So here's the scoop as I know it. In previews Tale saw a steady increase in ticket sales building up to our opening night. This was obviously due to the word of mouth from all those who came to see Tale and loved it. With those numbers everyone thought that we were going to do very well.
After opening night we got hit very hard by the reviews of the show and we saw an immediate drop in sales. Although this was disappointing it's not something that could not be handled. In fact we had plans in place should something like this happen. Many successful shows opened to reviews such as these and have battled through to survive and flourish.
The bottom line was that we had a show that the audience loved and that with a bit of time we knew we could build back to those pre-opening ticket sales and go beyond.
However...the economy then took it's downturn. We found ourselves in the midst of a real crisis and no matter how we cut it, it was difficult to generate ticket sales when people were simply hesitant to spend money.
We saw many shows that were running on Broadway begin to post closing notice. All of which were planing an early January closing date.
Our main issue: there is a thing called a "stop clause." A stop clause is a built in contractual item between the theatre owners and the producers of any show that says if tickets sales drop below a certain point for a given number of consecutive weeks, the theatre owners have the right to "Stop" the show. This is what basically happened with Tale.
There was another show that was looking at a theatre and they wanted to open in the Spring. Given our current situation (even though we were prepared to push through the holidays and then on into the spring) our stop clause was initiated and we were given a end date. This happens all the time and is not something uncommon.
The theatre owners need to make sure that they (in these hard economical times) can create income just like everyone else. It's simply business. I'm sincerely happy that they gave us a shot in the first place.
We could have run through to January but after much deliberation we chose to end our beautiful show in two weeks.
Now...the good news is that the money it would have taken to run the show into January can now be put toward our future touring production. This is still a very strong possibility and there are many people interested in the show...worldwide.
It's truly the nature of live theatre to end. It's rare that a show runs for what seems like forever and it's not like you can put in a DVD and replay the show. It's a live experience and without audiences theatre is not theatre.
As I said this has been a long journey for the Tale team and they have accomplished what many, many people cold not. They got a show on Broadway with an amazing cast and have been able to spread the beautiful message of love and hope to all those who came to share in the experience. That's the important thing to take away from this.
We began our fundraising for Broadway Cares this past week and as I address the audience from the stage I begin by telling them that Tale is closing. We are met with a shocking "Oh No!" from the audience. After being moved as they were with our story, they too are in amazement.
But I think I can speak for the entire cast when I say thank you all for supporting the show. We will all move on to other projects but will hold a very, very special place in our hearts for this one. The family that has been created through this process is incredibly tight and extends to many of you out there who love our show. You ARE a part of our group and without you we never would have made it this far.
We've got a few shows left and we intend to make those just as powerful as the ones that have come before. Please come back and join us in celebrating this amazing accomplishment.
I'm having so much fun with the blog that I'm gonna keep going with it. After all life goes on...and I've got some great new projects to talk about.