The casts of approximately 30 Broadway shows—from the past, present and future—will gather in Times Square on Sept. 28 to shoot a new television spot. The ad is the broadcast centerpiece of The League of American Theatres and Producers' ambitious marketing campaign designed to win back the tourist audience, which has resolutely avoided Manhattan's theatre world since two hijacked jumbo jets struck the twin towers of the World Trade Center.
Exactly which shows are participating could not be learned, but one would imagine that every currently running Broadway show will be on hand. The shoot will take place from early morning until early afternoon. Reportedly, the assembled performers will stand in the middle of Times Square and sing "New York, New York."
The League campaign encompasses television, radio and print ads, including radio commercials featuring the voice of The Producers stars Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick. The campaign was devised by Nancy Coyne and Drew Hodges, two old hands at selling theatre, reported the Times. One of the first ads, seen in the Sept. 21 papers, centered on the famous "I Love New York" slogan, which places a heart in place of the word "love," but now reading "I Love New York Theater." The ad quotes Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, a tireless advocate of Broadway since the terrorist attacks, and mentions that $5 will be donated to the Twin Towers Fund for every ticket sold between now and Oct. 31.
* Broadway’s unions and guilds have agreed to accept concessions on six long-running Broadway musicals — The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Rent, Kiss Me, Kate, The Music Man and Chicago — and one new one, The Full Monty, in an effort to stem the monumental losses suffered by the industry since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on Manhattan. Four shows hung up closing notices on Sept. 18, when box office failed to recover upon the reopening of the Rialto, which sat dark for two days following the collapse of the World Trade Center.
Unions representing actors, stage managers, stage hands, musicians, wardrobe and other trades connected to the stage are taking a 25 percent pay cut for four weeks beginning Monday, Sept. 24.