With the recent news about Bonnie & Clyde not selling tickets past December 30th, one would assume that they are closing on December 30th. Even Telecharge.com, wrote and called their customers last week and said that Bonnie & Clyde was closing on December 30th. (You can read the full email that Telecharge sent, here.)
But interestingly enough, there has been no closing notice that has been posted.
The actors now are in limbo — is it closing? or is it staying open past December 30th? When all of this news broke last week, Jeremy Jordan (Clyde) tweeted, “There is no truth to Bonnie and Clyde closing on December 30th. We’re still fighting. It ain’t over til its over, folks.
The New York Times reported on December 8th that the producer, Kathleen Raitt wanted to keep the show open but ticket sales were low. “We’re already seeing a groundswell of support on Facebook and Twitter and elsewhere, and we’re trying to get the word out there that people should come see the show soon,” she said. “If we see a huge groundswell of support, maybe we’ll be able to run longer. But we’re not rolling over and playing dead.”
Now, the actors are basically “pimping” out their show on Twitter, Facebook and other social networks to get people to come see it. It’s not very different than when actors tell me to see their regional/community theatre production on Facebook. It’s almost a daily occurrence when all of your friends are connected to the theatre community. But, I’ve never seen it in the Broadway community.
I can understand why the actors want their show to stay open. It’s their job! No one wants to be laid off right after Christmas.
Tad Wilson, who is also in the show, tweets, “Want to support @BonnieClydeBway but not in the city? Buy tickets for any performance THIS WEEK in my name. I’ll pass them to people in need.” He continues, “Put your @BonnieClydeBway tickets in my name if you can’t use them. Many people can’t afford to see a show. Supporting 2 causes at once”. Is Broadway really becoming a charity case?
Other actors are getting in on the “Save Bonnie & Clyde” movement. Natalie Hill, a Broadway performer who was last seen in Wildhorn’s Wonderland last season, writes on her blog:
at this point, it is not closing but is not selling tickets past 12/30….
unless YOU help.
if they can pack the houses for the next two weeks and show that people want to see this show, the investors will keep it open.
WE can prove that critics don’t always get it right.
WE can choose what we want to see.
and WE can save hundreds of jobs for actors/stagehands/ushers/musicians.
Her point-of-view is very interesting and I want to support the movement, but I’m still not sure why I should. All of this information is very confusing to me. Why would a producer pull tickets, if they want the show to succeed?
The entire reason all of this started was because I wanted to buy 15 tickets for my students in February. After I had already paid for the tickets, Telecharge.com sent me the email stating it was closing and that they would be returning the money (minus the fees). That was $700.00 worth of tickets. It seems completely counterintuitive to the entire “movement” to return purchased tickets!
If the ticket sales are the only reason this started, then let’s look at Bonnie & Clyde’s numbers since they started previews back in November. (All stats are taken from Playbill.com’s weekly summaries.)
December 5th – 11th, 2011 – Gross: $404,289, $59.38 Average Ticket Price, 81.6% Capacity
November 28th – December 4th, 2011 – Gross: $341,908, $45.32 Average Ticket Price, 90.4% Capacity
November 21st – 27th, 2011 – Gross: $395,637, $60.17 Average Ticket Price, 78.8% Capacity
November 14th – 20th, 2011 – Gross: $346,744, $52.92 Average Ticket Price, 78.5% Capacity
November 6th – 13th, 2011 – Gross: $415,841, $56.83 Average Ticket Price, 87.7% Capacity
October 31st – November 6th, 2011 – Gross $265,147, $59.84 Average Ticket Price, 85.0% Capacity (Only 5 performances that week)
Since it started previews, Bonnie & Clyde’s numbers have stayed relatively the same — around a $400,000 in take each week. (I wonder what their weekly running costs are, as that would shed some light on the financial situation Bonnie & Clyde is in.) We will have to wait until next week to see if the “Save Bonnie & Clyde” campaign will positively affect their numbers, but overall, it’s doing much better than the other new Broadway musical this season, Lysistrata Jones, which had a $19.00 average ticket price last week. (Can we say, industry comps?)
This entire campaign/stunt/media blitz, is all very confusing to the Broadway community. Everyone is up in limbo, but no one knows why?
Was it the critics?
Or is the show just not good enough?
From what I’ve heard, (unfortunately I haven’t seen it, so I can’t comment), it sounds like a pretty great show with some script issues. There are plenty of shows on Broadway that have played for months, even recouped, that have major script issues. So why can’t Bonnie & Clyde do the same thing?
What is your take? Are you going to help “save” Bonnie & Clyde and buy a ticket? Or do you think it’s a huge media blitz to fill houses before December 30th, their “non-posted” closing date.