Does This Season of Hit Musicals Prove The Power of The New York Times is on the Wane?

Up In One Profile Photo
Up In One
Leading Actor
Isn't interesting that we had four, what appear to be, mega hit musicals opening within weeks of each other (KINKY BOOTS, MOTOWN, MATILDA, PIPPIN)and two also-rans which are doing good business (CINDERELLA,ANNIE)and none of them are successful because of a New York Times review? It could be argued that Matilda got a rave from the NY Times in London a year ago which was followed up with a love letter when it opened here - but Matilda's success had more to do with its reviews and success in London than the NY Times.
Broadway Legend
The power of the New York times has been on the "wane" for the past 10 years at the least.
Broadway Star
UpinOne, the sell-out status of Kinky Boots, Matilda, and Motown is like that of shows throughout Broadway history: audience pleasers that came to town with the wind at their back. Yes, none prove the Times can make a hit, which has been a rare occurrence for decades at least. Frank Rich gave many raves to shows with short runs. I think Brantley's rave for Matilda's London run certainly helped drive its good advance. Brantley's Kinky Boots review cited the show's ability to make an audience happy. It's filled with quotable compliments. Isherwood called Motown's music irresistible. And both reviews typified the overall response to the shows. Same thing with Cinderella and Annie which aren't smash hits.
Broadway Legend
I wonder if Wildhorn feels the same as you about the power of the NY Times - LOL.
best12bars Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
"Mega-hit" musicals? They've been around a grand total of three minutes now.

Aren't you bestowing that title a little early?

Like five years early?
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
John Adams Profile Photo
John Adams
Broadway Star
I was thinking that, too.
...because Broadway Cares
CurtainPullDowner Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
The only "hit" of the season is LUCKY GUY.
MATILDA and BOOTS got good notices, so I fail to see your point.
And what best12bars said...
dramamama611 Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
The only one that got PANNED was Motown.
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.
CarlosAlberto Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
^ ...and ironically it's a BIG FAT HIT.

Updated On: 5/9/13 at 06:13 AM
MusicalTheatreGeek2 Profile Photo
And you mustn't forget Bombshell! (Sorry couldn't resist) but I know that in the UK the times is still important as if you seach for a review that is always the first one to come up, and most people don't read more than one!
Featured Actor
I agree with Up In One that the influence of the NY Timesís theater criticism has diminished over time. I believe this may be a reaction by the public to the way the paper has used its voice and influence.

In the past, New York had a number of newspapers that were viewed as intellectual. London still does. But all of the Timesís serious competitors folded, and it now dominates as New Yorkís newspaper, giving it a unique critical position in relation to the cityís theatrical culture. Instead of using this position to present a range of critical viewpoints like those presented in multiple London papers, one lead critic dominates, and its other theater writers circle the wagon to make it seem as though what he said, and only what he said, are the be-all and end-all of intelligence and good taste. You never see anyone dare disagree, either in a differing opinion or even a letter to the editor.

For the socially insecure classes who think good conversation consists of repeating the opinions of the Times, the newspaper will always have sway. They are easy to spot at cocktail parties. But for others, the Timesís domination of opinion has become wearisome. I believe the flourishing of theatrical boards like this one in social media is a direct reflection of that, and provides the public with a much-desired opportunity for more diverse viewpoints.
songanddanceman2 Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
The Times in the UK has no power at all and is just classed as another review. You can't even read them online since they now charge you to do so. The UK had never had a publication with that much power, audiences will just see what they want to see and make up their own minds.
Namo i love u but we get it don't like Madonna
MusicalTheatreGeek2 Profile Photo
I thought you could read them in the UK? Oh well, god knows what I have been reading! I take it back then! :P
newintown Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
The Times can maybe kill an under-capitalized show, but it can't make anything a hit.

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