A little reminder that “live” ain’t dying anytime soon.
Every few months or so, someone rings the death knell for Broadway, and for theater in general. Antiquated, archaic . . . and a few other “A” words are bandied about by those who think they know better.
I usually counter their arguments with a statement like, “Theater has been around for thousands of years, and it is the foundation of every major form of live entertainment. We survived the invention of the radio, the invention of the television, and the invention of the internet . . . we’re not going away anytime soon.”
And I really do believe that. We may face more and more challenges as we sally forth into the 21st century, but we’ll be here.
I’d be telling a Pinocchio sized lie if I didn’t admit that sometimes, late at night, when I’m all alone and it’s dark because the marquees are all turned off, I do worry a bit about the future of the business that we all love so much. I’m human. We all have crises of faith sometimes, right?
Well, this weekend I got a little reminder from The Big Producer in the sky why we’re all safe and sound, provided we continue to adapt and refuse to stay satisfied.
Stay with me now . . .
This weekend I was sitting at a blackjack table at the Venetian in Las Vegas (waiting for the NTA conference to begin because Godspell was performing), watching my dealer shuffle up the cards, and deal out a hand to the three players. I got 10.
Before I asked for a hit from Kathy, my dealer who had been working at The V since it opened, I thought to myself . . . blackjack is a game that could be automated and computerized. It could be done faster, and without chips, and without a dealer.
And it wouldn’t be anywhere near as fun.
And that’s why casinos have table games versus just rooms full of slots . . . because people crave the live experience where anything can happen (I spilled Coke on the felt) and they love sharing that experience with other people.
So as Pit Boss Gary came over to my spot and helped me sop up my seat, I smiled.
Live isn’t going anywhere, I thought. No matter how much technology you throw at us.
And then Kathy dealt me another 10, for a 20, against her eventual bust and the entire table won.
And we all applauded.
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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.