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re: Nothing about this will be legend.
Last Edit: ShowGoer 04:36 pm EDT 08/22/21
Posted by: ShowGoer 04:19 pm EDT 08/22/21
In reply to: re: Nothing about this will be legend. - ryhog 02:49 pm EDT 08/22/21

(Edited to include a great summary of the day from the Washington Post from someone else who was there.)

I agree with every word writerkev said. I was there at the concert and if this had been a Broadway show. I’d say the dramatic arc of the day went from anxious anticipation to anxious confusion to anxious chaos, with a few great numbers thrown in. (And that’s not even getting to our friends who were online outside for over 3 hours and never made it into the park to see any of the concert before it was canceled). We of course didn’t get to see any of the at-home coverage or ‘bonus features’, but while Anderson Cooper is drawing praise for vamping for 3 hours with the help of a few musicians and experienced guests, nothing I’m personally seeing in the coverage today is treating it as some legendary broadcast.

As you know, I agree or disagree with you depending on the comment and depending on the day, and frankly sometimes within the same post (the most consistent area where we have differing opinions is the issue of streaming, which as you know I don’t believe is going anywhere, especially now – I thought the article in the Times on that was interesting this week, as clearly a lot of people have differing projections on that one. And of course we could both be right - streaming and filmed productions could remain at about the level and frequency they are now, without expanding or increasing in any significant way.)

I guess if my post above overstated your hunch about the fall and came off as fatalistic, it’s because I have always considered myself an optimist… so now that I’m realizing my recalibrated thinking aligns myself more with your thinking, it’s probably bumming me out more than if I’d felt that way all along.

I’m also scheduled to see Pass Over next month but I don’t know that I actually will get to: the performance I’m attending appears barely 25% sold, and there’s an article from Forbes a few days ago (linked surmising that the producers are already taking out priority loans to make it through its limited run till October 10th without closing early. Too much pressure is now being placed on that one title, which was obviously never going to be Springsteen on Broadway… but if the audiences aren’t turning out for that one, why should anyone think it will be any different for Thoughts of a Colored Man, Lackawanna Blues, Chicken and Biscuits, Clyde’s, Trouble in Mind, Skeleton Crew, Dana H, or Is This a Room? If a family of 5 can get tickets almost anytime they want for Wicked, The Lion King or Aladdin, why do we think it’ll be any different for Mrs Doubtfire, Flying Over Sunset, or Diana? If the first show of the Signature season was postponed days before rehearsals and less than 24 hours after it went onsale, why do we think it’ll be any different for their second, which is slated to go onsale this week? The shows opening in January or February may be better positioned - Company, MJ, The Music Man - bigger names, splashier titles, and after boosters will have been available to most Americans. And to what you said, clearly we WILL have live theater this fall - it’s too late to pull the plug on everything and cancel the fall season. But I don’t see how most of these shows aren’t tax write-offs (MAYBE Six survives and makes it for the long haul). That’s also assuming shows don’t have to cancel performances for positive tests/exposures/mild breakthrough outbreaks in the company, as happened this summer with Public Theater, Park Avenue Armory, and many shows in London. (I also loved Merry Wives, for the record.)

But joyful? The producers behind yesterday’s concert have described themselves to the press as waking up this morning with “an empty feeling of sadness”. And that’s where I feel yesterday may have most been a metaphor for NYC theater this fall: moments and even evenings of joy at specific performances/productions for many audience members, but little for the people putting together these shows, and in the aftermath, a deflated sense of, “what was it all for, because other than the fact we announced it and committed to it, it wasn’t what we expected, didn’t accomplish what we hoped for, and certainly wasn’t worth it”.
Link Henri rains out New York’s big Homecoming Concert, and washes away the post-pandemic optimism
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