Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Empty seats

Chris Caggiano at Everything I Know I Learned from Musicals follows the Broadway box office the way baseball fans follow box scores, so I can count on him to keep me updated on the latest trends.

I was shocked to read on Chris' blog that attendance at my beloved Curtains fell below 50 percent last week. David Hyde Pierce playing in a half-filled theater? Oh the unfairness! What happened to the other half of the audience? Even more puzzling was the fact that the same week, Mamma Mia! played to nearly 70 percent capacity. Sounds like a case for the character he plays in Curtains, Boston police Lt. Frank Cioffi.

On one level, I guess I understand. As Chris points out, February is the cruelest month on Broadway. It's not a great month for tourism, and tourists fill most of the theater seats. Mamma Mia! has an international reach. It's played all over the world, so the story and music are more familiar to visitors who come from other countries.

I loved Mamma Mia! but Curtains stars Hyde Pierce in his Tony-winning role, and the show still has most of its terrific original cast. It's got a fun murder mystery plot, memorable characters, wonderful songs and great choreography. It deserves a bigger audience, even in the depths of winter.

So to get you in the mood, here's a sweet video interview of David Hyde Pierce answering questions from fans, including the one on everyone's mind: which musical would be the perfect vehicle for him and his Frasier costars Kelsey Grammer and John Mahoney?


Mike said...

Not only that -- the Europeans are flooding in with their comparatively strong currency, filling up the hotels. And they're here to shop, not see shows.

Esther said...

Good point. I hadn't thought about that. Still, they can't shop day and night! You'd think they'd be able to squeeze in a show. I mean, how much shopping can you do in one day? Personally, I'm not a big shopper. It's not something I'd take a vacation to do!

Chris Caggiano said...


Don't know if you saw, but I had mistakenly identified you on my blog as the author of Things You'll Learn to Love About Me, when in fact that's Alicia, and you're Gratuitous Violins. I also realized that I wasn't yet listing you on my blog roll.

I have rectified both egregious slights.

Warmest regards,


Esther said...

Chris, thanks so much for including me on your blogroll. It's an honor and I'll do my best to live up to it! And don't worry about the mixup. I appreciate the shoutout!