What Broadway has in common with crossword puzzles.

I did something crazy the other day.

I read a newspaper.

Not a kindle version.  Not the .com version.  No.  I picked up and read an actual, ink comes off on your fingers, NY Times.  (I didn’t pay for it, however – it came to my hotel room door, so there’s that.)

As I turned and folded the big gray pages, I couldn’t help but notice the large section devoted to The Crossword Puzzle.  That sucker takes up a lot of space!  And it’s space that could be sold as advertising.  Certainly they could shrink the puzzle a bit, and squeeze in another 1 x 2.

But nope.  The Puzzle, as well as a couple of other word games, just sits there like a big, old, stubborn bull, basking in the sunlight on a warm summer day.

Obviously that Puzzle is popular.  Seriously popular.  (And if you don’t believe me, watch this doc.)

And, here’s the kicker . . . obviously that puzzle is even more popular in print than online.

Let me ask you . . . if you had a choice of doing the puzzle on your computer . . . or by grabbing a pencil (or a pen, if you think you’re a real smarty), and digging in, which would you choose?

You’d go with the paper version, wouldn’t you?  You’d choose the live, tactile, problem solving, paper version, over the impersonal, tech version, even if it included clues and easy deletes, and so on, right?

Same goes for chess.  Any chess players out there?  Which would you rather play with, a friend . . . a 2-D flat screen computer version?  Or would you rather feel those pieces in your hand, and watch your opponent furrow his or her brow over those 64 squares right in front of you?

How about board games?  Or cards?

See where I’m going with this?

Despite the supreme technological advances over the past 10 years . . . there are certain things that people would still rather do live . . . no matter how much easier they are made for us online.  And that ain’t gonna change.

And the theater is the same.

Sure, pretty soon we’ll be able to get entertainment beamed to just about any device we want, anywhere in the world, at any time (Google Glass, anyone?).

But in my mind, that will only make what we do more rare, and therefore more valuable.

We’re just as stubborn as the big, old, crossword puzzle, and I don’t think we’ll ever get out of the paper.

Unless the paper disappears out from under us entirely.


(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below! Email Subscribers, click here then scroll down to say what’s on your mind!)
_ _


– VOTE for the 2nd Annual Broadway Marketing Awards!  Click here!

– Only 22 performances of Macbeth remain!  Get tix.

– Win two tickets to First Date on Broadway!  Click here!

Related Posts


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.