Self-editing is overrated. Or is it?

Monday, June 05, 2006

When a mediocre show is good news for all of us

First of all, sorry I've been out of touch. It's been a crazy week, and I'm just now catching up. I've filled in all the missing days, so be sure to scroll down for more excitement.

So I'm working in NYC this week, and, of course, with the Tonys around the corner, the hot topic around town is Julia Roberts and how she was snubbed by the Tony committee for her performance in "Three Days Of Rain".

Now, no one thinks that she SHOULD have been nominated for a Tony, mind you. But the fact that she's a mega-superstar and willing to work on Broadway is still such a shock that people think that she should be rewarded just for showing up.

Still, she took a BEATING from the critics for her performance, which, by all accounts, was not bad per se, just sort of ordinary and dull. NY critics, who are rough by nature, pounced on this lackluster performance and basically said "It's not as easy as it looks, is it, dearie?".

And honestly, I'm of two minds about this.

On the one hand, yes, it's not that easy. Just because you're Julia Roberts does not mean you get a pass on doing a good job. If we allow the quality of things to decline because of the concessions made to actually get the stars in the building, then we might as well just call the whole thing off.

On the other hand, take a look at this development.

See, a play starring Julia Roberts was sold out before they even started rehearsals for it. Of course, right? She's a big star.

But, see, here's the interesting part. 75% of those tickets which were selling at $100 a pop were bought up by ticket scalpers hoping to make a tidy profit. So when the play didn't get great reviews, people were not very inclined to pay $300 a seat to see a mediocre play, star or no. But they WOULD see it for $75 - $100 a seat, which is the price that they originally sold for, and, in my opinion, the maximum price that they should have been sold for in the first place.

Because the tickets are a good deal, people are buying them. Especially people who otherwise would not have been able to see the show, namely her fans. (Also known as the people who would never have gone into a theatre if Julia Roberts wasn't in the show in the first place.)

So, in the end, I think Julia Roberts getting snubbed by the Tonys might be the best thing that's happened this season to Broadway. People actually can get into see a hot show. Here's hoping that they come back after Julia's left town.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Alex said...

She's being marked down. Serves her right. She's not an actor and she never will be.

When Marilyn Monroe was at the height of her fame, she dropped everything, went to New York and studied for an entire year with Lee Strasberg (who by the way said she was one of the finest actors he had ever worked with).

That's someone who wants to learn.

And....she was a hell of a movie star.

Takes note Julia, and get back to where you belong: In a land where you have all day to get it right.

6/06/2006 1:05 AM

 

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