So, first of all, wow. My little rant on the closing of The Scottsboro Boys got us a bit more attention than we’re used to on this blog.
And by “a bit”, I mean “an assload”.
Thanks to everybody who read the post, and especially to those who shared it and/or commented. I really appreciate it. Mostly because it gave me an excuse to use the word assload.
Apparently I wasn’t the only one who waited until the last minute to catch the show, as ticket sales jumped to 97% during its final week. The buzz surrounding the show at its closing has apparently also prompted producer Barry Weissler to consider bringing it back for a limited spring engagement.
It’s an interesting move, with the show’s official website asking fans to pledge their intention to buy a $99 ticket to the show should it return.
Now, I (like many of you, I’m sure) am about as broke as broke could possibly be, and am therefore pretty loath to shell out $100 for 90 minutes of just about anything. I don’t think I’ve paid that much to see a Broadway show since I moved to New York. Thank God for rush tickets, comps, and TDF.
However, in this case, I’m more than willing to make an exception. And it’s not just because I’d look like a complete hypocrite if I didn’t.
Here’s the way I see it: I firmly believe that Broadway can be about more than big budget, splashy musical comedies. I fully understand that today’s Broadway is a commercial enterprise and that, for the most part, that means shows aimed at the tourist crowd and that, for the most part, that means splashy musical comedies. I don’t really have a problem with that. In fact, I enjoy a well-done splashy musical comedy as much as anybody.
But I think that Broadway has the potential to be about something more, too. I know that there is an audience out there (some of whom may even be tourists, gasp) who want to see rich, provocative musical theatre, and that that audience is large enough to support a show in a smaller Broadway house, even if it’ll never outsell Slippery When Wet: The Bon Jovi Story: The Musical! (which, incidentally I would definitely pay to see).
If my $99 can help to prove that point while simultaneously helping The Scottsboro Boys to reach a broader audience, then it’s a much better investment than most of the crap I spend $99 on.
Also, how cool is it that, in the age of social media and the internet, we as potential audience members can have this direct of an effect on a show’s future?
So, yes, Mr. Weissler, if you bring The Scottsboro Boys back to Broadway, I will forgo the three beers or whatever a hundred bucks will get me in a New York bar these days, and ante up for a chance to support a work that deserves to be seen.
This pledge is a rare chance to make a statement about my belief in the potential of musical theatre. And that, to me, is worth the money.