Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Those You've Known

I have a guest now and we're just about to watch Notes on a Scandal, so there will be no long post today. I do want to comment on a random story I read today by Philip Boroff of Bloomberg. You know I have said before (maybe not here but verbally) that I often don't get certain aspects of his stories, but, this one, really puzzled me overall.

It's a story about last season. OK. Fine. He starts by talking about Grey Gardens. He calls it "a season that was great for art but brutal for investors." Well, ok... but then he goes right on to talk about Pirate Queen, The Times They Are A-Changin' and High Fidelity. Umm... Are those shows part of his season of great art?

Then--this is my favorite passage--"While overall Broadway attendance was up 2.6 percent from a year ago, the season was especially hard on musicals, which account for $4 out of every $5 spent on Broadway. Moreoever, attendance for plays fell 23 percent to 1.48 million, the lowest since at least 1984-85. "

Well... follow my reasoning here... If Broadway attendance is up and play attendance is down, musical attendance must be up. But he said it was a hard season for musicals. Is anyone else confused by that reasoning? Did he mean to say "new" musicals? Well, he didn't. And, actually, that wouldn't have gone with his "$4 out of every $5" fun fact. So I just don't know.

Then there is a whole subsection within the story about "Advertising Costs" that doesn't mention how much any show is actually paying for advertising. It does contain one small thing about Curtains spending a lot on advertising, but that's pretty much it. Nothing else related to advertising costs.

So, yeah, I'm not getting this story. We all have errors in stories (I certainly have), but this story overall is just like "huh?" There are a lot of facts, but...

OK, time to watch Blanchett and Dench get campy.


Malachy Walsh said...

I'm just guessing here, but if there were more shows open on Broadway this year, then it is possible for ticket sales to be up.

Which would account for how the number of tickets sold could be larger for higher attendance numbers while it was still a bad year for plays and musicals.

The other way his stat could be deceptive is if it is a figure based on ticket prices and if tickets cost significantly higher than in the past. Thus, fewer tickets could be sold at higher prices to make it seem that overall revenue is up.

Again, these are guesses.

Which means it would be better if the writer explained how these seemingly contradictory statements could be true.

carajoy said...

Ummm.... OK... It shouldn't be a ticket price issue because he says "attendance." As for the other explanation, I'm not sure I follow, but I guess it's possible.

My point in this post is, as you seem to agree, we shouldn't need to guess what the meaning is of a Broadway story.

Anna said...

Completely OT question: Have you heard any speculation yet on who'll play Freddy in Pygmalion?