Thursday, January 08, 2009


A Broadway producer interviewed as part of an "All Things Considered" segment last night was quoted as saying, "There was a time, I think in the '70s, when there were only eight or nine shows on Broadway. And that was a crisis. And this will be a crisis, as well." Those of you who wore black for Broadway this past weekend have probably heard plenty of this kind of crisis talk.

I can't help but think this is a bit overblown. Yes, maybe there won't be as many shows that are so sold-out that you need to make reservations a year in advance (or pray for TKTS or lottery opportunities) and maybe ticket prices won't be so high and maybe more marginal productions (looking at you "Young Frankenstein") may not go up. But among my chief beefs with Broadway are shows are so sold-out you can't get a decent ticket and, when you do, it's insanely expensive. And I don't go to NYC often enough but I have heard from others that they've been disappointed by some bally-hooed shows.

So maybe not a crisis but a needed correction? Something to think about.

In the meantime, NPR has done a couple of shows re: "West Side Story" in the past month, this recent one on the original production, and this one from last month on the new production. Enjoy! And don't hold back from weighing in on the post below which seems to have gotten a least a few folks a little het up.


Anonymous said...

While the show closings in NYC are a trickle down of the economic downturn, they are also a direct effect of similar Wall Street practices of not caring as long as they turn a profit. Bubbles are bursting everywhere in order to correct themselves. They way things were done can't be done anymore. From an employment standpoint, things will stink, for sure. But right now, employment stinks all over. Broadway isn't anybody special as far as that's concerned. In fact, they need to make it so Broadway IS somebody special again instead of just relying on her name.

Anonymous said...

Theatre needs to be made available to families, and the common working american. There is no reason tickets should be $121.00 a pop. Stop producing $20 million shows. There's just no need for that, especially if the material is awful, and it doesn't last more than 5 months on Broadway. When people can begin to see theater as a regular cultural outing, and not something that only wealthy folks can afford, perhaps the economy of the stage will correct itself in New York, and elsewhere.