Archive for the ‘Technical’ Category

SPIDERMAN - WSJNow that it’s lights out for the most expensive show in Broadway history, SPIDERMAN – TURN OFF THE DARK after a widely reported troubled run, does the show have a chance of spinning a new web somewhere else?


Check out this article in The New Yorker  that discusses ways of making lemonade out of a Broadway lemon. One of the ways is on The Road. I talked a bit about this in a recent post. The New Yorker article broad strokes things a bit about The Road, as making any show that goes out on tour a commercial success — Broadway flop or Broadway success — depends on a combination of smart producing, thoughtful season programming, attentive day to day management, and expert tour marketing. These missing details aside, however, there are plenty of useful takeaways here. Especially the reminder that “Theatre is a business, yes, but it’s a weird one.”

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This recent article talks specifically about WICKED as it rolls into the Capitol Theatre in Salt Lake City and the number of trucks needed for the size of the tour. It is also a reminder, though, that theatre on The Road clearly remains popular and generates enough revenue to the extent that the Capitol Theatre will be spending millions of dollars in renovations to upgrade the facility. Guess SLC really wants to give THE BOOK OF MORMON a warm welcome should the musical ring on its doorbell for the 2013-14 season.

Now, if we can only get State governments and the Federal government to spend more money upgrading American roads! Upgrading roads could potentially be helpful with making certain bad jumps from one market to another more realistic, and ultimately save both the presenter and the show on OT labor costs…


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You would have to have been living under a rock if you haven’t read at least one article about the technical complications confronting SPIDER-MAN: TURN OF THE DARK. The team will be making some adjustments to the show shortly, though I suspect the technical aspects will remain in place, or nearly so, despite the well-publicized issues.

Presuming this is the case, I’ll go out on a limb (wearing a safety harness, of course) and say the likelihood of this show going out on a National Tour anytime soon will be slim to none. Shows that go on The Road generally need to be more scaled down than what they were on Broadway for logistical, as well as financial reasons. That said, shows that go on The Road also need to retain a certain level of quality when it comes to the technical if the nature of the show demands it.

But how much is too much, or how little is too little? How much does a Road audience know or care about whether or not they are getting all the bells and whistles of the Broadway show version? Is it unfair to The Road audience for a producer to remove certain elements of spectacle? How much does a Road audience need to be impressed for the price they are paying?

Some of these questions are posed in this The Philadelphia Inquirer feature on the Philadelphia engagement of MARY POPPINS, along with other observations and experiences related to incorporating challenging and expensive technical requirements to shows built for The Road.

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