Friday, November 25, 2011

Broadway on 34th Street: 2011 Edition

Those of you who follow this blog regularly know that every Thanksgiving morning, my sister, brother-in-law and I sit down to watch The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Broadway segments.  I like to gauge their success or failure by their reactions to the numbers.  I've trained them to forgive sound issues, which aren't the fault of the performers, but other than that they get no prompting or coaching from me as to which they should like or not like.  My thinking is this: aren't these segments really there to promote the shows and ticket sales?  And how better to judge their appeal than by asking potential ticket buyers who only get to see the parade or the Tonys or the night time talk shows as their exposure to Broadway?

Before I continue, let me direct you to last year's Thanksgiving and the opening paragraph of that blog: HERE.

With that in mind, here's how things played out yesterday:

We sit down and my brother-in-law says, "So, let me guess.  All the shows are based on movies, right?"  Maybe should have stopped right there, huh?

Disney's Newsies

  • Performance: "King of New York"
  • Brother-in-Law: "I know I've seen this before.  Isn't it funny that the song they chose promotes underage smoking and drinking?"
  • Me: "Yeah, and it's a Disney show, too!"
  • Sister: "I think it looks good.  The song is catchy and the girl is good."
  • Would they buy a ticket: Probably.

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

  • Performance: "Brotherhood of Man"
  • Brother-in-law: "I didn't know Harry Potter could sing."
  • Sister: (After about 35 seconds of the song) "He can't."
  • Overall Assessment: They agreed that they'd be curious to see Daniel Radcliffe.  And they both said the dancing looked pretty amazing.
  • Would they buy a ticket: Maybe, if there weren't any available for Newsies, Priscilla or Spider-man.

Sister Act

  • Performance: "Spread the Love Around"
  • Sister: "Dancing nuns are always fun."
  • Brother-in-law: "I can't understand a word they are singing.  Is that supposed to be Whoopi Goldberg?  Nice try, lady!"  Good use of the overhead camera when they formed the big cross.
  • Overall Assessment: Not different enough than the movie, and not as good.  "I'll rent the video.  It is cheaper."
  • Would they buy a ticket: Nope.

Priscilla Queen of the Desert

  • Performance: "I Love the Nightlife"/"I Will Survive"
  • Brother-in-law: "Another movie turned into a show!"
  • Sister: "Oh!  I love disco music!"
  • Overall Assessment: "The costumes are amazing!"  "Is that REALLY a guy (Tony Sheldon)?"  "That looks like fun!"
  • Would they buy a ticket: Sister: Definitely.  Brother-in-law: Probably.

Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark

  • Performance: A medley of songs from the show.
  • Brother-in-law: "Is this just the movie on stage?" "Damn, those villains look cool!  Spider-man really flies right over your head?"
  • Sister: "I never really liked U2, but the songs sound modern and cool.  Peter Parker is HOT!"
  • Overall Assessment: They were so interested in it from what they saw that we talked about it for 20 minutes.
  • Would they buy a ticket: Definitely.

And there you have it... score one for the web-slinger, the drag queens with the bus, and the turn of the century news boys.  Sorry, sisters.

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