Real Stars On Broadway?

LINK: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/27/theater/this-is-broadway-campaign.html

‘This Is Broadway’ Campaign Aims to Attract Wary Theatergoers

The trade association representing theater owners and producers gets an assist from Oprah Winfrey as it seeks to drive ticket sales beyond the buzzy September reopenings.

By Michael PaulsonAug. 26, 2021

Broadway producers and theater owners, concerned about whether fans are ready to return as dozens of shows prepare to start or resume performances, have banded together for an industrywide marketing campaign aimed at persuading Broadway’s core audience to purchase tickets.

Gone are the days when the booming industry was focused on expanding its reach to tourists from China and Brazil. Now, as the longest shutdown in history nears an uncertain end, an anxious industry is more focused on bringing back fans from New Jersey and Connecticut.

On Monday, the Broadway League will begin a “This Is Broadway” campaign that it plans to roll out on screens not only across the five boroughs — at subway and bus stations, in taxis and Wi-Fi kiosks, and on a giant electronic cube in Times Square — but also through social and news media platforms with a broader geographic reach, including YouTube, Facebook, Hulu, Condé Nast, CNN, The New York Times and more. The campaign, aimed squarely at people from the East Coast who before the pandemic enjoyed seeing Broadway shows, seeks to serve as a reminder of all that Broadway offers.

The campaign is anchored by a 2.5 minute video, featuring snippets of 99 shows, such as “A Chorus Line” and “Hamilton,” and narration by Oprah Winfrey. The spots will be excerpted in 30 second, 15 second and 6 second digital ads.

The marketing material points consumers to a new website, thisisbroadway.org, that features, describes and links to sales sites for every Broadway show that will be onstage this season; two shows, “Springsteen on Broadway” and “Pass Over,” are already running, and 15 more plan to start performances in September. The site also features recommendations based on user interests, and information about safety protocols (all shows are requiring that patrons be vaccinated and masked).

“The goal is to let the world know we’re back, and, specifically, to drive ticket sales for the first six months from the Northeast corridor and the Eastern Seaboard, which is where we believe is our best opportunity to put people in seats,” said Charlotte St. Martin, the president of the Broadway League, which is a trade association representing theater owners and producers. The League has set aside $1.5 million for the campaign, but says that the campaign will have a broader reach, which they estimate will be worth more than $3 million in advertising value, thanks to discounted ad rates and support from other organizations.

The campaign is unusual for Broadway because individual shows usually do their own marketing. But this is an unusual time, when concerns about the Delta variant have made an already precarious reopening seem even more risky. The League, citing the atypical nature of this season, says it will not disclose box office grosses, but St. Martin said the industry’s September sales are strong.

“There will be shows, as there always are, that don’t do well, and I’m sure they’ll blame it on the pandemic,” St. Martin said. “But I’m very encouraged.”

Theater owners agreed to pool consumer data from a period of five years, including 17 million ticket sales in the Northeast, to improve the campaign’s targeting, and multiple unions agreed to allow the use of archival video for advertising. Collectively the spots feature 113 shows, 735 performers, and one dog (Sandy, from “Annie,” of course).

In addition to the video, the campaign will call attention to the industry in other ways as well. On Aug. 30, the Empire State Building will be lit up to celebrate Broadway’s reopening. In collaboration with Audience Rewards, there will be a contest in which one person can win four tickets to all 38 shows now on sale. And, in collaboration with Playbill, there will be a mid-September festival and concert in Times Square.

The League has been determined since the start of the Broadway shutdown in March 2020 to find a way to promote Broadway as it returns, but the focus of the campaign has shifted as the Delta variant has rattled consumers.

“The hypothesis had been that the core audience is going to come back, and we should focus on the casual theatergoer,” said Andrew Lazzaro, a consultant who helped design the campaign for the Broadway League. “But over the course of the summer, as the Delta variant took hold, positions changed — a lot of our data started to suggest that the core audience wasn’t coming back at the level we needed, and we were able to pivot.”

Lazzaro said their strategy is primarily aimed at a million people living between Maine and Virginia who, before the pandemic, were reliable theatergoers, interested in seeing what’s new on Broadway, and accounting for a disproportionate share of ticket sales, but who now may need a bit of encouragement to resume the habit.

The campaign is scheduled to run through the end of the year. It overlaps with a $30 million promotional campaign by the city’s tourism agency to lure visitors back to New York City.

Broadway Theater Owner Cited In Stagehands Death

LINK: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/02/theater/death-winter-garden-theater-shubert-organization.html

Broadway Theater Owner Cited by OSHA in Stagehand’s Fatal Fall

Federal regulators cited the Shubert Organization for four workplace safety violations in the death of an employee in the Winter Garden Theater.

Federal regulators have cited the Shubert Organization for four serious workplace safety violations and proposed a fine of $45,642 in connection with the death of an employee who fell from a ladder while working at the Winter Garden Theater last fall.

The citations, from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, were issued on May 11, six months after Peter Wright, a 54-year-old stagehand, fell nearly 50 feet from a narrow, raised platform while performing routine maintenance in the theater.

OSHA issues these serious citations when, according to its review, lapses have led to hazards carrying a “substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result.” In the Shubert Organization’s case, OSHA did not find that the violations were willful ones, in which an employer “intentionally and knowingly” violates the law.

The Shubert Organization has set up a meeting to discuss the citations and penalties, James C. Lally, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Labor, said. If the two parties do not reach a settlement, the company can still contest the citations, Mr. Lally said. Otherwise, they will be obligated to pay the full amount.

A spokesman for the Shubert Organization declined a request for comment, citing the ongoing investigation.

The violations issued to the group, which is the largest landlord on Broadway, included having a wooden ladder coated with a material that could obscure structural defects and two instances of a ladder used for a purpose for which it was not designed.

Mr. Wright, who was from Milford, Conn., was a stagehand for Local 1 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, the labor union that represents professional stage employees in New York, for 34 years. He and his wife of 23 years, Marcie Lowy Wright, met when they were both working as stagehands for a 1990s “Grease” revival at the Eugene O’Neill Theater.

James J. Claffey Jr., the president of Local 1, wrote in a tribute in November that Mr. Wright “had a work ethic that was nothing short of exemplary, was extremely talented and skilled in his craft, and he was one of the finest riggers/flyman in our industry.”

The last show to play at the Winter Garden Theater had been “Beetlejuice,” which had been set to end its run on June 6, 2020, before the theater, like all on Broadway, shut on March 12 because of the pandemic; “Beetlejuice” was not slated to return.

A revival of “The Music Man” that will star Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster is set to begin performances in December and open next February.

Bill Evans, a spokesman for the Shubert Organization, said at the time of Mr. Wright’s death that most stagehands had not been working at the organization’s other theaters during the pandemic shutdown.

“We mourn the loss of our valued colleague,” he said in a statement. “Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family during this difficult time.”

Dylan Foley, who was a friend and co-worker of Mr. Wright’s, wrote in a Facebook tribute in November that Mr. Wright was “completely fearless in how he lived his life as a stagehand” and often did the work of three men.

“He had a dry wit, an unstoppable work ethic, and a trademarked grin,” Mr. Foley wrote. “If you asked for something from Pete, his line was, ‘For you, the grid’s the limit.’”

Broadway Set To Reopen August 4

According to The Washington Post Broadway will reopen August 4 with “Pass Over”, that must be coming from Britney Spears production in Washington D.C.

It looks like this Summer they’ll be one month of plays in New York before back to school.

LINK: https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/theater_dance/broadway-reopening-nwandu-play-pass-over/2021/06/01/c7c8ac86-c2e1-11eb-8c18-fd53a628b992_story.html

We’ve Been Up One Day

Since we’re new to Broadway I thought I’d get up early and check the newspapers to see if anyone noticed us, like to start copying our page for their Broadway page.

Like on the show Fame, their could be some crooked promotor watching our Fame promotion for their crooked one across town on the real Broadway, they could be stealing from us and then when we go down they won’t take our work.

So I checked to see if anyone put anything in the paper…what did it say?

Britney Spears just launched on Broadway at the same time as us, maybe she’s following this blog and then running down there to steal all my fans because I don’t have a box office yet like theirs.

LINK: https://thehill.com/changing-america/enrichment/arts-culture/556018-britney-spears-musical-will-make-pre-broadway-debut

STORY:

“””Musical theater and pop fans can rejoice because Broadway and Washington D.C.’s Shakespeare Theatre Company are coming together to bring dreams to life with “Britney Spears: Once Upon a One More Time,” The Washington Post reported on Thursday. 

“This is something so magical — it’s Shakespeare and Spears!” Shakespeare Theatre Company’s artistic director, Simon Godwin, said. 

The musical, to the stylings of Spears’ song catalogue, will surround a book club of fairytale characters — such as Snow White and Cinderella — who find themselves changed after reading “a feminist manifesto.”

Godwin said Nederlander producer Susan Bristow came to him with the idea months ago. “She came to us and said, ‘Can I share this idea with you?’” Godwin said. “I was delighted that people were identifying us as a space that they want to work with. I said, ‘Yes, I am all in.”

“Some folks might think it is a jukebox musical, but it is not,” he added of the musical. “This is taking classical stories and refashioning them. I felt there was a promise of excellence.”

While not directly involved, Godwin told The Washington Post that Spears gave her blessing for the show and he’s looking forward to see her reaction once it comes together.

“Once Upon a One More Time” will debut on Nov. 30 at Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Sidney Harman Hall and end Jan. 2, 2022. The hope is to bring the musical to the Nederlander-Organization Theater on Broadway once it has concluded its run in D.C.”””

Take it easy their Desdemona, I mean Washington D.C. come off it to get ready for Broadway.

I doubt they’d be able to help her much when she gets here anyway, like to our Broadway promotion.

They’ll probably be watching our Fame clips we post and trying to copy it for their show ahead of us, like on the show Fame itself…sitting in the office in Washington D.C. in their suit like their visiting the dance school or something on Fame, then stealing our dance moves for the big huge production across town.

I’d thought it just be some guy I would know, like downtown or something…then the same day I opened here Britney Spears got here.

It don’t matter, all her moves are probably from Kids From Fame anyway from her dance class tap books.