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Why don't original cast members of a broadway show go on tour anymore?

broadway guy
Broadway Legend
joined:8/5/11
Wasn't it a typical thing for stars of a show to go on tour after their Broadway run is over? It doesn't seem like that is the case anymore. Why is that?
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Patronus
Broadway Legend
joined:7/24/05
My guess is that most stars can get new projects and would rather stay in New York and be with their families developing somethign new than touring around the country.
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Visceral_Fella
Broadway Star
joined:1/18/12
I noticed this too, then when I considered the new touring shows and the stars who did the broadway runs I realized that most of them found work afterward. If you look at the shows that have started touring within the last year, almost all of the stars of that production are doing something else, or did something else. No need to do the tour when it's on your resume already, and you're being offered other work.
broadway guy
Broadway Legend
joined:8/5/11
Yeah i guess. I just figured they would want to go on tour with the show that made them popular for all of America to see! Wouldn't that be the best way to get your name out there?
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newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
The best way to get your name out there is to get a TV show or movie.
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Patronus
Broadway Legend
joined:7/24/05
Exactly. Getting your name out doesn't have the same appeal that it used to. Casting directors aren't in Des Moines, IA or Kansas City Missouri.

They are in Los Angeles and New York.
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HeyMrMusic
Broadway Legend
joined:5/16/04
While not typical anymore, some still do. Alice Ripley did the Next to Normal tour. Didn't Ashley Brown and/or Gavin Lee tour with Mary Poppins?
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GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
The best way to get your name out there is to get a TV show or movie.

Exactly. America doesn't know who stars in a show on Broadway (unless the star is already established on TV or film).

Far more common nowadays is for an actor to go from an acclaimed starring role to a TV series. Like Andrew Rannells and Lea Michelle.
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Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
Touring can be, and frequently is, a pain in the ass. Most actors who have made a name for themselves in an original cast often find more appealing job offers in New York or at regional theatres.
broadway guy
Broadway Legend
joined:8/5/11
So why do you guys think it has changed?
ghostlight2
Broadway Legend
joined:12/5/04
The way the world communicates has changed. This is really very simple. Before, there weren't movies or tv in the same level that there is now, and the internet didn't exist at all. Why would anyone tour who doesn't have to?

Touring won't get their names out there more than tv and movies will.

Updated On: 5/15/13 at 06:09 PM
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best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
I remember seeing Reid Shelton as Daddy Warbucks in the national tour of Annie.

When was the last time a lead in a Broadway show toured? Cherry Jones in Doubt?
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AEA AGMA SM
Broadway Legend
joined:8/13/09
Alice Ripley with Next to Normal is the most recent, I believe.
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best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
Well, brava to both of them.

I can tell you, from someone who grew up in the styx ... it matters. It made a huge impression on me as a kid to see Broadway originals in a show.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
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John Adams
Broadway Star
joined:4/1/13
>> "While not typical anymore, some still do. Alice Ripley did the Next to Normal tour."

If you google the history of Alice Ripley with Next To Normal it's not hard to infer that she might really be enamored with that show and that character - enamored to a point that she really loves to stick with the role/show. (Personal aside: I don't blame her in the least!)

She's the one actor who has consistently been with the production from its earliest stages. Before the show opened on Broadway, she and Emily Skinner quipped about it in their RAW at Town Hall concert. When it came time to tour, she elected to play Diana on the road - which we all can probably concede is not consistent with today's standard.

I truly believe that Ripley loves that role and the show. Like I mentioned earlier, I can't see any reason to fault her one bit. (Yup... I'm a fan.)

But that explains why I think she's an exception (in regards to your OP). I think the reason stars from Broadway productions don't tour any more is: MONEY.

Even in the heyday of touring companies, few Broadway stars appeared in national tours of the show they were famous for (but that's not the MONEY part... keep reading). They could easily be replaced with another "name" actor in a touring company, BUT... they could continue with their role on Broadway, or move on to another project. (Everybody "wins".)

Today however, the "new normal" appears to be Non-Equity tours. Producers don't have to pay the higher salaries for Equity actors in the roles, but can still expect equivalent ticket fees because the show is "direct from Broadway" (meaning that there has been no other touring production in that geographical market).

Personally, I think it's a shame. I absolutely agree with best12bars that "it matters". Even if they're not "the originals" from Broadway, it absolutely does make a difference for a kid "who grew up in the styx" (REALLY, best... the rock band???) to have the opportunity to see well-known actors on tour.

I don't support non-Equity tours. It's not that I'd deny beginning actors the opportunity to "earn their dues" (Hell's Bells... soooo many other opportunities to earn those Equity points), it's just that I resent the denial of logistically challenged folks from enjoying the "rush" of seeing stars. (You either "get" that or you don't...)




...because Broadway Cares
Updated On: 5/15/13 at 07:01 PM
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EgermanArmfelt
Stand-by
joined:7/25/12
Tracy Bennett in End of the Rainbow
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John Adams
Broadway Star
joined:4/1/13
>> "Tracy Bennett in End of the Rainbow"

I'm kinda drunk now so... Meaning what?
...because Broadway Cares
Updated On: 5/15/13 at 07:13 PM
Gothampc
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/03
Also in the old days, Broadway shut down for the Summer and actors went to the hinterlands to perform in plays. That no longer happens.
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BroadwayStar4
Featured Actor
joined:6/16/12
Do the understudies take their place for the tour?
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John Adams
Broadway Star
joined:4/1/13
>> "Do the understudies take their place for the tour??

Referring to the understudies of all Broadway productions?
Google each individual production of a specific show to find your answer.
...because Broadway Cares
Updated On: 5/15/13 at 07:46 PM
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GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
It's not that unusual for a Broadway original performer to do the show in LA. (LA is where the film and TV casting directors are. Getting a lot of media attention here can lead to broadcast work.)

Gothampc is right that before Broadway theaters were air-conditioned, shows used to tour with their original casts during the hot summer months.

Shows also rarely ran more than a season. An original cast star today doesn't NEED to go on the road because a hit show will run several years to a couple of decades. If a performer loves her role, she might as well stay in NYC.

This isn't to say that Broadway stars don't appear in OTHER shows when they need the work. There are still large stock theaters in the Midwest and Southeast, but TV/movie stars probably draw better than a strictly Broadway star.

Updated On: 5/15/13 at 08:01 PM
Queen of the Night
Featured Actor
joined:6/12/07
Constantine Maroulis played Drew in the Rock of Ages tour a few years ago.
And Roger Bart did the tour of Young Frankenstein. Saw both of them on the road after they did the shows on Broadway.
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James885
Broadway Legend
joined:5/2/05
Norbert Leo Butz also briefly reprised his role as Freddy in the Dirty Rotten Scoundrels tour.
"You drank a charm to kill John Proctor's wife! You drank a charm to kill Goody Proctor!" - Betty Parris to Abigail Williams in Arthur Miller's The Crucible
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JoeKv99
Broadway Legend
joined:12/27/04
Dick Van Dyke was starring in Bye Bye Birdie on Broadway when he was offered the Dick Van Dyke show on TV. He debated what to do and finally took the TV show- despite numerous people telling him he was a fool to leave Birdie (after a year) for a TV SHOW. Do you think many actors agonize about that now? And of course,how many more MILLIONS of people know him for his TV show (and movies) than his great big fat Broadway hit?
No good can possibly come from using this vast wasteland of error and deliberate deceit. You should get off of it and warn others away. You should make sure your children and grandchildren know what a corrupt and morally bankrupt institution it truly is.
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EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
Wow,I had no idea that Broadway houses used to close for some of the Summer? When was this done? Wouldit mean a run for Oklahoma! or whatever would not be consecutive but the number of performances had a break?

One other aspect I think is not so much that stars used to get their name out by touring and hope to get better known--and now to do that theyhave to move to tv or movies, but also kinda the reverse. For a long time these Broadway stars were well known thanks to radio broadcasts of plays nationally with often the original leads, or performances on variety shows on radio and TV. Broadway culture was much better known in the rest of the US (or the continent) I believe--so to see a show with its original leads on tour would help sell it. Now, I don't think it matters that much anymore--many casual theatre fans I know who regularly go to touring shows pick their shows due to the show--they rarely would have any idea who the leads were (or if it was stunt casted on Broadway with a movie/tv actor, those same people would probably not be available for a tour...)
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all that jazz
Broadway Legend
joined:4/5/12
Stars today should learn a lesson from Carol Channing. Now there's a committed performer.

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