Monday, 27 May 2013

Why do we see so few new musicals?

It seems pointless to some extend to ask such question, but maybe, that is why I am asking it. I have to do to find the answer to this question is to check out the list of musicals on the circuit at this time.

The problem is that the answer is not the one I was hoping for.

On Broadway, once you look past the revivals, there are not many original musicals. On the local circiut, the situation seems to be much worse. They are almost hundred percent revivals of ex Broadway shows. On Broadway, the few new musicals, are based on fairytales or on movies. There are a fair number of very successful ones based on classic books. The number of original ideas are very, very scarce.

On the local scene, I am getting a bit confused with the vast number of musicals with absolutely no originality in them. How many more versions of Beauty and the beast can we handle? The little creativity we have is limited to the fairy tales catagory. People are getting very creative with slightly rewriting the stories and adding new popular songs to old stories. Only once every two or three years do we get really new musicals.

I do not want to bash the creativity that people are putting into rewriting stories. It is just that I was hoping to see more. There are some people getting very creative with it and making easy money from it.

That is the problem here. There are more money to be made by rehashing old stories and using old songs.

The reason why a production company would choose Aladdin or Phantom for their next musical is simple. Those shows are low risk and sure to make money. You do not have to do much advertising for your show, as everybody knows the story. They know the songs. People will come back to hear your version of those songs. If you are trying to put up a show like The Wonkie brothers or The devil in Paris, nobody know what to expect. They do not know your story and they do not know your songs. People are much less likely to come watch your show if they do not know the show.

And this is where this whole post is leading towards.

In marketing you have have two tasks. Firstly informing people about the existance og your show, and secondly winning them over to come and watch it.

Putting up a show like The phantom is easy for your marketing department. You only have to tell people that you have the show and the people will come. If you have a new original you have to do so much more to draw your crowds. It is not good enough to tell people that you have a show going. You also have to convince them that the show is good enough for them to come and watch it.

In short putting up a new musical is a high risk business and requires much more effort.

But, all that extra effort is what makes it fun!


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