How close will 'The Book of Mormon' get to Indy?

June 25, 2012
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Anxious to see the hit musical "The Book of Mormon" but don't want to travel to New York?

For the time being, you have two other choices. The show opens in Chicago Dec. 11 for an extended run, with tickets selling into March.

A touring company is also being launching, but the closest it will come to Indy is a Feb./March visit to St. Louis. Even hungry musical theater fans in Louisville and Cincinatti--cities that usually get tours before us--will have to wait for a hometown visit from Elder Price and Edler Cunningham.

Your thoughts?

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  • No Risk
    I think we will find our usual revival of Cats, perhaps Annie?
  • Indy's facilities lacking
    I've been told from a reliable source that our facilities cause us to host second-rate shows. Chicago and Cincy have far better and newer facilities (not to mention bigger stages) on which to host shows. When Wicked played here, they had to pare the show's size down considerably to make it fit. Don't forget the Murat Theatre was basically an auditorium they have tried to retrofit into a theatre, with (in my mind) poor results. I say invest the money to turn Clowes into a facility to rival those in our neighboring cities. Only then can we expect to see shows like BOM so soon after their touring companies begin. For the record, I saw the show in NYC last fall and loved every minute of it!
  • Buy em quick
    we bought our tickets for the Chicago run a couple months ago and at that time it was almost sold out for every weekend of the run. It's a good one!
  • Not Facility Issue
    Your reliable source is wrong. Clowes is capable of hosting any Broadway production on tour. The issue isn't the facilities, it's the number of subscribers in the market. Cincy and Louisville are a bigger subscription market and therefore an instant sell. If Indy wants those shows, subscribe. The larger the sub base the sooner you will see these shows.
  • Why not Bloomington?
    IU has great facilities for such shows! The Book of Mormon could probably sell out multiple performances at the IU Auditorium.
  • It is the facilities
    My source works for Live Nation, who, up until recently, managed the Broadway series. For a lot of the newer, blockbuster shows, the Murat and Clowes are too small capacity wise and the stages too small to accomodate. Yes, the BOM plays in a small crackerbox in NYC (1500 capacity, hence its tough get), but that's because the producers didnt want to risk it in a large theatre and play to half empty houses each night. Hindsight...Subscribers dont factor much into the equation as they make more money on single show sales. For a show like BOM, the staging is minimal, so it could fit onto almost any stage. Wicked, the Lion King, the soon to be relaunched Les Mis, not so much. So, those shows come here several years after being on the road when they can afford to scale down the production. If Clowes would do a head to toe renovation (get rid of that ugly 80s carpet for starters!), it could host anything. If you've ever been to the Aronoff in Cincy, you'll see what a nice building can attract. Until then, we're stuck with non equity productions of tired old musicals we've seen a dozen times. If you want subscribers, deliver better shows!(which goes back to my original point of build a better facility to get better shows) Sister Act, Jersey Boys and American Idiot don't make me want to rush to subscribe.
  • Go Colts, Go Pacers, Go Anything Sports!
    There may occasionally be minor problems with the stage size (Murat, not Clowes.) But the real deal killer is the lack of interest on the part of subscribers. I've spoken with the local office and asked why we don't get the shows until later, if at all. "Drowsey Chaperone" is a good example. It won the Tony for best new musical, and the touring company played quite a while in Cincinnati and Lousiville...but never came to Indianpolis. Face it, there's too much time and money spent on sports, racing, etc. We're just not very sophisticated. Why did Cincnnati have Starbucks, Saks Fifth Avenue, and many othe stores years before Indy? Why has IKEA put in a successful store in Cincinnati, but not Indy? Why is Jungle Jim's opening a SECOND store there, none in Indy? That's the problem.
    • Cincy pays a price
      Saks, Macys and Tiffany are only in dt cincy because the City has dumped truckloads of money to keep them there in the form of subsidies. Saks and Tiffany would love nothing more than to move several miles north to Kenwood Towne Center, but why pay the expensive rent when they can stay rent free in their current locale and make that much more money? Jungle Jims is well established in cincy, which is why a second store there made sense. Population wise, they're a smidge bigger than Indy, but much more diverse. That kind of store would never work here. I really wish the Broadway Series would try harder to bring quality shows to Indy than the average shows currently coming.
    • BAA
      I don't know who your source is, but BAA has been managed from the Louisville office for many years and the New York office recently took over the booking. The capacity at Clowes and the Murat are fine. Look at the average capacity of the venues played on tour. 80s carpet doesn't dictate whether a producer will route the show to that market. It's about making money. When BAA can show that Indy is able to guarantee 60-80% sales on subscription then the shows will come. Money means everything. By the way, the relaunched Les Mis just played Clowes in April.
      • then bring better shows
        People will come and pay good money to see a good show. Nobody wants to pay 60-75 dollars to come see a non equity show. Bring better shows and the subscribers will come. I know a lot of it is dictated by what's touring at the moment but if Indy could nab a Wicked every couple years, BOM, etc (insert hot show here), people will come. Subscribers see the lineup for 2012-13 and let out a huge yawn. To be fair, cincy's schedule isnt much better. BAA should work harder to convince some of those hot shows to come here. As I recall, the Les Mis that played here last was a non equity tour.
      • Tours
        While subscriber numbers do play a large role in the booking of shows in other cities versus Indy, also know that when a show is booked, the theater must be available for a solid week at the same time the show is able to pack up, travel and set up in one day. If a show is in Orlando on Sunday, not likely it will be in Indy to open on Tuesday. It's a routing issue sometime too. Also, why the stink over the latest season of shows? Sister Act, American Idiot, Billy Elliot & all new productions, West Side hasn't had a Broadway run here in 15 years & Jersey Boys is a mega show that is in demand. Would you all like another season of Cirque Dreams, Tuesday's With Morrie, Movin Out, Saturday Night Fever or Dame Edna? This season IS Broadway! With shows like Porgy & Bess, Evita, Once, Newsies, Peter & The Starcatcher, Ghost, Priscilla, Anything Goes, War Horse, Book of Mormon all on the road, Indy is in line for some good product. And the debate on non-equity...every city gets NE shows. Catch Me If You Can launched as Non-Equity and will play Chicago. Rock of Ages is now NE and in a sit down in Chicago. It isn't that big of deal is it? The best thing to do is subscribe. It's what I've done for years and I love it!
      • Non-Equity Tours
        Steve, I am thrilled to hear that you are an avid supporter of the arts in Central Indiana, but I want to respond to your question: "And the debate on non-equity...every city gets NE shows. Catch Me If You Can launched as Non-Equity and will play Chicago. Rock of Ages is now NE and in a sit down in Chicago. It isn't that big of deal is it?" With all due respect, it really is a big deal. The difference in costs to produce and the quality onstage is considerable. The non-union tours are charging the patrons the same ticket price as a Broadway tour, marketing it as 'straight from Broadway' and it's really not. There are not any non-Equity shows on Broadway. That is not to say that the performers aren't talented, but they're usually much younger, the sets are smaller, the production values aren't as high, many times the patrons are getting an assistant director's version of the production, etc... You can find a "diamond in the rough" with some non-union tours, but the quality overall is going to be better in an Equity show. But more importantly, would you buy a shirt made by people who aren't paid a fair wage? The principal is the same. The AEA tours are paying not only a fair wage to the actors and stage managers but also into their pension and health plan. The non-union tours aren’t obligated to do that and the salaries are a fraction of what union tours pay. I’m not saying that non-Equity tours shouldn’t exist. I believe they offer small towns entertainment and less seasoned casts and stage managers the opportunity to get their feet weet and build experience, but I strongly believe that they should not be marketed falsely as “Broadway”. A listing of what tours are Equity and which are not can be found at the following link: http://www.actorsequity.org/newsmedia/touring_main.asp Again, thank you for supporting and continuing to go to the theatre. Live theatre is exciting, should be experienced by as many as possible and need supporters just like you! I only just wish that the booking and producing organizations would more clearly represent what it is they are selling to the consumer.

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