Saturday, December 10, 2011

LOGOS: On a Clear Day You Can See Forever

OK, I'll admit it.  At least part of the reason I got a ticket to On a Clear Day You Can See Forever is because I wanted to see Harry Connick, Jr., and that is because I want to see what all the hubbub was about when he made such a splash in The Pajama Game a few years ago.  There are several other reasons I got a ticket, though, and all of them more important to me than seeing Harry.  I'm curious to see what one of my favorite directors can do with such a messy, but fascinating piece.  I really enjoyed David Turner in In My Life (yes, I actually saw it, and it was fascinating - bad, but fascinating) and I'd like to really see him shine like he could.  But mostly, I'm going because I want to be able to say that for two seasons in a row, I saw every new musical and musical revival with its original cast this season.

David Turner (left) and Harry Connick, Jr, (right)
What is it with the flowers?

It might be the time for some full disclosure - and this might surprise some of my most regular readers - I have barely looked into this show.  I just bought the ticket for the reasons outlines above.  What I do know is that it has something to do with the 50's or 60's, a psychiatrist, past lives and, in this version something gender-bending and gay.  So I come to this as completely unaware as I have ever been, and probably still know more than your average ticket buyer.  So the ad REALLY needs to work!

Which show are we seeing this season?

Now I think producers and ad people would be NUTS to cater their ads to fans idiots like me.  And I think it smart to really push the Connick, Jr. angle, as he is the bankable part of the equation.  Only really hard core theatre fans consider the director and a barely famous co-star selling points.  But, to use that angle and that angle only, is really not a great choice, either.  It negates the entire real reason he's on the marquee - the show.  Otherwise, one might easily assume you are seeing Harry Connick, Jr.: On Broadway in the Clear Day Tour.  One might even ask, "Did Harry make an album of Broadway cover tunes?"

The logo

And, unfortunately, that's exactly what the powers that be did with their logo.  Harry.  Check.  The Broadway musical he's in. No check.

What they got right:
  • Harry Connick, Jr. smiling, in that self-deprecating crooked grin way that makes him both handsome and accessible.  
  • And the light blue color (on the marquee version, anyway) does suggest a clear blue sky.

The rest leaves me with some major questions:
  • Why does the title look like one of letters criminals make by cutting out letters and words from different magazines?
  • Why are there stemless flowers everywhere?  Is Harry playing a florist?  
  • If Harry is a florist, why is he wearing a suit?
  • Hmm... why are those flowers in a heart shape that is bigger than Harry?  Ah.  There must be love songs.
  • I've heard the song, "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever."  In fact, I saw Harry sing it on Dancing with the Stars.  Is he promoting a new album?
In short, the mildly handsome (shirtless Harry might sell more tickets) Connick, Jr. dominates, along with a bizarre amount of flowers on a logo that suggests the Unabomber meets Love Story.  It tells me nothing about the show or why, unless I'm a fan of his, I should stop at the St. James Theatre box office.  Especially when I can take my money right across the street to the Broadhurst, where the marquee tells me a wildly sexy guy with real Broadway street cred is Back on Broadway and giving a concert.  Clear at first glance, that show knows how to sell tickets to the casual passerby.

Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway logo: A+

On a Clear Day You Can See Forever logo: D- (They get points for selling Harry.)

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