Monday, May 24, 2010

YouTube on Broadway: The Tony Nominees, Part 4

Well, I was going to blog about the Tony nominated play commercials, and the only one I could find was for Red. Since I don't live in the New York City viewing area, I can't be sure that in fact the other plays even advertise on TV.  (If they do, please let me know!)

Anyway, here's a look at the TV spots for the 4 nominees for Best Musical Revival.  Very interesting...

Finian's Rainbow

This ad is so beautifully done, I am truly amazed that the show didn't catch on.  It shows you EXACTLY what you are going to get (ok, not set-wise.  Had they used this set...) in terms of old-fashioned Broadway tunes, a love story with two amazing looking people (Cheyenne Jackson and Kate Baldwin), and some witty comedy, here embodied by an actually funny Christopher Fitzgerald and the endlessly classy Jim Norton.  Not my favorite show, but this commercial is superb.  Maybe the best of the whole season.

Grade: A+

La Cage aux Folles

There were several to choose from, all of them brief, and all of them pretty much the same, but I chose this one because I think it is the best.  Like the advertising art, theshow has wiusely chosen neon color and exotic dancer-ish silohettes over the name "LA CAGE."  And using the catchy opening notes of "We Are What We Are" is also smart - it signals a musical and it is very catchy.  And this version captializes on the "American" draw of Kelsey Grammer.  And it is sleek and sexy without being sexual... another wise move... lure in those conservatives and get them to "open their eyes"!  That's a lot of impact for 16 seconds of advertising.

Grade: A+

A Little Night Music

Another commercial that hits all the right spots.  This show is spare, but romantic, moody and theatrical.  The montage of scenes clearly highlights those aspects.  The ad also highlights its three strongest assets - Oscar winner Catherine Zeta-Jones, theatre legend, and here, more importantly, a famous TV star, Angela Lansbury.  Its most famous song, "Send in the Clowns,"  is the score to the commercial, and they are wise to have popped up a few quotes.  Competition for theatre dolars was very stiff this season.  Produced by the same folks that did La Cage, they did very well again with just 16 seconds of airtime.

Grade: A+


Setting aside my personal issues with this production (if you follow this blog, you know what I mean) wasn't easy, but I didn't like Finian's Rainbow or Million Dollar Quartet and I still managed to rave about their excellent TV spot.  I say this because I don't want you to assume I don't like the ad because I feel scorned by the production.  I don't like the ad because it 1) makes the whole thing seem so political - I know that is a huge element of the show, but not really what I want to spend $136 on for a musical and 2) when it finally gets to the show itself, I'm thinking I'm already turned off by what preceeded it or I'm thinking yikes! It's like going back to school again.  Had the whole spot been like the last half, I'd have loved it or at least respected it more.  Is Ronald Reagan/Hillary Clinton/Barack Obama really the way to go when you can't get people to buy a ticket to your show?  OK, I realize it came from DC, but really, even if Congress, the Obamas and the Suprem Court showed up all in one night, they wouldn't even sell out the orchestra seats at the Neil Simon.  There have to be other ways to show that this musical is important, historical AND entertaing, right?  WHAT WERE THEY THINKING??!!

Grade: D+ (+ for attempting to show the piece is serious... most musical would avoid that like the plague!)

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