BWW Feature: Star-Studded BROADWAY ON BROMO Suspends Their Website and Facebook Amidst Suspicion

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BWW Feature: Star-Studded BROADWAY ON BROMO Suspends Their Website and Facebook Amidst Suspicion
The poster for BROADWAY ON BROMO.

A poster circulating around the net this week became the talk of the town among Indonesian musical lovers. Lea Salonga and Idina Menzel are coming to Indonesia!

The name of the event is BROADWAY ON BROMO, boasting the tagline 'The First Broadway Show on Bromo Ever' (Bromo being a picturesque mountain in East Java). The event will run on December 6 and 7, 2019, at Plataran Bromo. The poster bills Broadway superstars such as Lea Salonga, Idina Menzel, Hugh Jackman, and Jenifer[sic] Hudson in its line-up. Tucked at the bottom of the poster are the organizers' logos: CKNF and Galanesia.

A Broadway show featuring all these legends sounds too good to be true. Considering their star power and how rightfully dramatic theatre lovers could be, the internet would explode if there's a show featuring even any two of the actors together. Yet there's no hype surrounding this show, a month away from its run -- the first indication that something might be off.

Another point is the poster's inability to tell what kind of show it is advertising. Below the tagline 'The First Broadway Show on Broadway Ever' is a smaller tagline 'A Storytelling of Most Popular Musicals'. Is it a traditional musical or a storytelling session?

The subheader 'Starring by Most Popular Artists' also contains a glaring grammar mistake that would be uncharacteristic of an international professional production. Then there's the misspelling of Jennifer Hudson's name. By this point, it's clear that something is up with the event.

But let's check out the (currently defunct -- more on that later) website on broadwayonbromo.com.

BWW Feature: Star-Studded BROADWAY ON BROMO Suspends Their Website and Facebook Amidst Suspicion

From its About section:
"The show will be performed in the heavenly cozy atmosphere of Plataran Bromo and intimate with only 500 seats. It is a 2 ACTS concert with the most famous Broadway numbers from top Broadway productions and some of them even performs [sic] by its original cast."

Here it describes the show as a concert featuring Broadway numbers. Although perhaps more believable than a new show outright, the inconsistency doesn't help its case - and neither does the awkward copy.

Under the 'Pre Event: Gala Dinner and Exclusive Meet and Greet' section, the event promises a gala dinner on December 6 'together with the sponsors, founders, and 10 VIP Guest who purchase Meet & Greet Package'. It doesn't specify who - if any - of the performers will attend this event.

BWW Feature: Star-Studded BROADWAY ON BROMO Suspends Their Website and Facebook Amidst Suspicion
Just a few of the shows to be featured on BROADWAY ON BROMO.

After scrolling through a slew of promotional photos from Broadway musicals ranging Rent to Beauty and the Beast, we are greeted by the header 'Indonesian Act: Bromo Love Story'. It says: 'Among those world famous broadway[sic] performances there will be a show about the urban legend of Mt. Bromo with all its pure, deep, brave and breath-taking mystical love story.'

Apparently there will be a whole another show amidst the 'world famous broadway performances'. Of course, an all-Indonesian story is an easy sell to get international tourists' money and government's backing alike, but it might push the runtime a bit too far.

BWW Feature: Star-Studded BROADWAY ON BROMO Suspends Their Website and Facebook Amidst Suspicion
They are so famous there's no need for pictures.

Regardless, we finally arrive at the website's Performers section. The event supposedly will also feature local A-listers Agnez Mo, Vidi Aldiano, Delon and Gamaliel. And in addition to the Broadway stars, the international celebs chef/model/singer Franco Noriega and Filipina singer Morissette Amon will also perform in this storytelling concert show.

More enigmatically, the list also includes the local vocal school Swara Narwastu, a 'Luiz Fernandez' (possibly referring to Luis Fernandez, soccer manager and a candidate for the position of Indonesia's national team's coach back in 2017), and an unidentified 'Fathira Fadlan'. This mish-mash of performers will also be accompanied by the reputable Erwin Gutawa Orchestra, so the website claims.

BWW Feature: Star-Studded BROADWAY ON BROMO Suspends Their Website and Facebook Amidst Suspicion
They should consider using 'mil' instead of 'jt' to keep the language consistent, if that was ever a concern.

The tickets start at 11 million Indonesian Rupiah (~785 USD) and goes up to the 22-million-Rupiah Diamond tickets, which include a gala dinner and exclusive meet and greet (for comparison, the VVIP tickets for Backstreet Boys' DNA World Tour's Jakarta stop only went for 3,5 million Rupiah, while the Stars of the West End musical concert's Platinum tickets would only set musical die-hards back 2,5 million Rupiah.)

Let's take a look at the duo of organizers: CKNF and Galanesia.

CKNF is short for Citarasa Kuliner Nusantara Foundation ('Nusantara Culinary Flavor Foundation'), ostensibly 'a forum for culinary actors with the aim of promoting culinary archipelago diversity'. Interestingly, it consistently describes itself in future tense ('CKNF will hold various promotional events...' and 'CKNF will continue to explore the culinary wealth...').

There's no evidence of past events, no contact info, and nothing connecting them to the world of performing arts.

BWW Feature: Star-Studded BROADWAY ON BROMO Suspends Their Website and Facebook Amidst Suspicion
Great, now what should I do with this 22 million Indonesian Rupiah?

The other organizer is Galanesia, an event management website. Though the BROADWAY ON BROMO's website's 'Buy Ticket Now' redirected to Galanesia's supposed page for the event (the URL was galanesia.com/events/broadway-on-bromo-2019), except there's no such page -- the website returned an Error 404 - Page Not Found.

Another noteworthy finding was the address for Galanesia: Ndalem Kalegan A-12, Ampeldento, East Java. Only a few houses away from BROADWAY ON BROMO's address at Ndalem Kalegan A-27.

All the discoveries from this customary examination -- the eclectic line-up, the difficulty of booking multiple Broadway legends, the exorbitant prices, and the questionable organizers -- necessitate further investigation. We contacted the representatives for several of the artists listed.

A representative for Lea Salonga has confirmed that she has not been booked for the event. Likewise, the management for Idina Menzel has stated that she has no plans for international touring at this time.

Vidi Aldiano's management said that they have been contacted by the event's organizer, although no deals have been made yet.

The representatives for other performers haven't commented yet. If you're a representative for one of the performers and would like to clarify about their role on the show, please send an email to paputunganrakaputra@gmail.com.

Judging from the responses so far, the organizer was too hasty to slap the performers names' on their promotional materials. It is still unclear if this is an honest mistake by an ambitious and perhaps inexperienced organizer who wishes to follow through with contracting these big names, or a willful deception.

We also tried to contact the event's organizer through email and Facebook. Unfortunately, the email listed on their website (hello@broadwayonbromo.com) only returned an 'Address not found' error.

BWW Feature: Star-Studded BROADWAY ON BROMO Suspends Their Website and Facebook Amidst Suspicion
The air around Mt. Bromo's peak is not the only thin air in this production.

The attempt to reach them via the (also defunct) Facebook page went better at first. When inquired about whether or not the event was genuine, the reply assured that it is a real event.

However, before further discussion could be held, the Facebook page was deactivated. Not long after, the website was also taken down. BROADWAY ON BROMO closed its curtains before the show began.

One legend pertaining to Mt. Bromo was of a childless couple praying on top of the volcano for children. Suddenly, a voice answered that it would grant their wish -- but the couple must sacrifice their youngest child to the volcano's crater. Even after they were gifted with 25 children, the couple wouldn't pay the price and broke their promise. The volcano erupted in anger and consumed the youngest child.

Perhaps there's a lesson here about making empty promises.



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From This Author Rakaputra Paputungan