Sunday, August 19, 2007

Conventionality Belongs to Yesterday

Of course, I want to offer a public thank you to my guest blogger, who clearly spent more time thinking on those posts than I have spent on my actual work all week. But there is something that really bothered me when I read the guest blogger Tony posts. No mention of Alli Mauzey. I don't know how she is in Wicked, but Alli Mauzey is GENIUS in Cry Baby. I think she has a very good shot at a Featured Actress nomination and, even if she is eventually sadly shut out by sucky people, I want her to be mentioned on this blog and so I have done it.

Now... The story of the night... Grease. All day I have been saying to people "Grease is the word." Now, if I only spoke to theater people, maybe I could get away with that, but, with regular people, the only result is a silence. Anyway... I so don't care.

I want to write about Grease, but not about its quality (they'll have quite enough of that tonight). I want to muse about what I believe is a common misconception--that the advance of this Grease is related to the following its stars developed via reality television.

Firstly, let me say something I believe I've said on here before--95% (and I'm being generous) of reports you read on a show's advance are crap. Lies, I tell you, lies. There is no way to verify them and yet reporters print them. And, as I have said many times before, it's one thing to print them and then attribute them to someone, but, mostly they are just printed as fact... and they so rarely are. (It's also important to note that large advances, if real, are a good sign for a show, but said show can still fail fairly easily. Remember Saturday Night Fever's big advance? Even Dance of the Vampires had money in the bank before opening.... That has nothing to do with this post, it's just good to keep in mind even if you believe with 100% certainty that an advance figure is real.)

OK, so back to Grease. I believe Grease does have a nice size advance (not what they said, but, still). I just question that it is based on Max and Laura. Do I think some people bought tickets because they liked one or both of them on You're The One That I Want? Yes. Do I think we can say the majority of the advance is based on that? Nope. I think the thing to focus on is the other side--the fact that the reality show was all about advertising.

Remember how the stage Phantom was helped tremendously by the movie because that mask was everywhere? Same deal here. The show was publicity, the commercials advertising the show were publicity. What Broadway show has that many nationwide commercials? Umm... none. If Lone Star Love had that much network airtime to promote it, even without a reality show, I bet that show would have a big advance too. Though, of course, in this case, it didn't hurt that the title was Grease. That made this particular show an easy beneficiary of all that hype. After all, Grease is the word. Everyone knows that.


Eric of said...

If Grease can survive the reviews that just come out (my favorite called it "frightening") then the Grease advertising compaign represents one well-oiled machine!

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