In an effort to attract families to New York theatre during the winter months — a time when ticket sales generally slump — several Broadway shows began offering a 7 PM curtain time (Tuesday evenings only) Jan. 7. Originally scheduled through March 25, the program was extended into the spring. Several shows will now continue the 7 PM curtain time on Tuesday nights through May and others throughout the summer. As of press time, those shows continuing with the initiative follow:
Aida through May 13
Beauty and the Beast through May 20
Cabaret through May 20
42nd Street through May 20
Les Misérables through May 13
The Lion King through May 6
The Phantom of the Opera until further notice
Thoroughly Modern Millie through July 8
Urinetown through May 20
Vincent in Brixton through the end of its run, now scheduled for June 8
Chris Boneau, of Boneau/Bryan-Brown, told Playbill On-Line last year, "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 eight o'clock. 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 eight o'clock curtains . . . so the idea was to get a lot of shows involved."
Boneau explained, "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.'"
Boneau also recently said that there is a plan to begin another Tuesdays at 7 campaign in the fall. For more information about the program, visit www.tuesdaysat7.com.