Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dog Eat Dog: Crappy Backpack with Souvenir Program

I’m a 32 year old straight man. What the heck do I want with a cheap vinyl/plastic/whatever backpack with Legally Blonde: The Musical written on it? Honestly. What am I supposed to do with it? Tell me. I’m at a loss. I was halfway forced into paying $10 for it, so I at least want to know what I can do with it.

Even if I did want a Legally Blonde: The Musical backpack, what the heck would it hold—tissue paper? I think trying to carry two thick books and a cell phone would be too much stress on the “fabric” of this backpack.

I thought it was preposterous when Disney forced you to shell out $20 to buy a Tarzan souvenir program with a paperish Tarzan tote bag. But at least Disney had the class to make the souvenir program something special—extra thick with beautiful studio photographs of the actors. Even if the show wasn’t too hot, the program was at least worth $15 of the $20 you had to pay.

If you were not aware, the latest trend seems to be—on the road at least—to force anyone who wants to buy a souvenir program to pay $20 to get a program (the same ones that were formerly $10) AND a stupid logo backpack. Make that, a stupid and worthless logo backpack.

I always get the programs because I am a Broadway nut and want to remember the experience. I love looking back on my collection of programs from The Music Man, Aida, Les Miserables and remembering the evening I had. At the same time, when you’ve just dished out $80 for a Broadway tour, you have to be conscious of the price of things. I can’t believe that the average Broadway tour attendee who typically buys a program is going to be dedicated enough to pay extra to get the backpack. Face it, of the thousands of people who pack a touring house every stop, how many of them are really going to walk around with a Legally Blonde: The Musical backpack?

If producers really think people want these backpacks, then they should sell them separately for $10. Until that happens, I think we need to acknowledge what they really are—pieces of crap lobbed onto a popular souvenir item to gouge the audience member even more.

Shame on you, producers (namely Legally Blonde: The Musical and A Chorus Line) for gouging your audience members. I hope it bites you in the butt.

the Broadway Mouth
June 30, 2009

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