re: Less Performance on Broadway petition
Posted by: NewtonUK 01:31 pm EDT 10/15/21
In reply to: Less Performance on Broadway petition - jaymac 12:50 pm EDT 10/15/21

Losing 1/8 of weekly income is not something that Broadway could take on board - without having to raise ticket prices. One could do a Wed Mat, Wed eve Thius eve, Friday eve, followed by 2 shows on Saturday and Sunday - but 3 two show days a week is brutal for musicals were the cast is asked to shout and scream, as they are in many 'modern' musicals. The six day week also opens up options for tourists to see more shows -and more nights/afternoons to do it on - and tourists are a big part of the audience. As broken as it is, the entire Broadway/West End business model is based on 8 shows over 6 days. If there is a compelling reason to change this, it would be rather foolish to think this can happen overnight. And financially it would just make the exclusivity of who can afford a ticket even worse.

The EU had a fix for this, because in the EU (which included the West End for many years) every employee is mandated to have 4 weeks of paid vacation a year. So sure you have to do 8 shows a week, 6 days a week all year in a hit - but if you have four weeks off with full pay, that makes it a much better job. And Sunday matinees improved the work week. It used to be Monday night thru Saturday night, 8 shows, then you had Sunday off, and a daylight day of rest on Monday. Now you finish up around 5/530 on Sunday, AND have Monday off and a daylight day of rest on Tuesday.

I don't think the economics of a 5 day performance week can work now, possibly ever, in the commercial world - we would damage more artists vocally and physically with three 2 show days. And the 7 performance week? Take a modestly successful Broadway musical grossing (adjusted gross) $900,000 a week. That's $112,000 worth of income you have to make up from a lost performance. And if you sell out, 1,000-1,500 seats that you cant get revenue from. Those $850 Hamilton tickets would now cost $1000. The $200 tickets would cost $275.

Of course these issues are worse in film, where you may be on set from 6am til late night, with a 5am, pikcup, 6 or 7 days a week for 6-10-12 weeks. I dont hear a lot of moaning from them.

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