Is Broadway becoming a bazaar?

Have you ever been to a bazaar?

It’s an incredibly unique experience.  (Can we all take a second to recognize that the word bazaar has three vowels, and all of them As?  Weird.)

Bazaars are bustling marketplaces where vendors hawk their wares, often at discounts, trying to out-discount their neighbors to close the sale.  They are most famously located in the Middle East.

But we’ve got our own versions all over this country as well, like Pike Place Market in Seattle, where the fish literally fly, and even Wolff’s Flea Market in Illinois.

And maybe even Broadway?

With all the discount offers flying into inboxes every day, it’s starting to feel like Broadway has become a virtual bazaar, with each show trying to out-discount the other online.  (And if you’ve been to Times Square lately, with all its street teams and promoters, it’s starting to feel like an actual bazaar.)

What’s the problem?

Most bazaars are tourist attractions.  If you’ve never been, you should go.  They are fun, energetic, exciting . . . for about an hour.

After that, it gets to be a little much, as each vendor relentlessly pushes their products, trying to capture the sale no matter what the cost.

And that’s when the consumer just wants to go home . . . probably with a headache.

Broadway is dangerously close to bazaar-like overload, especially with the influx of private sale sites (Groupon, etc.) popping up offering daily deals.

Yes, our consumers want discounts, and yes we should give them what they want, but if we’re not careful, we could end up pushing them away.

It can be fixed, but only by a few of our players.

In the traditional business world, when there are too many competitors in the market, one gobbles up the other before the market gets oversaturated.

And that’s what needs to happen here.  We don’t have enough buy-outs and mergers, and we need one.

Someone needs to go, but get rewarded for it, before Broadway starts looking bizarre.  (See, three vowels, but they are all different letters!)

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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.