proctors 2010- 2011
As a commercial season it should be a fantastic success. It consists of "Young Frankenstein" (Oct. 19-24), "White Christmas" (Nov. 23-28), "Fiddler on the Roof" (Jan. 4-9), "The Lion King" (Feb. 22-March 2o) and "Hair" (May 3-8).
Clearly the four-week run of "The Lion King" is the foundation for the season. Not only will it draw more than 80,000 people to the show itself and contribute to the economy of downtown Schenectady, it will help sell subscriptions to the entire season. A lot of people who subscribed to buy tickets for "Wicked" last season will renew this year. Many others who want to be able to purchase extra single tickets in order to bring little kids will subscribe for the first time. One of the beauties of family shows is the average ticket sale is for four or more people.
It doesn't hurt that the rest of the season is mostly attractive. Though "Young Frankenstein" wasn't a smash hit on Broadway, it is a pretty good show with a familiar title. "Fiddler on the Roof" is a classic and falls into the family musical category.
I'm not sure how "Hair" will draw but it should attract a younger than average audience, thus giving the season some balance. I was in NYC a couple of weeks ago and passed by the theater at which "Hair" was playing just as the performance ended. My companion urged me to peek inside the theater to see how many people ended the show dancing on stage. It was amazing to see the filled stage with audience members who didn't want to leave the theater. "Hair" could be the sleeper hit of the season.
And then there is "White Christmas." It's a bad show with a sappy script and a weak score. It exists simply to exploit the film that starred Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye. "White Christmas" is playing at the start of the holiday season - so it might do all right.
As I said, commercially it is a solid season. However, I can't help but wonder where are the plays with a little more substance. Just as we never got to see the tour of "August, Osage County," we probably won't see things like "God of Carnage." Thoughtful dramas just aren't commercial enough to sell in this market - which is fodder for a future blog.