From Broadway to P2P: The Book of Mormon

The Tony Awards were this past weekend, and if you're planning a trip to New York, you're probably looking to see a show on Broadway. When I was there, in December, 'The Book of Mormon' was sold out until August of this year. That's right, two months from NOW. It swept the Tonys last year, and the only seats available were by rush tickets.
I went backstage at Spiderman instead

As a lowly college student, these are all I can afford anyway. They're usually around $40, as apposed to the face value of $150 and up. For most shows, they have a first come first serve policy. You get to the theatre early in the morning and you wait for them to open. 'The Book of Mormon' tickets are so sought after though that they've had to scrap this method and implement a raffling system. Two hours before the show they open a manned ballot box, and an hour later, they draw names. It's insane. I met a guy who had been there a half dozen times trying to get a seat. I had a beer with a friend, who's a local, and he boasted about his tickets for this week. In DECEMBER he was glad to have tickets for a show in JUNE!

Don't take me as a fool, I fully understand the economics of it. Broadway just had their most lucrative year ever, hitting over one billion dollars in ticket sales. The laws of supply and demand are what allow them to charge over $500 per ticket, in some cases. But, I did theatre for over seven years. I love the art form. I want to be able to pay and enjoy the art form. Currently, there are no plans to tour 'The Book of Mormon'. There aren't even plans to release an official taping of the original cast. So how! How was I to see a nine time Tony Award winning cast performing a show created by the guys behind 'South Park', Trey Parker and Matt Stone? Well, I had to cheat.

The first ever Broadwaycam, hit the torrent stream July of last year, and it was of none other than 'The Book of Mormon'. Even being in New York, P2P was the only way, that I could find, to see the show. I'm sure the production's bakers aren't complaining about the $477 million in tickets sales they took in this year , but if they offered a digital release, how much more could they have made? A shit ton!

Every 'South Park' fan wants to see this show. Nearly everyone in the musical theatre community wants see this show. People who just saw the show still want to see this show. It's that good! There is no down side to a video release; it wouldn't cannibalize the live performance's profits. If you're willing to pay live theatre prices to start, a DVD or MP4 isn't going to stop you from seeing it in person, and once you're there, you might even pick up a on the way out. Not everyone can make it to New York. Not everyone can drop $150 or even $40 per person.

Additional revenue aside, it's also within the best interest of live theatre, long term, to allow such releases. In the world of smartphones and P2P, the only way to assure an audience in the future is to engage the youth in their medium. The digit medium. So few people have seen a real musical, movie adaptations aside, as it is. This will only get worse with time. There needs to be change, and I can only hope it comes sooner rather than later.

Would you torrent a Broadway show? Let me know in a comment below.
Also, if you're looking to travel to New York or just about anywhere, check out my book on Kickstarter, The Hitchhiker's Guide to: Earth.

Source: Showbiz 411 TechCrunch The Guardian

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Location: 2068 Broadway, New York, NY 10023, USA

1 comment:

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