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New President, New Agenda for the Kennedy Center

Deborah Rutter will be the Kennedy Center's third president. This is really interesting because she's coming from a very successful run as the head of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; she has an MBA; and according to the article in the Washington Post, she's being hired as much for her management skills as her expertise in the arts.The Kennedy Center is an interesting organization to me because it's separated in so many ways from all of the pressures that most...

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Presenting: Lea DeLaria at TEDxBroadway 2014

One of the presenters we’re excited about catching up with at TEDxBroadway this year is comedian, actress and jazz musician Lea DeLaria. You might have seen her this year playing prison inmate Carrie “Big Boo” Black on Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black or heard her version of "All That Jazz" on FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance.The Guardian said she “talks like a coffee grinder, and sounds like a cross between Ella Fitzgerald and a Broadway diva.”...

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Imagine what Happens to Sales If Ticket Buyers Feel Unsafe

Demand for live entertainment ticket sales have stood the test of time, and that's a good thing. But if there's one thing that can change that demand level fast, it would be the perception that going to a show is unsafe.Live entertainment is already inconvenient and expensive compared to other forms of entertainment. Add "unsafe" and in the long term, that's too many strikes. People will go home for good.Fortunately, as a rule, shows are very safe, but the...

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Dollars Matter, But So Does Attendance

Broadway had a great Thanksgiving weekend, breaking the all-time revenue record as people poured in from out of town to celebrate the long weekend with a show.The record that wasn't broken, however, was the attendance record, which was actually 4% off the all-time record this year.It's a good moment to ask the question: Does that matter?Isn't it dollars, not tickets, that count?Yes, and no. Yes, because it's true that you take dollars to the bank, not ticket sales numbers.But...

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The Sound of Audience

Last Thursday night, 18.5 million people watched The Sound of Music performed live on television.Last season, 11.5 million people saw any show on Broadway.Quibble about the performances. Quibble about the production. Say (correctly) that the two experiences are not the same. Say (correctly) that you can’t monetize a TV viewing the same way you can monetize a theater visit.But here’s what it comes down to.When the only way to experience the product is in the building, you’re not losing...

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7th Annual Goldstar National Nutcracker Award

For the seventh year in a row, Goldstar is awarding the Goldstar National Nutcracker Award this December.Here’s a little history. A few years ago, we noticed that we had a LOT of different productions of The Nutcracker on Goldstar all over the country. This was also not too long after we launched our user review and rating system. Putting the two pieces together, we decided that it would be fun to give Goldstar members the chance to determine which...

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Pay-For-Streaming: A Slam Dunk For Growing Your Audience

The NBA is experiencing hiccups with the launch of its pay-for-streaming service, but in time they’ll be resolved.Pretty soon, all the major sports will be available for streaming, and people will be paying for the privilege. This will make it even more conspicuous that non-sports live entertainment is on the sidelines.Streaming earns you currency of two kinds: actual currency, as in money; and the currency of people’s attention. If you’ve only got their attention while the patron is attending...

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Happy Thanksgiving and Hanukkah!

For everyone in the venue and live entertainment community who has helped us launch SellingOut.com successfully over the last couple of months, I want to say a huge thank you. Have a great Thanksgiving!Also, and while I've still got a sliver of your attention, I want to ask you again to consider making a quick and easy donation to one of the organizations we've linked to on Goldstar. It's a 10-year tradition and one of my favorite things. The...

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Let’s Hope New Material Stands Up to Old When Monty Python Reunites

Hide Your Dead Parrots! Comedy Troupe Monty Python Set to Reunite After 30 Years for New Stage Show.Like the Police Reunion years back, this is going to be enormously successful. As Stewart Copeland told me a few years ago, keeping the brand "pristine" by not touring is going to mean the demand to see the Monty Python gang onstage will be epic. Write it down, and buy your tickets early if you can.One interesting side note is that they...

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Santa Anita Park Gets Major Upgrades to Attract New & Old Fans

There is no sport that's fallen as far as fast as horse racing. In 1960, America's three most popular sports, arguably, were baseball, boxing and horse racing. Baseball is still popular, if not No. 1 anymore; boxing has been eclipsed by MMA and is no longer dining table conversation.But horse racing has dropped out of view altogether. There's still a tiny bit of hoopla about the Kentucky Derby, but it wouldn't be hard to miss it completely, even if...

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