3 Reasons This Week Would Have Sucked On Broadway Anyway.

I’d give anything to have Broadway up and running again.

Wait.  Hold the cell phone.

I forgot the #1 lesson about making wishes like that.  You have to be veeeeeery specific.

Take #2.

I’d give anything to have a healthy Broadway up and running again.  And by healthy, I mean safe from Covid.  And strong at the box office.

And we can’t come back, and I predict we won’t come back, until we have both.  (For my actual, to-the-day prediction of when Broadway will return, click here.)

Which takes me today’s blog . . .

Even though I’d consider giving up a toe to have audiences in our theaters again, I’m kinda glad I don’t have anything running this week.

Because this week would have been a @#$%-show at the box office.

Here are three reasons why.

  1.  Trick or Treat X 2 Halloween always puts a spell on our box office.  Last year in the same frame (remember last year?), grosses dropped 8.4% from the previous week.  And this year?  Halloween was on a Saturday, which means we would have been tricked TWICE:  once at the matinee and once for the evening?And the Sunday matinee wouldn’t have been so great either, as everyone rested the morning after the spooky revelry.Why is Halloween so disappointing at our box office?  It’s a combo, actually . . . between people going to parties, parades and taking their little ones to gather up candies and veggie crisps (the new Kit Kat, apparently), and people NOT wanting to go to parties and parades for fear of getting tricked themselves!
  2. Falling Back Makes Our Box Office Do The Same It seems like such a small thing. It’s one hour. And in the fall, you “gain” the hour, getting a touch more sleep.  So why does it screw us up so much?  It’s just as much psychological as it is physical.  Not only do our clocks feel a touch out of whack, but the fall daylight savings time screams to us that “winter is coming.”  And that drives us all inside.  There’s a subliminal “batten down the hatches” message that comes along with it.  And we’d rather stay inside . . . and not inside a Broadway theater.(And yeah, springing forward six months later has the same strange effect.)
  3. Is there something happening on Tuesday? And here’s the elephant and the donkey in the room.  The election.  Or should I say THE election.This is the biggest election we’ve seen in modern history in SO many ways, including sucking up any and all air space, and the ability of all of us to think of anything else.  I predicted that we were going to see a correction this year, and this was one of the reasons why.  But it would have been even worse than I imagined.One of the reasons why is the amount of advertising spent on the campaign, to the tune of 10.8 BILLION bucks.  Hard for any other advertising to get through when political ads are everywhere (and some scaring the you-know-what out of you – as they should).

    And what would have made it worse?  Everyone is predicting a count that goes on past election day, which would have paralyzed our audience’s mind and their desire to purchase tickets.

There are few blessings in the midst of this Broadway shut down.  But every morning I tried to find at least one.  Today’s is that I’m actually glad I don’t have any shows running this week.

– – – – –

The good news is that when the election is over, the tension is released, and we start to focus on what we need to focus on again.  And in this case, that’s making theater in our new world. There’s only 12 days until The TheaterMakers Summit, when 100 of Broadway’s Best will talk about how we can do just that.  Will you be a part of that conversation? Click here.

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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.