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Out-of-town try-outs

THEATRICAL100
Featured Actor
joined:9/12/10
Out-of-town try-outs
Posted: 5/31/12 at 08:24pm
What is your take on them? What shows should have done them that didn't? I think they're good for 'testing' the show and being able the change it - BEFORE previews and the reviews.
Marla: I have to go sing about a life I never led.
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fingerlakessinger
Broadway Legend
joined:11/18/10
Out-of-town try-outs
Posted: 5/31/12 at 08:40pm
IMO, I think all shows should do it.
Once in a while you will get a show that gets it right on the first time out and don't require a out of town try out (Book of Mormon)
But most shows, I think, need that audience reaction and critical analysis before they head to NYC. What could it hurt? Of course it comes down to the creative team making the RIGHT choices and learning what works and doesn't work and remove/add the right stuff. Most shows I think do this very well and come out better on the other side (WICKED is an example. I know it gets a lot of hate on here but I personally think the show was strong in SF but even stronger here, but I digress.)
The only show I can think of that clunked hard after their out of town(s)recently is WONDERLAND. They just made almost all the wrong decisions.
"Life in theater is give and take...but you need to be ready to give more then you take..."
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LizzieCurry
Broadway Legend
joined:3/7/05
Out-of-town try-outs
Posted: 5/31/12 at 08:50pm
I saw Wicked in SF and then on Broadway and while I didn't love it, I thought it was incredibly solid and didn't have a ton of work to be done.

Then again, I thought the same with Lennon (and liked that more)...
"Don't patronize me, alright?" - BroadwayStar4
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bdn223
Broadway Star
joined:6/14/08
Out-of-town try-outs
Posted: 5/31/12 at 08:51pm
I think they help when there is no imminent date for Broadway, case and point is the Addams Family which had a out of town try out but didn't have time to use the feedback they got from it, because its producers rushed it to broadway 2 months later. Apparently the tour production is what Lippa wanted for the Broadway production only the producers didn't give him any time.
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bwayphreak234
Broadway Legend
joined:7/4/10
Out-of-town try-outs
Posted: 5/31/12 at 10:57pm
Women on the Verge. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely LOVED the finished product on Broadway and thought it was a great adaption, but they probably could have solidified it a lot more and got better reviews if they had more time to work on it.
"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
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dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
Out-of-town try-outs
Posted: 5/31/12 at 11:08pm
Just because it tours/does out of towns doesn't guarantee that the creative team is capapble of making the right changes: Bonnie and Clyde, Wonderland, Catch Me If You Can just for a few examples.

When it does do those things the INTENT is always about the change and the feedback -- doesn't mean it works.
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
Jonwo
Broadway Legend
joined:3/16/06
Out-of-town try-outs
Posted: 5/31/12 at 11:08pm
Sometimes transfers from London and other places get out of town tryouts, Priscilla played in Toronto before they went to Broadway but I guess that was to test the changes made to make more appealing to Broadway and American audiences, Les Miserables I believe got tried out in Washington before transferring to Broadway even though the London production was a hit.
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jv92
Broadway Legend
joined:11/4/05
Out-of-town try-outs
Posted: 5/31/12 at 11:20pm
I think a tryout either commercially or at a non-for-profit regional theatre or a workshop somewhere not in NYC (i.e. The O'Neill Center, Sundance, etc.) is necessary for success...usually. There are some exceptions. Someone already mentioned BOOK OF MORMON.
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bdn223
Broadway Star
joined:6/14/08
Out-of-town try-outs
Posted: 5/31/12 at 11:36pm
Producers have to also beware not to rush a out of town try out either, because universal pans in a try out can cause New York critics to have their claws out waiting for the transfer, Addams Family (which deserved its pans), 9 to 5, or the opposite phenomenon can happen if the show gets universal praise and the authors think the show is great aka Wonderland and Bonnie and Clyde which got decent reviews in their out of town and were paned in New York
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philly03
Broadway Legend
joined:9/20/07
Out-of-town try-outs
Posted: 6/1/12 at 12:18am
To be fair to WONDERLAND, they (Wildhorn, Boyd, Murphy) premiered the show in Tampa in late 2009, then made quite a bit of rewrites before opening in Houston weeks later. They also workshopped all summer and re-premiered in Tampa in 2011 a few months prior to Broadway, but the producers ditched the writers of the piece - they're work was not what appeared on Broadway (nor will the Broadway production likely to be duplicated - ever).

I think it is better though if the show has no set plans for an immediate Broadway transfer (ie: Bonnie & Clyde, which was much better in Sarasota, and even better on Broadway than the original premiere).
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EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
Out-of-town try-outs
Posted: 6/1/12 at 01:09am
Instead of Out-of-townn try--outs in the old fashioned sense (where it seemed a show would usually open in Boston, New Haven, or Toronto or somewhere else not that far from New York, and then go to often one other city before New York), the practice, when done now, seems to be to do a regional production somewhere relatively far from New York and critics (though they often go anyway) like Seattle, San Francisco, La Jolla, etc, and admidst lots of gossip about whether the producers are aiming at Broadway or not (they seem to always be aiming at Broadway despite what is said),and then after some time, open either somewhere else or in NY.
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SingingChef
Stand-by
joined:11/9/10
Out-of-town try-outs
Posted: 6/1/12 at 01:55am
I saw YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN in Seattle and loved it. Transitions were a little wonky, but very solid.
From what I've heard the show changed for the worse when it transferred to the Broads.

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