I had the great pleasure of being invited to and attending a special blogger meeting in New York on Sunday. One of the producers of Little Women, Scott Freiman, and Kaliya Hamlin, a blogger who worked on setting up the Little Women cast blog (see my previous post) invited a group of female and theater bloggers to come and see a matinee of Little Women and then have a dinner after. Unlike Blogway Baby, most of the blogs represented were not theater-specific blogs. The attending blogs included:
The reason for the blog meeting was that Scott Freiman was pioneering a blog advertising strategy for Little Women.
Little Women is not an expensive show (relatively speaking) coming in at about $5.6million. It sounds like a lot but compared to the $14 million of a Wicked or a Spamalot, it is cheap. However, that doesn’t leave a lot for traditional forms of advertising. So Scott was hoping to build enough blogging buzz over the summer so that when the kids go back to school in September tickets sales wouldn’t completely evaporate.
Unfortunately, the 3pm matinee that we saw was the closing show on Broadway. I guess they just couldn’t make it work financially. However, the tour starring Maureen McGovern (but not Sutton Foster) will start in August and the cast blog will turn into a touring blog. The closing came as a bit of a surprise for everyone (so what else is new!) and some of the touring show had already been cast before they knew the Broadway production was kaput, so some of the Broadway cast is left without jobs. Tough business.
I have never been to a closing show before. The atmosphere was electric. The audience could hardly contain themselves as each cast member entered for the first time. I must say the cast was spectacular. Maureen McGovern sounded amazing, as did Sutton Foster. Sutton Foster was great at Jo March — you could feel her energy desperately trying to get out from under those long weighty dresses of the times. It was like she was trying hard not to break into a tap number from Thoroughly Modern Millie! But every member of the cast was fab — every voice was beautiful, really. And at the end, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
After the cast had taken their bows Sutton Foster gave a short speech (Maureen McGovern was already crying her eyes out by this point) thanking everyone involved with the show onstage and behind the scenes. Then she introduced Donny Beck (at least I think that is his name, I had a hard time making it out through Sutton’s teary delivery) the House electrician who was retiring in a month and who had spent 46 years in the business with 60 shows. She said what an honor it was for Little Women to be his last show. And then I started crying and I didn’t even know this guy.
Then we headed over with Scott Freiman to Angus McIndoe, the restaurant right next door to The St James Theatre where The Producers is playing. Angus McIndoe includes as its investors Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Mel Brooks, Tom Meehan, and Frank McCourt! It was a great evening, talking Little Women and blogs!
Best of luck with the Little Women tour!
In my opinion, every 9-year old girl in America should see this musical…can a tie-in to American Girl be far behind?