International success of If/Then

RW3
Broadway Star
joined:7/20/13
International success of If/Then
Posted: 5/15/14 at 10:31pm
Does If/Then have the potential to be successful overseas?
ljay889
Broadway Legend
joined:8/4/04
International success of If/Then
Posted: 5/15/14 at 10:33pm
With Idina, probably.
Without, doubt it.

#sadandtransparent
Mr. Nowack
Broadway Star
joined:2/2/14
International success of If/Then
Posted: 5/16/14 at 12:24am
It seems like the most random shows become wildly successful overseas, so who knows? It could be a mega-hit in Korea or something.
I was previously known as Mr. Nowak (Joined: 5/20/13).
Sutton Ross
Broadway Legend
joined:7/20/13
International success of If/Then
Posted: 5/16/14 at 12:29am
Meh.
nomore.org
bwayboy22
Stand-by
joined:5/9/12
International success of If/Then
Posted: 5/16/14 at 01:16am
Willimejin can do it.
DeNada
Broadway Star
joined:7/7/07
International success of If/Then
Posted: 5/16/14 at 03:07am
You know that line about the Seagram Building in Company? Internationally that's almost meaningless.

If/Then has a whole bunch of lines like that.

It could be successful for fans of belty lead role actresses - the Willemijns of this world, or a Takako Matsu, or whatever - but it's occasionally just a little too New York centric IMO.

It's also not the best show in the world!
haterobics
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/14
International success of If/Then
Posted: 5/16/14 at 03:09am
"It's also not the best show in the world!"

Wouldn't all but one show (which you didn't name) not be the best show in the world?
formerly oasisjeff on here.
NeverSoShy
Chorus Member
joined:10/8/11
International success of If/Then
Posted: 5/16/14 at 03:49am
"You know that line about the Seagram Building in Company? Internationally that's almost meaningless.

If/Then has a whole bunch of lines like that."

A lot of the location specific lines like that would be removed (which as a Brit just seemed to me to be 'everywhere but Manhatten sucks) as well as the jokes about Applebee's and Olive Garden etc
jnb9872
Broadway Legend
joined:11/24/08
International success of If/Then
Posted: 5/16/14 at 11:45am
^^ What would be left of the book, then?
Words don't deserve that kind of malarkey. They're innocent, neutral, precise, standing for this, describing that, meaning the other, so if you look after them you can build bridges across incomprehension and chaos. But when they get their corners knocked off, they're no good anymore…I don't think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.
haterobics
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/14
International success of If/Then
Posted: 5/16/14 at 11:46am
You can't really de-NYC If/Then.
formerly oasisjeff on here.
ukpuppetboy
Stand-by
joined:2/12/13
International success of If/Then
Posted: 5/16/14 at 12:07pm
"You can't really de-NYC If/Then."

Nor should you. It's as integtral to the story as any of the characters. Generic rewrites never really seem to work when international productions get staged and often just dumb down the piece or patronise the audience - a large proportion of which will be well aware of many of the NY references having visited probably more often than many Americans. Not forgetting that most of the world grows up with US movies and tv.

If Broadway audiences can stomach a One Man Two Guv'nors set in Brighton then I'm sure the world can relate to a reference or three from the Big Apple. There are quite a few in Spiderman, Ghostbusters, Friends, Will and Grace......
CATSNYrevival
Broadway Legend
joined:3/1/04
International success of If/Then
Posted: 5/16/14 at 04:13pm
I think it just depends on who they get to star. Sometimes these types of shows are unexpected hits in other countries. A few shows from the last few years that were major flops in NYC have been successful elsewhere.
That's right! Underscore mother-fu@#ers!
NeverSoShy
Chorus Member
joined:10/8/11
International success of If/Then
Posted: 5/16/14 at 04:49pm
"You can't really de-NYC If/Then."
I just mean some of the very specific one liners. If those are that integral (which having seen the show, I don't think they are), then no the show probably wouldn't work internationally.

Songs like Mad Manhattan and a Map of New York would work perfectly well, but quips about restaurants etc that we don't have (talking from a British perspective) not so much. There's not dumbing it down and then there's presuming that we have a more in depth knowledge of America than we actually do on the whole (I know I'm making a massive generalisation here, sorry if that offends anyone!).


Updated On: 5/16/14 at 04:49 PM
ukpuppetboy
Stand-by
joined:2/12/13
International success of If/Then
Posted: 5/16/14 at 05:12pm
I really dont see how changing specific details like restaurant names really matters to the audience understanding the show. If it's set in New York could the audience not just go with the idea that it's a restaurant in NY they haven't heard of - but at least it would be true to the book, rather than making up a generic name (which would serve no purpose) or worse still insert a non NYC/international reference instead which would be jarring.

I am thinking of Avenue Q which switched "Korean Deli" for "Chinese Restaurant" in London which I always found didn't sit as well in the song and was pointless as I'm pretty sure Londoners are au fait with both delis and Korea. And Polaks changed to "stupid French people" just drew you out of the East Village altogether as if Ave Q was now in a xenophobic corner of Hackney. There was a whole episode of Will & Grace about The Olive Garden that you didn't really need to know what is was to still find funny in the context of the writing.

"I just mean some of the very specific one liners. If those are that integral (which having seen the show, I don't think they are)....."

I think you're right - so why change them? If the only thing you can't follow in If/Then is NY references then you're probably not following at all.







Updated On: 5/17/14 at 05:12 PM
Aloe
Swing
joined:5/16/14
International success of If/Then
Posted: 5/16/14 at 07:19pm
I don't usually love or even like Idina but she was really good in this. The book was amazing when she sings Always Starting Over I cried. If Then has one of the best scores I have ever heard and it was one of the best directed shows I have seen in a long time. I loved what they did with mirrors

10/10
RippedMan
Broadway Legend
joined:8/14/05
International success of If/Then
Posted: 5/16/14 at 07:40pm
It does always amaze me as the things that are hits and misses. Avenue Q seemed to flop pretty hard overseas. And I would have thought Drowsy Chaperone would have done well too.
qolbinau
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/08
International success of If/Then
Posted: 5/16/14 at 07:48pm
RippedMan, which countries are you referring to when you say that Avenue Q flopped overseas?
RippedMan
Broadway Legend
joined:8/14/05
International success of If/Then
Posted: 5/17/14 at 12:39am
West End.
haterobics
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/14
International success of If/Then
Posted: 5/17/14 at 01:40am
(This is a **** way to start a sentence, but)

According to Wikipedia, Avenue Q didn't seem to be a flop in the West End:

"The production ran 1,179 performances through March 2009, then reopened in June 2009 at the Gielgud Theatre. After a further 327 performances, the show moved in March 2010 to the Wyndham's Theatre, where it closed on October 30, 2010 after a five-year run."

Where is the flopping part? Five years seems pretty good, no? Unless those are significantly smaller theaters each time?
formerly oasisjeff on here.
Mark_E
Broadway Legend
joined:1/26/06
International success of If/Then
Posted: 5/17/14 at 05:22am
Avenue Q was a massive hit in the West End.

I could see this working in London for a limited run but only with someone like Idina.
2012 Shows!
The Railway Children, The Lion In Winter, The Comedy of Errors, Richard II, Pippin, The Ladykillers, Absent Friends, Shrek, Masterclass, Jersey Boys Rock Of Ages, Legally Blonde, Hay Fever, Singin' in the Rain, Abigail's Party, What the Butler Saw, Ragtime. [Booked] London Road, The Last of the Haussmans.
Princeton Returns
Broadway Legend
joined:12/2/10
International success of If/Then
Posted: 5/17/14 at 06:11am
Avenue Q was a hit in London (once it got its pricing structure right), and played in two similar sized venues, then a smaller one. It had a successful UK tour playing in some venues comparable to St James and the like on Broadway. Its since had a couple of other UK tours and a fringe show.

Drowsy flopping in the West End didnt surprise me in the least, its such a niche show. Personally I didn't think it was that great either.

I can't see If/Then selling in the UK unless they cast a name in the lead (and not Idina she wouldn't be a big enough name to sustain a West End run)
devonian.t
Broadway Legend
joined:7/26/04
International success of If/Then
Posted: 5/17/14 at 07:28am
We can add in City of Angels, Fosse and Movin' Out to name a few. Each of those productions btw were stunning.
ukpuppetboy
Stand-by
joined:2/12/13
International success of If/Then
Posted: 5/17/14 at 07:42am
Thanks Devonian. Anything that reminds me of Haydn Gwynne singng "You Can Always Count on Me" in that production is welcome anytime... Too bad for those that missed it.
DeNada
Broadway Star
joined:7/7/07
International success of If/Then
Posted: 5/17/14 at 08:00am
Avenue Q ran for several years in London - but did it make its money back? That is an interesting question...

BROADWAYWORLD TV