Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Preparing a National Tour: Don't They Always?

It's the cliche of cliches. A big show closes on Broadway without turning a profit, and the press release announces that the producers are planning a tour.

Isn't that kind of like saying tomorrow you'll start that diet, next week, you really will get to the gym three times, or you will really stop watching so much television?

It's the biggest letdown of any closing for the millions of Broadway fans not living near Broadway, this big, empty promise of a tour, the tour that never happens.

Perhaps a better idea would be to tour first, then get to Broadway. I'm not a Broadway economist, so I'm sure there are a thousand reasons why its not economically feasible, but a big, lush show like A Tale of Two Cities with instant name recognition must stand a strong chance of finding an audience on the road, particularly with an advertising slogan like "Pre-Broadway Engagement." It would give creators a chance to really work on the show with a variety of audiences, get feedback from a variety of critics (including those from the Variety) before heading into New York. Plus, they would make some money, money, money while doing so.

Historically, there isn't much hope that A Tale of Two Cities will actually tour, which is a tragedy. It seems like the type of show middle America would eat up (remember, they always went for shows like Les Miserables and The Phantom of the Opera).

Now, I can only hope someone somewhere steps up to record the show. If The Pirate Queen can get recorded, there must be someone somewhere willing to put this down on CD for posterity. There are record companies out there whose goal seems to be to preserve shows that otherwise would not get recorded. It didn't help get Cry-Baby out (a score I would love to hear), and statistically it's not looking to good for this one either.

the Broadway Mouth
November 5, 2008

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