NEW YORK: Broadway is working hard to get back to business as usual
with an unprecedented marketing initiative involving all current
Spearheaded by the League of American Theaters and Producers (LATP), an
industry trade group, members of every aspect of the theater community
and every running show have banded together and donated about $5
million dollars in time and resources for the campaign, which includes
print, radio and TV commercials, as well as publicity events and a
"Competitors have become allies in this whole thing," said Bob Fennell
of The Publicity Company, which handles press for Les Miserables and
Phantom of the Opera. "All the press agents from all the shows have been
working together to get the word out that Broadway is up and
Pattie Armetta-Haubner, director of publicity for LATP, said that the
effort is meant to raise funds for relief work and also fill seats that
have remained largely empty since September 11.
Box-office take for the week after the attack fell by almost 64%, or
$9 million, according to Daily Variety. That decline caused five
shows to shut their doors, although ticket sales rebounded slightly last
Other shows stayed afloat by negotiating a four-week, 25% pay cut for
The campaign kicked off two weeks ago with print ads in major New York
papers encouraging people to follow Mayor Giuliani's advice and "see a
show," said Armetta-Haubner.
Radio spots featuring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick - stars of The
Producers - and an additional spot by actor Kevin Spacey quickly
Then on Friday, September 28, cast members in costume from every show
met in Times Square to sing New York, New York for a TV commercial and
Broadway is also donating $5 of every ticket sold that week to
the mayor's relief fund, and is offering $25 dollar tickets to
relief workers and families of victims.
The efforts have started to pay off. Over the weekend of September 29-30
- traditionally quiet because of Yom Kippur - many struggling shows saw
dramatic increases in ticket sales.
"The idea is to give them a bit of respite to take their mind off
things," said Armetta-Haubner.
A fundraiser for relief efforts will be held later in October at the
Ford Center for Performing Arts.