Recent Posts

Monday, May 16, 2005


Why is it that almost every new show on Broadway is ramping up for tours? First I hear that Maureen McGovern is taking Little Women on tour ("wow, what I great idea" I think...then I hear Dirty Rotten Scoundrels will be coming to a town to con us soon...then there's the upcoming national tours of Brooklyn and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Whew! So basically all of the shows I saw in NY (sans Spelling Bee...sorry folks, I ran out of time!) are touring in the coming months. This is a new concept to me. Gone are the days of anticipation waiting not-so-patiently for the hot ticket on Broadway to roll by on a truck near you. Gone is the impossibility of getting a glimpse of what all the cool kids in New York are talking about. If I was lucky, I got the opportunity to see the 1 or 2 commercially successful shows rolling into a semi-theatre-centric town like LA. Don't get me wrong, I'm excited to see Wicked and was ecstatic that after a good 2-3 years I finally got to see The Full Monty and Thoroughly Modern Millie. Why did it take so long for those shows to come to me when I couldn't get to them? Why now though do I feel like audiences are being immediately gratified with what is "hot" in New York now?

Hopefully, these impending tours will not only expose new audiences to musical theatre, but will also give new life to the cast recording...a musical genre that is possibly nearing extinction in a world filled with the modern and ever-popular world of the likes of Usher and Jessica Simpson (both of whom I like thank-you-very-much). Maybe this is a trick (and a fine one I might add) by the League of American Theatres & Producers to expose more audiences to live theatre. I'm not complaining...I only wish I understood this sudden surge of interest to tour a new show.

There is no denying though, that the quality of touring shows is sub-par as compared to it's older more complex and permanant sibling on the Great White Way. A touring show can never compare to original production (especially if it began on Broadway or even the West End) but it gives it's audience a glimpse into the magic and beauty of live theatre. I assume the average America citizen doesn't typically go to a lot of theatre because it's either too pricey or just not of why not give your audience what it's after -- something big, bold exciting and entertaining. Show them what theatre can be...reel them in so-to-speak and then sparkle thieir interest with the possibility of hope andd excitement in song and in show and hope that life for the moment they were in the theatre moved them somehow.

After reading that last paragraph, I would have even assumed I was a big advocate of the over-produced, over-budgeted, over-hyped Disney musical experience. One would hope that a theatre supporter would support almost all forms of theatre. Sadly, this one does not. I will continue my soapbox tomorrow...right now, I have to stop (for several reasons). The main reason I cannot babble on is because I fear I am saying too much and saying much too much that makes zero sense because I've been up for almost 20 hours working. Wow, that seemed like a doozy of a paragraph, so I will stop for now...and pick up where I left off tomorrow.


Terry Finley said...

I love musicals and the theater. Thanks for the update.

The best to you.

Terry Finley

Related Posts with Thumbnails