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Posts Tagged ‘Robert Lopez’

Well, per all the links below, THE BOOK OF MORMON, the irreverent musical by South Park creators, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, with Robert Lopez of AVENUE Q fame, is a huge Broadway smash. Though I have not seen it yet, I know from those who have, as well as the reviews, one of which describes the show as “blasphemous, scurrilous and more foul-mouthed than David Mamet on a blue streak” that much of the content is far from squeaky clean.

Assuming the capitalization and weekly operating costs for this production are not inconceivably high, there is a decent chance that THE BOOK OF MORMON will hang in there long enough to eventually be a commercial success in New York given the reviews and positive word of mouth.

But what about on The Road?

THE BOOK OF MORMON and other shows that have opened, or will soon be opening this season, are going to be considered for the 2012-2013 touring season, and, in early May, presenters from around the country will be descending on New York for The Spring Road Conference where they will have a chance to take in THE BOOK OF MORMON and all the other new offerings. I believe the presenters who truly like THE BOOK OF MORMON will be in a difficult position. Can they safely offer it on subscription and risk possibly alienating the loyal base that they’ve cultivated?  And what will be the producers’ marketing strategy be prior to going on The Road? As with other shows with less mainstream subject matter that also lacked a “brand name” title, the THE BOOK OF MORMON producers will likely need to begin building strong name recognition and enough audience support for this show on a national level pretty far ahead of a tour if they hope to be able to court enough presenters to create a viable routing scenario. A critical and artistic success in New York does not often equal financial success on The Road. The Equity tour of SPRING AWAKENING, for example, had its challenges, per this article in The St. Petersberg Times about the play at the Straz Center in Tampa Bay.

The commercial touring industry is a business after all, and yet, at the same time, The Road needs to offer fresh, edgy shows of quality, otherwise this country will one day end up permanently thinking that the theatre is made up only of blockbusters and revivals, and that outcome would certainly be ungodly.

THE BOOK OF MORMON reviews:

THE NEW YORK TIMES

WASHINGTON POST

LOS ANGELES TIMES

NY DAILY NEWS

TIME OUT NEW YORK

ROLLING STONE

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