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Appearing at TEDxBroadway 2014: Magician Todd Robbins

You take your seat. The lights go out. The doors are locked and a voice booms that you can’t get out. This is the beginning of Todd Robbins’ Play Dead, an interactive theatrical experience that just finished an extended run at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. While you listen to “true ghost stories about real people and unholy resurrection” and watch eerie stage illusions, a pair of unexpected hands might even startle you with their touch. It’s a...

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Idle Children Are a Bad Omen

If you care about the health of future generations of Americans, you probably share my concern when reading this Wall Street Journal article about a decrease in participation among kids in organized sports over the last several years.The drops are relatively small (a few percent) and participation is still very high (millions of kids), but as a trend starter, this isn’t at all encouraging. We’ve known for a while that baseball is trending down -- it’s seen as less...

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Who Would Want to Keep Peter Pan in the Dark?

More people saw The Sound of Music Live! on television at the holidays last year than went to a Broadway show in the entire year. The availability and, I suspect, the popularity of the show led some people in what I think of as the Theater Suicide Cult to find any way at all to criticize the production and snipe about the various qualities of the performers.Just imagine the fits they had when they heard that NBC is perpetrating...

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Uptick in Vinyl Sales Proves Value of Recorded Music Headed to Zero

In another universe, I'm one of the people cheering and holding a pennant that sales "Vinyl!" on it.But in this one, I'm just not that gullible. When we talked about music sales recently, I knew that people would take the bait on the deceptive infographic showing the "explosion" of sales of recordings on vinyl. Up 33%, while digital is down 8%! Of course, you don't need a degree in statistics to look just slightly deeper at those numbers and...

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2014 Trends: What’ll Get You Going Out More

Now that 2014 is underway, here’s what to expect more of this year.• Large-Scale, Real-Time Entertainment: Like NBC’s live performance of The Sound of Music. Blogger Deb Rox says, “Twitter has transformed everything from sporting events, awards shows, series final episodes and political debates into massive fan experiences, and audiences crave more.” She predicts we’ll see more of these events with more meaningful ways to participate.• Mockbusters: This is the second time in 10 minutes I’ve read about the made-for-TV...

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What Reinvention Sounds Like

Slate's Mark Vanhoenacker has declared classical music "dead" in America. I'm not sure if there are other continents or republics where it's all the rage, but here in the U.S.A., it's not just in trouble. It's deceased, passed on, bereft of life.As John Cleese would say, it's an "ex-parrot."This, of course, is an exaggeration, but only technically. Both financially and in terms of cultural relevance, it's bad, and there are very few arrows pointing up.But here's my theory. Death...

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“Frozen” Songwriter’s On Fire at TedxBroadway 2014

TEDxBroadway 2014 speaker Bobby Lopez is on fire right now! And, ironically, it’s all because of Frozen.Not only is his song “Let It Go” sweeping the nation, but the show is now destined to appear on Broadway. He must feel like Pacino in The Godfather, Part III, where as soon as his work leaves Broadway, “they keep pulling him back in!” In this case, though, it’s a very good thing!I’ve been privy to his thoughts about his TEDxBroadway talk,...

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“Binge-Going Out”

Chanelle Bessette of Fortune wrote a nice piece about the work that Goldstar and other companies (including Eventbrite) are doing to get people going out more.I want the article to speak for itself and you should read it, but the one thing Chanelle said that I want to highlight is the comparison between “binge-watching” TV shows on Netflix and “binge-going out,” which we (and others, but mostly we) are trying to facilitate.Cool idea! I’m in support of it.

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“Frozen” Songwriter Tapped for Disney Musical About Himself?

TEDxBroadway 2014 speaker Bobby Lopez writing the score for a Disney musical about a guy named Bob? I’m in.I’ll have to ask Bobby if this is going to be autobiographical.

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Your Daily Reminder That Live Entertainment is Dead…

Yep. Dead as Dickens, at $375 a ticket to sit on a lawn and see a headliner whose last hit is from 2003. Coachella is a stone cold sellout.

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