Our Audience’s habits changed. Should our schedule?

If you are in the habit of doing something every day, getting up at 5 AM, going to the gym, etc, you’re likely to keep doing it.

If you skip a day . . . even one day . . . you’ll have a harder time getting back into your routine.

If you skip 2-3 years? Boy oh boy is it going to be hard to get going again.

It’s physics. An object in motion tends to stay in motion. An object on the couch tends to stay on the couch.

In case you haven’t figured it out, I’m talking about our audience. If the average customer came to see a Broadway show 2-3 times a year before the pandemic, what can we expect of them now?

They didn’t skip a month of theatergoing. They skipped 2-3 years!

Their habits changed.

A majority don’t go to their office on Fridays. They aren’t planning in advance.

And my research shows . . . they are looking for more matinees.

Which makes me think . . . Broadway has been set in its 8 show a week schedule for decades upon decades. That number 8, by the way, is totally arbitrary . . . set during a totally different supply and demand era (there were fewer things competing for an audience’s attention back then.)

But I’m not saying we should adjust the number of performances we do (not in this article, anyway), but what if we started looking at different performance times?

I know I love going to London and being able to catch a show at an odd time . . . Friday at 5, let’s say . . . which allows me to sneak another show into my usual three day visit.

We rarely mix our schedule up . . . and what happens is that these times were set for a different audience in a different decade! Is it time to shake it up now?

I’m going to.

Starting September 6th, A Beautiful Noise: The Neil Diamond Musical is going to have FOUR matinees per week. Yep, 50% of our performances will be matinees.

We’ve got Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday . . . and THURSDAY at 2 as well.

We will be the only Broadway show with Thursday matinees.

Until Harmony opens, that is. Because Harmony starts Thursday matinees on Thursday, November 30, 2023.

And then there will be two.

How will they do?

I don’t know yet. Stick around and I’ll report the results here. But I’m betting that even if those performances don’t sell out, they will do better than the Wednesday evening performance they replaced.

What do you think? Do you like matinees? What performance schedule would you like to see?

And if you are looking for a show to see on a Thursday at 2, come see A Beautiful Noise or Harmony!

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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.