including the funny-in-every-show-he’s-in Steve Rosen, took a day job and wrote a musical about the holiday we love to hate, Valentine’s Day.

2.  Show Choir

I had an idea for a show choir musical a few years ago, and even did some research over pizza with real show choir members to get some ideas.  It was a hysterical brainstorming session.  Dramas are about characters, and there are some kooks in show choirs around the country.  I remember thinking, “There’s a successful show here somewhere.”  Let’s see if these guys found it.

3.  My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wican Wedding

Just when you think the gag-wedding-title idea is played out, here comes another one . .  and it still makes you laugh.  Unless you have a star, nothing . . . nothing . . . sells a ticket more than a title.

4.  Jay Alan Zimmerman’s Incredibly Deaf Musical

Comedy is born in contrast, and when you put the word “Deaf” next to “Musical,” it says, “I’m funny, unique, and about a hero overcoming a challenge.”  I’d bet that some of your favorite shows, movies and books have the exact same elements.

5.  Bloodties

The blurb about Bloodties describes the story of Ned Massey who was once called, “the finest talent since Dylan and Springsteen.”  Umm,  you had me at Springsteen.  (And BTW, where’s that jukebox musical?  I inquired some time ago and haven’t heard much lately . . . I know I’d have produced the bandana out of that one.)

So there you have it . . . the 5 NYMF shows that jumped out of the catalog and, like Tommy, screamed, “See me!”

Now, remember, you all know how this game works.  I haven’t read the scripts, seen the readings, etc.  Instead, I put myself in the mind of an audience member and a Producer (aren’t they one in the same?), and relied solely on the marketing, the titles, and the teams to tell me what show to see.

What happens then?

Only one way to find out.

To get tickets to all NYMF shows, click here.

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