Update on “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” Situation

In my recount of the first preview of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown I said:

Even when I’ve seen bad Broadway, I’ve never felt cheated, but last night I felt that Lincoln Center Theatre cheated me out of $232.00 and frankly, I want my money back.

If you read the original article, you’ll know that I bought two partial view seats for $116 each. The next morning, I emailed Lincoln Center and asked for my money back because I felt like they cheated me out of my money by selling me a seat that wasn’t even worth $20. It’s an unsellable seat in my opinion.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to get a response back, but I did.

Here’s the response:

I received an email response late yesterday from the theater.

They’ve reviewed your complaint, and have authorized a full refund which is being processed today and credited back to the VISA card used to make the purchase.

Please allow 1-2 billing cycles for the transaction to appear on your credit card statement.

Again, our apologies for the inconvenience.

I couldn’t be more thrilled that they actually reviewed my complaint and offered a full refund. This speaks loads to Telecharge and Lincoln Center’s customer service and I’m highly satisfied with their response time – very impressed! I hope that they won’t be selling these tickets in the future, not even at a discounted price.

One of my best friends saw Tuesday’s night performance and he said, “We must have seen different shows, because I think this is fantastic. Laura is stealing the show… Sherie and Patti are belting their faces off. Great songs.” He continued, “It’s a very visual show… if I had a bad seat and couldn’t see it I would hate it too.”

I’m very happy that he enjoyed it because I do think that this show will continue to get stronger and stronger. It really only had the option of getting better. When your first preview is your first run-through then of course, it’s only going to get tighter and the material will hopefully get stronger. It’s almost inevitable with Women on the Verge… because of the amount of talent (actors, directors, tech, etc…) that’s surrounding this particular production.

In today’s edition (October 13, 2010) of The New York Times it talks about the advantages and disadvantages of producing a Broadway musical out-of-town vs. in New York, “bad buzz anywhere can reach New York theatergoers instantly, as was true last weekend when some bloggers picked apart the first preview of “Women on the Verge” only hours after it ended.” Interesting, that once again, the bloggers are blamed for the “bad buzz”. Frankly, I blame the producers for allowing the show to sell tickets to a production that hasn’t had a full tech run through. It’s their fault it was bad, not mine. I still paid full price for that shlock.

If we have so much “power”, than why doesn’t the Broadway community embrace the theatre blogger community more readily?

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10 thoughts on “Update on “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” Situation

  1. amazing points. i’m glad to hear you’ve gotten your money back. i will keep my ears pressed to the nervous breakdown happening over at women on the verge.

  2. There is a reason why critics aren’t invited until about a week before opening–producers don’t want people to write about a show if it’s still rough. For this reason, previews should definitely be cheaper. It’s really a shame that they were charging full price and I’m glad you were able to get your money back. I definitely think you had a right to blog about the show if you paid full price, but then again by blogging about a show when it’s in previews, I think theaters will be less likely to embrace bloggers.

    1. I was thinking about previews vs. regular performances and the bloggers vs. critics view point as I was going to bed last night…

      There’s going to be an inevitable switch on how things are done soon (at least I hope). Because I’m not an “old-school” journalist, I don’t feel confined to those limits.

      I do think as a blogger, critic, you should say whether you are seeing a preview vs. a regular show. But the fact that the critics can’t write about what they’ve seen during previews, devalues the preview performance. If its “devalued” why are the theatres charging FULL-PRICE.

      I remember when I saw Urinetown in previews, the price was notably discounted. But, I absolutely FELL in love with the show on a preview. It was better in previews, then when I saw it six months later.

      I think I’m rambling now…

  3. When I read the New York Times story, I didn’t see blame for bloggers as much as I saw them (you among them) credited for early word on the show. That the New York Times is even paying attention to the blogging community – and they are – says something about the respect we collectively are receiving.

    As for your question, I think the theatre blogging community is being embraced more and more with each passing day. Howard Sherman of the American Theatre Wing actively dialogues with a growing number of us, and producers are also paying attention. Also, the ITBA is earning respect for us as well.

    1. You are definitely right!

      Even in my own community theatre bloggers are becoming much more welcomed and sought out. When I started a year ago, all of the theatre companies were very tentative. But out of all of the theatre critics (& bloggers) I am one of the most vocal in the Bay Area.

      It’s interesting to me because I used to be an avid music concert writer/critic – I wrote for SFist.com & Phillyist.com and worked closely with music publicists for 3 years. I guess I’m comparing the theatre world to the music world when I ask that question.

  4. This brings up the question of whether you received a full refund BECAUSE you’re a blogger. I would prefer to think that Lincoln Center’s customer service would do this for anybody. If that’s not the case, at least it means that, yes, the theater community is paying attention to us.

    1. I wondered the same thing myself. (I had already made a bit of a stink on twitter about it — tweeting Lincoln Center, and a few of the board members.)

      Here’s hoping that they don’t sell those ridiculous seats to anyone else.

      Good point… about paying attention. I have a feeling that my original VERGE post was probably seen by more than enough people in the NYC theatre community.

      1. Tweeting has become the new and effective way to lodge complaints throughout our society.

        In my professional life as a PR person, I’m always scouring Twitter for any negative mentions and were I to find one, I’d want to make things right regardless.

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