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Survey of Musical Theatre- Final Exam

TCU Texas Christian University Final Exam Survey of Musical Theatre 1990's-Present Robert James
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1990's Broadway
Still In Trouble:
Half Theaters Dark, Economy sucks, Bad ideas, Critics call broadway "dead", few long running american hits, british invasion coming to a close
Disney and Beauty and the Beast
Comes to broadway with Beauty and the Beast(1994)
5,000+ performances, began in Houston, 9 Tony Nominations, only 1 win
Broadway Renovation- The New 42
1990 renovation begins, redevelop 7 theaters (the entire block between 7 and 8 ave)
revamped from gross porn to Broadway as we know it
Disney Steps in to Save Broadway
opened doors for corporate America!!!!
1993 Renovates New Amsterdam Theater- cost $34 million, disney paid $8 million
99- year lease, re-opens with the Lion King
Ragtime
1998, ran 2 years
Transition of US, from WASP to multicultural
Ford Center was renovated specially for ragtime(it was a combo of two theaters)
Theatre now JINXED
Show ended when producers mismanaged funds and ran out of money, should've run longer
NEW Gershwin Musicals
Songs of his were discovered in a NJ warehouse
My One and Only
Crazy for You
Nice Work if You Can Get it
Cinderella
Cameron Mackintosh
British invasion mega-producer
Trips with Aspects of Love 1990
soap opera of musical beds
cabaret like production
failed
Miss Saigon
Based on a Puccini Opera
Madama Butterfly
Features Ultimate sacrifice and misunderstanding between cultures
$37 million advance ticket sale, critic proof, ran 10 years in 11 languages
Fight with AEA
Actors Equity Union
pitched a fit in Miss Saigon that a white actor was hired for an Asian role
AEA eventually backed down and Mackintosh promised to hire an asian as the next performer in this role
Contemporary Sound
Broadway still searches for contemporary sound
Rock Musicians being used as new composer(Elton John, Billy Joel, The Who, Paul Simon)
The Who- Tommy 1993
began as rock opera to concert version to film and finally broadway
Pinball wizard- blind after watching his dad kill his mother's lover
Sequels
ALWAYS FAIL
Annie 2
Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public
Nostalgia
works on broadway
Fosse(Jukebox musical of Bob Fosse choreography)
Crazy for You(features Gershwin Music)
Revivals
continue to fill the gap
Chicago, Cabaret, Guys and Dolls, Grease, Annie Get Your Gun, Showboat, Carousel, King and I
Chicago Revival
first time- unsuccessful
revival 17.5 years going strong
opened 1996
Cultural Diversity
colorblind casting
successful shows of color (Once on This Island), 5 Guys named Moe
Directors of Color- George C Wolfe
George C Wolfe
colored director of 17 shows
Caroline, or Change
Jelly's Last Jam(1992) Jelly Roll Morton Music, features a murdered Morton in limbo during the show
Bring in da Noise, Bring in da Funk (1996) Tap dancing star Simon Glover "Free form hard core" roots in funk and hip hop, history of black men from slavery on
Johnny Larson's story
Composer, Lyricist, and Librettist
died of aneurism during rehearsals
won Pullitzer posthumously
Johnny Larson Grants- fund 100 aspiring artists
Rent Based Upon
La Boheme- Giacomo Puccini''s Opera
Significance of Rent
"musical for people who hated musicals"
First since Hair to deal with concerns of generation
End of great generational musical divide on Broadway
Significance of title:
Grant temporary occupancy or use
An opening, a rip or torn
Shredded in grief or rage, split apart
first 2 rows always $20 for people who couldn't afford to see it otherwise
Set in the East Village of NYC in Alphabet City
1980s - almost no chance of survival from HIV/AIDS
AZT - only delayed symptoms
"Viva la vie boheme" = "Long live the bohemian life."
"Rentheads"
People who LOVED rent, loyal rent followers
Popularity of Rent
1990s Best selling Cast Album
But - Many older audiences, including critics, didn't get it
Like Company rejected traditional staging
5000+ performances, 12 years
"rentheads"
Difficulty of Rent
Many performers blew voices
9 out of 15 performers in one show often replaced by "swing" performers
The Producers
Based on 1968 cult film satire
15 Tony nominations, 12 Wins - Most in history
Opened at $90 top ticket, Next day $100 top ticket
FIRST with Premium Seating Went to $480
$17 million advance sales
Largest single day box office sales in Bdwy history - $3M
$50,000 every 10 minutes
Cost $10.5 million
2 years later - Beat its own record - $3.5M
On return - Lane & Broderick, highest paid on Broadway for a time
Recouped investment in 35 weeks
Aida
4-1/2 years
Concept album first
Elton John & Tim Rice
Out-of-town tryouts in Atlanta
Couple (strangers) in museum, Museum statue comes to life
Explains "every story is a love story"
Radames spends eternity looking for Aida
September 11
Lost $1.5M in 2 days
Theaters reopened Sept. 13
Attendance drop - 80%
Week after - Drop from $9M to $3.5M gross for WEEK
Many shows forced to close, some reduced performances
New shows delayed openings
Some canceled entirely - and never made it to Broadway
"I heart NY" campaign restarted
Spring Awakening
2006, ran 2 years
Workshopped SEVEN YEARS
Then opened Off-Broadway
Rock composer Duncan Sheik
Cast recording won Grammy
Based on 1891 German Play, often banned
8 Tony wins, including best musical
Next to Normal
2009
Rock musical
Mother who is bipolar, Suicide, drug abuse
Scenes of unspeakable pain, A "feel everything" musical
Pulitzer Prize Winner
Film to Broadway
The Producers, Kinky Boots, Lion King, Aladdin, Bullets over Broadway, Gentlemen's Guide, Rocky, Newsies, Matilda, Bridges of Madison County
Broadway to Film
Mamma Mia!, Hairspray, Sweeny Todd, Rock of Ages, Les Mis, Into the Woods
Legally Blonde
MTV televised entire show
used reality to show to cast the lead
- grease too
Swing Performer
Understudy who knows the day of if they are going on
Workshop
develop story/concept/script, pre-rehearsals
Backer's Audition
private staged readings of all or part of your show, with minimal accompaniment, props and costumes.
"Frozen"
the last night of previews no new changes can be made
"Over- produced"
spectacle driven, looking to see $$ on stage
Gypsy Robe
Started 1950
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Ethel Merman's rose from Call Me Madam costume
Luck, tradition, community
ONLY chorus members, Gypsy with most seniority
Opening Night - 30 minutes before curtain
A new robe created each Broadway season, More than 60 robes
Counterclockwise 3 times, Everyone must touch it, Visit all dressing rooms
Donated robes at: Lincoln Center Library, Actors' Equity NY Office, Smithsonian, 3 donated to Museum of City of New York
Mixed Review
good and bad reviews
Broadway Season
Begins in June after the Tony's
3 worst months
January, February, and September
Busiest season on Broadway
Spring
First tech rehearsal
takes many days, sound, lighting, sets, very tiring and long
Tonya Pinkin's Story
hollywood success, divorced, lost kids, Caroline or Change failed
Opinions of critics
mean something, but not most important
see "critic proof musical"
Fate of 4 Shows
Ave Q: Best Tony, 6 years
Caroline, or Change: 3.5 months
Taboo: 3 months
Wicked: 11 years going steady
Genres/Style on Broadway Today
Styles vary considerably:
Rock- Spring Awakening
Pop & Disco- Mama Mia
Rap- In the Heights
"Traditional" Musical Theatre- Wicked
Period- Hairspray
International- Bollywood
Country- Pure Country
Unions
Producer usually deals with 12-13 unions
determine number of people who work in a theatre
musicians "special clause" limit number of musicians required due to "recorded" or "synthesized" music
Union Names
SDC- stage directors and choreographers
AEA- actors equity
IATSE- theatrical stage employees, scenic artists, 306(techies), Agents/managers, 751 (ticket sellers)
32BJ- Janitors
makeup and hair
costume design guild
ASCAP- composers, authors, publishers
AFM- musicians
Theater Owner Profit
Producers typically pay theater owners = 5 - 6% of ticket sales weekly gross
PLUS an additional flat rental fee, negotiated separately - as much as $20,000 / week
PLUS about $40,000 / week for ushers, janitors, concession workers and box office staff
Theater owners also receive the interest on advance sales
The advance is held by the BO which the theater owner
(not the producer) controls
Substantial interest income goes to the theater owner
rather than the production and investors
Producer Tricks
"Papering" the house
Show shills
Review quotes out of context
Stunt casting - Chicago
Big star casting
Premium ticket pricing
Line around the block
Publicity stunts
Producer Tricks of the Trade
Unusual show times
Recognizable title
Reality TV shows
Merrick's fake reviewers
New work happens away from Broadway
Chance of seeing Profit
20-30%
Cost Difference US and UK
Broadway weekly Costs $400,000 - 500,000
Weekly Costs London $200,000
UK - Theatre gov't subsidized
On Bdwy cost approx. $15M
London cost approx. $4 - 7M
Attendance Demographics
Attendance - 11.57 million
66% - Tourists (increase)
23% - Were foreign, 5 million - domestic
Average age - 42.5
Highest % - 18 to 24 yo, 1.6 million
68% - Women
78% - Caucasian
41% - Purchased tix online
Avg. Theatregoer - sees 4 shows
Most Influential- word of mouth
Broadway to Vegas
"Readers Digest Version"
Spiderman
Jersey Boys(unedited)
Avenue Q
Starlight Express(1st)
Chicago
Mamma Mia!
Top 15 Shows Financially
15- Hairspray
14- Book of Mormon
13- Rent
12- Miss Saigon
11- Producers
10- Mary Poppins
9- Cats
8- Beauty and the Beast
7- Les Mis
6- Jersey Boys
5- Chicago
4- Mamma Mia!
3- Wicked
2- Phantom of the Opera
1- Lion King
Top 6 Longest
6- Chorus Line
5- Les Mis
4- Lion King
3- Chicago(revival)
2- Cats
1- Phantom of the Opera
Corporate Sponsorships
Disney
Ford
American Airlines
Pedigree(Annie)
Penguin(Matilda)
Cadillac(Motown)
Spider-man
$75 Million Loss
WEEKLY operating costs = $1.2 million
Music by Bono and The Edge of U2
182 previews
Shut down - rebooted with new director, choreographer and writer
Book of Mormon
Opened June 2011, 4.5 years, 1000+ perf
$487.25 - premium orch.
$165.25 - regular orch.
Creators of "South Park"
$11.4 million recouped in only NINE months
Lottery for each performance
Shows That Defied the Odds
Wicked
Phantom
Lion King
Current Shows on Broadway
Chicago, Pippin, Les Mis, Cabaret, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Violet, Motown, Jersey Boys, After Midnight, Mamma Mia!, Beautiful(Carole King), Once, Newsies, Kinky Boots, Cinderella, Matilda, Gentlemen's guide, Bridges of Madison County, Aladdin, If/Then, Rocky, Bullets over Broadway
Flops
find life overseas, on tour or in vegas
EGOT
Emmy, Grammy, Tony, Oscar
12 People including: Richard Rogers
Mel Brooks
Marvin Hamlisch
Bobby Lopez
Actors Lives
U.S. - 8.6% unemployment
Actors - 90% unemployment
Usually same 10% always working
A way of life
Most must hold other jobs
No job is permanent
Constantly being retested
Industry characterized by the biggest supply with the least demand - over-saturation
Takes more than luck to beat the odds, Takes more than talent to get noticed
Passion
1994
Best Musical- Tony
only 280 perf- shortest run to win best musical
Stephen Sondheim