The new campaign, "Tuesdays at 7," is catching on with Broadway producers. Though the early curtain time might at first glance seem to be best suited for family shows such as Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King, attractions as disparate as Man of La Mancha, Flower Drum Song, Les Miserables, The Graduate and Imaginary Friends have begun offering the special Tuesday performances starting Jan. 7, 2003.
First to make the offer, however, will be the new Paul Newman mounting of Our Town, which will have Tuesdays at 7 PM shows beginning in November.
As previously reported, the new initiative was developed by the Broadway press agency Boneau/Bryan-Brown and the ad agency Serino Coyne. Although still in the early stages, those involved hope most, if not all, Broadway shows will implement the program.
Chris Boneau, who co-heads Boneau/Bryan-Brown, told Playbill On-Line, "The idea was to encourage people to come to the theatre on Tuesday nights . . . to drive [what is traditionally] a lower-attended evening of theatre. The research shows that people would really go to the theatre on a night if they didn't always have to go at 8 o'clock."
Boneau added, "Unfortunately, we're not like London, where you check the paper to see what time the curtain times are [because] they're wildly different. People are so accustomed to 8 o'clock curtains...so the idea was to get a lot of shows involved." Although a full list of shows will not be announced until October, Boneau explained, "Most everyone that we talked to is interested...Non-profit [theatres] do it a lot. Both Roundabout and Manhattan Theatre Club have early curtain evenings, and they're very popular. So, it's not a brand-new idea, it's just an idea that's new to Broadway. What it requires is a marketing effort behind it, so that everyone's not running around Times Square not knowing what time to be there...That's why we're calling it 'Tuesdays at 7.'"
Until the early '70s, the typical Broadway curtain time was 8:30 PM.
—By Robert Simonson