Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Business Of Bway

I’d be more inclined to protect these investors if the investors had a little better sense of theatre. If they knew more of David Merrick and less of Rupert Murdock we wouldn’t be loading in shows the likes of Festen, Lestat, or The Pirate Queen. Never heard of them. It’s because they didn’t last very long, They weren’t very good. As the Broadway expression goes, “people stayed away in droves.”
The investors could go to the NYC Public Library, go to the classics section and begin their theatre education there. Instead they seem to have developed their theatrical investing style out of the Daily Racing Form or the craps table in Atlantic City. Roll the dice and make big money. What they also seem to fail to understand is that while they may be risking their disposable income on a long shot, the actors, stagehands, dressers, musicians, ushers and others who make this magic happen (and no, a flying car is not magic) are risking mortgage payments, tuition payments, credit card payments, food shopping and other trivial items when we make a commitment to spend six nights and eights shows a week on this turkey for months at a time, even before it opens.
The biggest difference seems to be that we went into this transient business knowing that every show closes, there would be times when we have to scramble for work, that we would work on turkeys. When we “don’t send your laundry out.” We also make the big money possible. We run the Phantoms, the Les Miz’s, The Lion Kings, the Miss Saigon's, the Chorus Lines for six nights a week, 52 weeks a year in small, cramped, often outdated theatres. At home and on the road.
If these investors would spend as much time reading the Bard was well as Barron’s they would know that Life is but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more. Understand the business better, understand the art better and you’ll make better investments.
We know what we are, but not what we may be.

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