(1) Commercial Appeal
(2) Operating Costs
(3) Artistic Merit
(4) Investor Interest
Each day this week, I will cover one topic and, using a well known example, explain how my thought process would work in evaluating a property.
Let’s face it, Broadway is a business and as producers, we take on fiduciary responsibly to mount shows that will recoup and turn a profit for investors. While it’s nearly impossible to be all things to all people, you need to make sure your market is large enough to fill the houses for eight shows a week.
When evaluating material, I always ask myself who is the target audience and does this target audience match who is going to the theater. Two important stats to remember are that 60% of audiences and 80% of ticket buyers are female. While Brian’s Song, might make a great tear-jerker of a musical, it may not appeal the most to your conventional audiences. With my luck, I’ve probably just offended two very idealistic undergraduates writing Brian’s Song: The Musical…and it’s only my first real blog entry.
Like in any business, you need to understand who will be most interested in your product. And only after you have come to this conclusion, will you be able to create a strategic plan to market your show appropriately and effectively to this demographic. And only after you have filled your houses with the “low hanging fruit” should you begin to expand your show’s appeal to outlying demographics.
Example: Mamma Mia!
Stats to consider:
- ABBA’s sales (both record and concert)
- ABBA’s brand awareness level
- Distribution of gender for ABBA fans
- Average age of an ABBA fan
- Socioeconomic background of an ABBA fan
Since its premiere, the Winter Garden (soon to be home to Rocky: The Musical; surely appealing to a slightly different audience), has been full of middle-aged women dancing in the aisles with their girlfriends, daughters, and their good-natured husbands. With a light, romantic comedy plot and a slew of ABBA hits, Mamma Mia! certainly did a great job appealing to its targeted audience.