The Scoop

First of all, thank you all so very much for supporting Tale. It's been a long and wonderful journey and we did accomplish some amazing things.

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.

Comments

Sasha said…
My heart seriously broke when this was announced. Look forward to seeing it at least a few more times before closing. :(
Pedenash said…
James - I was at the Sunday show on November 2nd, and I must say that it was absolutely astounding. During our trip to NYC, we saw 5 shows, and Tale was by far my favorite! I was hoping to see it again my next trip to NYC, but look forward to seeing the touring show. Once again, AMAZING job on the show!

Ashley from South Carolina
Rae said…
Hi James,

I will continue to write as long as you are here. Thank you for
giving me the gift of "A Tale of Two Cities". I will never forget how the cast embraced the audience and how I felt like part of the extended family. Best wishes to you, Dana and Hudson. Continued success. I hope Evan and I get to see you on Broadway again, very soon.
Rae
Marshall said…
So, will there be a cast recording? Has this been disclosed yet?
Andrew said…
Thank you James. Your performance in Tale is astounding. It has inspired me more than any other performance has. I have seen tale 9 times now and i will be back as often as i can before the dreaded closing. Best of luck with "Count of M.C" I have read than many people from this cast will be in the workshops. Thanks Again.
I always seem to get very, very sad when a show closes.

Going to these shows over and over you begin to feel as though the cast is a part of your family; they can evoke such feelings as happiness, sadness, anger, betrayal-- all from memorizing a script and preforming it for you!

I was heartbroken to hear about Spamalot (my favorite musical right now), Hairspray, and Spring Awakening closing, but I suppose it is for the best.

I am also very sad I haven't been able to see this particular show, as I am studying in London, but I am glad you are looking forward to bigger things. Here is to the future!!
Mond said…
Wow, these two past days have been hard and sad for me and now this... Oh well, hopefully you can come to Mexico with the show, that would be amazing! If not, I am very, very lucky that I had the opportunity of experiencing one of the GREATEST Broadway shows ever.

Thank you, specially you, for teaching me that love is lived in many ways, not just with the one you are in love with... everything, yes, everything is possible.

I look forward to your (and the whole cast) new projects and reading more about them here.

All my love to you and all the people involved in Tale. For what you do, for theatre... thank you.
Brooke Backus said…
You are such an optimist. It makes me feel good to see people viewing the world in a positive way and this blog just made me happy. Although i am really sad about Tale closing, i completely understand why now, it has to be done. I am extremely excited for the national tour! Hopefully there will be a chance to see that. I am also pleased that you are going to keep up with this blog!
JoD said…
If all goes well, by the closing performance, I will have been privileged to see The Tale six times. I wish, selfishly, I admit, that the show continued to run through January and perhaps with a shift in PR away from the "revolution" and toward its hauntingly beautiful love story, The Tale would have found the audience it so richly deserves.
One consolation is your decision to continue with your blog. Thank you! Beyond that, my sincerest wish is that some day, in the not too distant future, you will record, for all of us who will sorely miss this show, "If dreams came true" and "I can't recall."
Jo
Athena said…
Oh, what a pity! I didn't lose the hope of see you! Well, have you record a CD then? Does anybody know it? If somebody do, please, tell me!
I can believe I will never see this show! (I'm crying...).
Siobhan said…
Thank you for taking the time to explain in detail what has happened. I was only able to see the show once but enjoyed it, and hope a cast cd can still be made. Please do continue your blog. I find what you have to say interesting, funny and part of my daily life now !
Leah D said…
James we're very sad to hear about the closing of the show. I came with my husband and two sons. The 18 y/o surprised me by saying, "At least we got to see it."

The burning question, is this: Will there be a Broadway Original cast album?
Gayle said…
I've never written on one of these blogs before but just had to share how much I loved "A Tale of Two Cities" (I saw it Haloween nigh) and how sorry I was to hear of its closing. I also just saw that you will be participating in the reading of "The Count of Monte Cristo"...YAY for that!
RJ Vaillancourt said…
such a talented cast
wish you all the best
Kathy Patalsky said…
Great post James.

It feels satisfying to hear the whole story. Granted, I am still sad.

And please do continue your blog to update us all on your future projects and adventures.

I hope everyone comes to support and loudly cheer for the cast one last time before it closes.
I know I certainly will.
Artistic1 said…
Is there "no" possibility that Tale can hang in there until after the holidays...? Maybe with the new year and a better economy things will turn around. But then, I am happy for the chance to see it again on the tour trail. Perhaps a tour will generate even greater success for this amazing show and its amazing cast. Well, I keep the faith it will.
Thanks for keeping your blog alive. I support all the great comments by others here, about its impact, and it is almost like a journal for you, isn't it? Later on, as time passes, it is a great account of your daily impressions and undertakings. Yes, life does go on for all, and I know all of us here wish to keep supporting your work...
Artistic1 said…
BTW, thanks for sharing the "scoop" with all of us. Everything is always easier to take when we are given the understanding to do so. Thanks.
Artistic1 said…
Is it a crazy idea to have the producers put out an live show cast recording? Recording it "live" will probably be an added treat for the true fans of this show, and even be appealing to those who just like to hear these great voices. They could start with a small number and reprint when supplies are exhausted (which will happen very quickly, I feel).
Carrie M said…
I am utterly heartbroken, not only for all the audiences who will be deprived of the pleasure of seeing this wonderful, touching, uplifting show, but for the too-swift end to all the years and months of work the cast and crew have put into this show.

I saw the show for the second time last night and I was even more amazed at the brilliant performances. Your portrayal of Sydney Carton touches me deeply, as I relate to his emotions and experience in a very personal way. There are moments in this show that fill me with a hope I haven't felt in a long time.

So thank you. And I know you will move on to even more wonderful things in the future.
Artistic1 said…
OK. I think I just had a "brain storm" (or so I think...). You will be the judge, since I don't know what it takes to put a CD together (or the finances). This is what I thought:
Perhaps, since we ALL want a Tale cast CD, we can agree to send the money "ahead" of time (I trust this show's company), so that when they get all monies in, say by a certain dealine, they will know exactly how many CD's to come up with, and they do not have to originally put out any money themselves. The CD's, then, will be paid for already, so no loss is to be expected, or "out of pocket" expenses. If anything, they would have a "profit" ahead of time. Well, this might be another "crazy" idea, but from my point of view, it might just work, and give all those who really love this show, and WANT this CD badly, a chance to enjoy it, maybe even to give away for Christmas...
This could work for even those overseas (Italy, Spain...).
I wanted to exp[ose this idea ASAP, so that, if accepted, it can be put to action.
(?)
Hope said…
James-
I just saw the show last night 11/6/08 and was one of audience members who was surprised to learn that it was closing. Tough times in the "Big Apple". I work for a production company and we too have had bit of downsizing. I feel for you all.

As I posted on the Tales website earlier this morning, I got a call from my friend yesterday asking me to go, he had extra tickets. I didn't know much about the show except that the critics compared it to Les Mis. I wish they didn't do that because it actually ruined the first 1/2 hour of the show for me - I was looking for the similarities.

However, Tales stands alone and should not be compared to any other musical! I found myself lost in the story and was moved to the point that I had chills from the amazing voices and cried at the end.

For those local "NYC Theater Lovers" who have not seen this, GET OUT AND DO SO NOW! It's worth every penny. If you can't - please check out the cast members and keep your eyes open for them in other productions.

James & Cast - Thank you for a wonderful night out! Best to you and yours. Glad you will be touring with the show, hopefully when things get better we will see you all again on Broadway.

Thanks again - Michele Hope
Michele Hope said…
James-
I just saw the show last night 11/6/08 and was one of audience members who was surprised to learn that it was closing. Tough times in the "Big Apple". I work for a production company and we too have had bit of downsizing. I feel for you all.

As I posted on the Tales website earlier this morning, I got a call from my friend yesterday asking me to go, he had extra tickets. I didn't know much about the show except that the critics compared it to Les Mis. I wish they didn't do that because it actually ruined the first 1/2 hour of the show for me - I was looking for the similarities.

However, Tales stands alone and should not be compared to any other musical! I found myself lost in the story and was moved to the point that I had chills from the amazing voices and cried at the end.

For those local "NYC Theater Lovers" who have not seen this, GET OUT AND DO SO NOW! It's worth every penny. If you can't - please check out the cast members and keep your eyes open for them in other productions.

James & Cast - Thank you for a wonderful night out! Best to you and yours. Glad you will be touring with the show, hopefully when things get better we will see you all again on Broadway.

Thanks again - Michele Hope
mariaisabel said…
I saw your show last night for the 2nd time, and I will miss it very very much. I hope the soundtrack will come out soon.

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