So far, in this series, I've looked at the ads for the four nominees for Best Musical 2011. (click on "The Tony Awards" tab at the top for links to all awards-related articles.)
Today, I'll take a look at the two current ads for the Musical Revival nominees.
Actually, this commercial reminds me of Sutton Foster's critically-acclaimed performance in the show. (And I know I am in the minority here when I say this) It, like she, is technical perfection. All the right notes are hit: all of the stars are shown, the famous title song plays in the background, its Tony nominations (at least the major ones are listed, though you might notice how Adam Godley is not named, and just about every dance step in the show is shown. It makes the show look like a cavalcade of glamorous costumes and a song and dance extravaganza, and they tell us it is "musical comedy joy" so it must be funny, though nothing they show looks particularly amusing, and the last montage of kissing couples certainly ups the romantic factor. Quotes, flashy cuts and cross-cuts, a tell-all voice over and a famous title tune converge successfully to make those of a certain age want to grab for the phone and snatch up whatever tickets are left. It is a great commercial. Technically perfect, content-savvy, and slick. Very slick. Just like Ms. Foster. Doesn't honest emotion sell a show anymore? Commercial: A
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It is interesting to note that the ad for this show has not changed since the Tony Award nominations were announced. I think it is smart, even though 8 nominations is important and noteworthy, since its main attraction was not nominated. Why add insult to injury? Of course, there hasn't been much "injury." In fact, their numbers have gone up, both in gross and attendance since the nominations were announced. People, by and large, don't seem to care about awards, so long as the reason they want to see the show stays in it.
As far as the ad goes, I "reviewed" it earlier this year, and had this to say about it: "You sure get a lot in this 30 seconds! And it will likely sell tickets, especially to those who are marginal fans of the Harry Potter films, who wanted to wait and see if Daniel Radcliffe could actually sing and dance. Well, the very first quote/voice over tells us that he is a "musical comedy superstar." And who wouldn't believe that? Clip after clip shows him doing just that - singing and dancing. And if that won't sell tickets alone or makes you still unsure, the quotes/voice overs tell us that the songs are "classic, bright and funny" and the dancing is some of the best on Broadway. The ad also succeeds because it is fast paced, shows a lot of scenes - hot guys in suits dancing (gay men, check), pretty girls in costumes that "they just don't make anymore" (wives who love musical theatre, check). And it also succeeds by what it doesn't mention: a. the Harry Potter films. Seeing Daniel live is the prize; let's not remind folks that this is a decidedly un-Hogwarts show; b. that while critics loved his performance, his voice isn't going to get him to Carnegie Hall any time soon, so you never hear him singing; c. the husbands of the aforementioned "wives who love musical theatre" might just go along because cool funny man John Larroquette is in it, and he carries golf clubs and footballs..." Commercial: A+
Coming soon: The ads for Best Play nominees!
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COMING UP ON THE BLOG: 7/23: Welcome to the Theater! The Debuts of Straight White Men - 7/24: Broadway Heat: The Head Over Heels Championship Final! - 7/25: Summer Shows Aren't Necessarily a Bad Thing - 7/26: Another TBT Playbill - 7/27: The Friday 5 ... 7/30: REVIEW: Moulin Rouge! (Pre-Broadway)