An Open Letter to the Roundabout Theatre Company - Re: DROOD

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Broadway Bob*
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Dear Roundabout,

First of all, congratulations on the insane brilliance that is your new production of THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD. The casting is brilliant, the costumes are gorgeous, and the sets breathtaking. In 25 years of theater going, seeing shows at every level of theater there is - high school, community theater, regional theater, national tours, and Broadway - I've never spent an evening where I've had more fun.

Now, having said all that, I think it would be a crying shame to let this amazing show slink into oblivion without being commemorated in various ways:

-First off, I think the insane BEAUTY of this production needs to be preserved in a souvenir program. I know you don't typically do programs (except for long running shows like CABARET and ANYTHING GOES) but these costumes and sets need to be remembered (especially at Tony time).

-Secondly, this is an AMAZINGLY musical cast who is singing the crap out of this score. I realize the Original Broadway Cast Recording was just re-released, but that doesn't take the need to record this cast away. Stephanie J. Block, Will Chase, Jessie Meuller, Andy Karl, Chita Rivera and the rest are giving such exceptional musical performances they deserve to be recorded.

-Finally, adding this all together, I would BEG you to track down an investor to finance filming this show. With the advent of today's interactive technology (i.e. DVD and Blu-ray) you could bring the fun audience interaction into people's homes. Surely someone could design a DVD/Blu-ray where, when time comes for the voting element of the show, a menu would pop up and the at home watcher could use their remote to choose who is Datchery, who is the murderer, and who are the lovers. It would be time consuming I realize, but one just need film each possible ending and through seemless branching... voila, you have an at home experience to closely match the in theater joy.

Too many amazing shows have gone by without being preserved in this manner (your production of CABARET is one that is a travesty to not have on film) and it would be a real shame to not take advantage of modern technology to allow a wider spread experience of this amazing evening of theater.

Thanks for reading and congratulations again on your great artistic success with this show.

Sincerely,
R.J. Lowe*



<-- Tevye, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, March 2018
Updated On: 11/1/12 at 09:10 AM
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dreaming
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I bet they'll try to make it an open-ended run, like Anything Goes and Cabaret before it. It all depends on the reviews and how it can do once the subscriber base has seen it.
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uncageg
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Did you actually send this letter to Roundabout?
Just give the world Love.
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I tried but it was too long to goin their email box on their website. Do you think I should go ahead and send it?
<-- Tevye, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, March 2018
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dreaming
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Yes, although I think the suggestion of trying to go open-ended should be added. It has the potential to.
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Given the very positive word of mouth it's been getting, I would be surprised if this isn't a hit for Roundabout and eventually made open-ended. I'd also be shocked if a cast recording isn't produced.
"...everyone finally shut up, and the audience could enjoy the beginning of the Anatevka Pogram in peace."
PlayItAgain
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hmmm now its making more sense why the Sondheim has been kept open....
bestfreakinshoes
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But I agree with the poster who mentioned that the Sondheim is a bit too modern looking and feeling for this production, since it's supposed to take place in an English Music Hall. Studio 54 has the perfect feel for it. Needless to say, though, that it would be wonderful if the show's run got extended.

And I agree about a cast recording as well. They've got so many great Broadway voices and on the rise actors that I can't imagine it not happening.
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AC126748
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They are definitely preparing to keep this production open past March, should it do well.
"You travel alone because other people are only there to remind you how much that hook hurts that we all bit down on. Wait for that one day we can bite free and get back out there in space where we belong, sail back over water, over skies, into space, the hook finally out of our mouths and we wander back out there in space spawning to other planets never to return hurrah to earth and we'll look back and can't even see these lives here anymore. Only the taste of blood to remind us we ever existed. The earth is small. We're gone. We're dead. We're safe." -John Guare, Landscape of the Body
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CABARET 'took over' 54 and transformed it into the Kit Kat Klub, when it ran, I've an inkling The Music Hall Royale will have a new home on W. 54th Street for a while to come... An Open Letter to the Roundabout Theatre Company - Re: DROOD
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Just got an email from Roundabout thanking me for my "enthusiastic post about" DROOD. Since the letter wouldn't fit I sent them here to this thread. They said they welcome my input and they're forwarding my thoughts on to the artistic team. Kinda' cool to know they read it!
<-- Tevye, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, March 2018
ghostlight2
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Another show is going into the Sondheim. If Drood extends, it will stay put.
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I actually like the idea of filming all of the endings and putting it on dvd. That would be pretty cool and nice for all of us who have only seen one or possibly 2 of the endings. I would buy it in a heartbeat.
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I read somewhere that there are 47 possible endings. Seems like a bit much to film and put on a DVD.
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Isn't that just because of all the potential combos? They wouldn't have to film 47.
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HeyMrMusic
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I think it's possible. Out on a Limerick is an isolated song and they can just film each individual Datchery. Same with the confessions. And same with the lovers. It's time consuming but possible. I'm sure each Out on a Limerick and confession had to be teched before previews started, so they've gone through it already.

Maybe I'm optimistic of the possibilities because I'd Iove to see it happen.
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There's certainly room on a Blu Ray to capture and offer all of the ending possibilities, and as for the production concerns, it's just more shooting.

The problem is with the name recognition. I'm not sure that this show has the familiarity needed to fuel sales. We would buy it... but our numbers probably don't justify the expenditure.
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$223,455 for 8 performances last week is not good at all An Open Letter to the Roundabout Theatre Company - Re: DROOD. It is nice to see people respond positively to this show, but I wonder if they are going to struggle to keep it running for the initial engagement (let alone an extension, a cast recording or a filming). Is the word of mouth for the show otherwise good? I wonder if that's the most important thing at the moment.

I realise the $10 tickets don't help the grosses, but still. They seem to be having a problem filling to capacity at even this cost. And I guess the hurricane has/will only make things more difficult, for the short-term at least. I hope they pull through...









"Itís the fractured quality in [Bernadette Peters'] singing voice and line readings that puts across the character as someone for whom resentment is sliding into madness." - NYtimes on Follies (2011).
Updated On: 11/1/12 at 07:03 PM
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Well... they'll pull through their initial engagement. It's a non-profit, they have subscribers to buoy them until press and word-of-mouth does the rest.
"...everyone finally shut up, and the audience could enjoy the beginning of the Anatevka Pogram in peace."
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This isn't a strong tourist show. They may only know the name Chita Rivera and see it for that reason.

This is a theatre people show. It has name recognition with us. Being that theatre people see theatre -- you don't have to reel us in like you do tourists -- a strong positive about DROOD is that because it has so many endings, is interactive, and is well-liked, the show will have repeat visits by us theatre people. So that's a plus.

It DEFINITELY will not transfer to the Sondheim.

If anything, Roundabout may extend at Studio 54 through the Spring. This would be smart, because it will be a long-running show playing to the Tony Awards, which only helps your Tony chances.

A DVD of this production is unlikely, however, a cast recording could be worth it monetarily. They should have a bonus CD that has all the alternate voting scenarios. And the booklet for the CD could have the production shots that showcase the sets and costumes. This cast recording is much more cost-effective than both a DVD and a souvenir program.
"The Spectacle has, indeed, an emotional attraction of its own, but, of all the parts, it is the least artistic, and connected least with the art of poetry. For the power of Tragedy, we may be sure, is felt even apart from representation and actors. Besides, the production of spectacular effects depends more on the art of the stage machinist than on that of the poet."
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AGermano
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@ghostlight2: What's going into the Sondheim and how are you so sure?
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If it gets good reviews then it will become a tourist show.
....but the world goes 'round
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tazber - Good reviews may give DROOD a slight boost, but I cannot imagine it being a strong tourist draw. Not when there's WICKED, PHANTOM, MORMON, MATILDA, CINDERELLA, LION KING, EVITA, MAMMA MIA, JERSEY BOYS, NEWSIES, MOTOWN, ONCE, and SPIDER-MAN.
"The Spectacle has, indeed, an emotional attraction of its own, but, of all the parts, it is the least artistic, and connected least with the art of poetry. For the power of Tragedy, we may be sure, is felt even apart from representation and actors. Besides, the production of spectacular effects depends more on the art of the stage machinist than on that of the poet."
--Aristotle
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Capnhook, was ONCE a recognizable name to be reckoned with before it opened to enthusiastic reviews and word of mouth? No, it was a well regarded little movie seen by dozens of people.
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henrikegerman
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Capnhook, was ONCE a recognizable name to be reckoned with before it opened to enthusiastic reviews and word of mouth? No, it was a well regarded little movie seen by dozens (ok, I'm embellishing) of people.