Sunday, July 01, 2007

I Ate The Cake I Had

Well, since I left you, a lot of odd things have happened. I'll talk about just a couple.

So this premium vs. premier seats thing. I was trying to convey this week to a fellow journalist why I thought these names, and the way they are being applied, dumb and I didn't quite make my point, so I am going to try to here. They sound too much alike. That's the first point. But, even if you wanted to use those names, "premium" should be the more expensive ones. And here is why: I have friends that work at ticketing agencies and rich people call and just say, "Give me the premium seats for..." They do this because they don't care about money and they think, from past experience, the premium seats are the best. Except, in the case of Young Frankenstein, the premium ones aren't the best. So you are going to have people calling asking for "premium" seats and getting what they think are the best seats in the house and then later on maybe finding out that they could have actually gotten even better seats because "premium" is no longer where it is at. And, let me tell you, I'm not sure the ticketing people are really going to be great about explaining this whole thing.

Of course, most industry folks were all up in arms about the high ticket price and the arrogance it showed (not to mention the fact that they are barely reserving any seats for groups, ticket-buyers who are usually in-demand), but I am never shocked by greed. That is to be expected, it's a business--I know because Debra Monk sings a song about it in Curtains. I'm just surprised that it's not being done in a more clever way. Instead of "premier" they so could have used "realm of genius" and those tickets could have been the cheaper of the outrageously expensive tickets. I'm just saying.

Moving on... So Grey Gardens announces that Mary Louise Wilson is leaving on July 29. OK. I'm with them so far. Then, a few days later the press office sends out a release (which I did not personally receive, but read online), using the term "open-ended run," essentially just to say (though not in the following words): "We're not closing, we're replacing Mary Louise Wilson. That's right, Christine Ebersole will continue with a new Edith. Really." Now, alone that was a tiny bit bizarre, but, not unheard of, so I'll give them that. What pushes this over the edge of weirdness is right as that release was going out, the producers took tickets off-sale past July 29. So, in other words, "I am telling you, we're not going" turned immediately into "We're not living without you, Mary Louise."

It strikes me as a little ridiculous. A huge sign of mismanagement. Now, I truly love the Grey Gardens press agent (who has done an amazing, amazing job, a fact no one should or could ever doubt) and I have not discussed this with him at all, but I'm fairly sure, just based on my knowledge of press agents in general, he wouldn't have asked to send out the release mentioned above. So the production must have wanted it, which pretty much means they weren't thinking. Because, you see, if they had waited and announced "Hey, we don't think we can go on without both of the ladies," many people would have thought they were spewing bullshit, but there would have been those that believed it. By doing what they did, it essentially says plainly "Well, we don't care about how good our Tony winners are, it's actually just that we're not selling any tickets." Which is of course basically the truth (minus some inside details), but, you know, producers don't usually do things that lay it out there. In this case, it's just embarrassing.

I have more oddities, but I'll save them for Wednesday. This is enough for today.

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