If Theatre Were Marketed Like Football
Raise your hand if you'd like to see Jake Gylenhall in Sunday in the Park With George at City Center? Keep it up if you looked at the ticket prices, factored in tolls, parking in the city (or train tickets), and the cost of a babysitter and still want to go.
Is your hand up?
Mine isn't. I'm all for paying top dollar for once in a lifetime shows. But, to an avid theatre-goer like me, once in a lifetime shows happen at least once a season. And there's no in between. You either go to the show or you don't.
Broadway vs Football
Remember over the summer when we could pay a fee and watch She Loves Me? So fun, right? I'd always wanted to see the show. For $20 I had a great night with my mom and my sister watching that show. It was a Tony nominated show out that season and it was available at a reasonable price.
This occurred to me today. Why isn't there a way that we can watch Broadway shows the way that most of America watches football? I'd gladly pay a premium price in order to be able to watch the shows all season. Think about how much theater you'd be exposed to if you made a point to watch a couple of shows on Sunday, one on Monday, and one on Thursday?
I'd even settle for a package where I would see three musicals and three dramas of the season. Maybe an Off-Broadway one in there. As long as you can guarantee me at least one Tony nominee in each category I'd be pleased.
Yes, I know BroadwayHD exists, but you'd be hard pressed to find a show there from the last three Broadway seasons let alone from the current one.
Does Broadway Make NFL Money?
Probably not. I'm not big on math, but my guess is the answer is no. Not only that but there are multiple producing entities in the theater, and the NFL is the only football "producer." (Note: I love the idea of thinking of the NFL as a "football producer.") My guess is, though, if there is money to be made, some producers are going to find a way to make it work.
Is there money to be made in the theater? Not right now. But hold on there, as I'm sure you've noticed, theater is having a moment. The Tony Awards were the most watched in fifteen years, Lin-Manuel Miranda hosted SNL - a feat no other purely Broadway kiddo has done, and BroadwayCon has grown considerably from last year.
All I'm saying is, let's get New York theater into more homes. The technology is there. The interest certainly is. Now is the time.
Oh, and I'd like to get a cut of the royalties when it does come to fruition.