Tuesday, July 27

Good-Bye Dolly

Confed Centre cancels 'Men' show

CHARLOTTETOWN — The poor tourism season has struck the Confederation Centre of the Arts, forcing it to cancel one of its summer productions.

The play Broadway Heroes: A Salute to the Great Leading Men was scheduled to play in the Studio Theatre in August. CEO David MacKenzie cites poor ticket sales for the cancellation, and blames this summer's downturn in P.E.I.'s tourism industry.

"This year's tourism is down significantly to date," says MacKenzie. "We were aggressive in our selection of productions and the number of productions this year. With visitation being down we wanted to concentrate on the shows that are doing better."

David MacKenzie says the centre will not be cancelling any more shows this season.

It's not the downturn in this summer's tourism industry, David. It's a show called Broadway Heroes: A Salute to the Great Leading Men.

That's the reason nobody was buying tickets.


Graham said...

Agreed. Shakespear's midsummer nights dream is just stuffed with audience members, That hilarious catch 22 thing at the guild is doing well. Perhaps it's time the Morons at confed start scanning the local scene for talent and Ideas, instead of importing dipshits from abroad. No offense intended to all the dipshits from abroad

Jason said...

To be honest, I haven't seen one show at the Confed Centre...mainly because none of the shows interest me! Think of the shows that could be written by local talent.

Cyn said...

It is what it is boys. The Confed Centre that is. And the local scene is what it is too. Take an honest look...is Laurie Murphy and Jason Rogerson's production of Midsummer Night Dreams ready for Main Stage? Is the CC the right place for Sketch 22?
That said, I agree with Rob. Who at the CC thought a show named "Broadway Heroes: A Salute to the Great Leading Men" would lure the tourists in? Who is making those decisions? Me thinks the pot of gold at the end of the bus tour rainbow had something to do with bringing in this show.
If the CC can't keep it Canadian, then the least they can do is keep it creative.

Rob MacD said...

I don't think the CC needs local talent to succeed. I don't think 'creative' is what it's lacking (admittedly, I don't really know what you mean by 'creative), or Canadian content.
I think the CC flounders because it relies too much on AoGG. It doesn't pursue productions that might prove more popular than Anne, because Anne is the bread and butter. They don't want a show to outperform Anne, so they don't look for one. That's my "The Producers" influenced theory. It'd be like America looking for a dessert to rival American Pie. It'd just be too confusing and pointless.
And yes, I realise that the Broadway show is not meant to outperform Anne, but (based on the title alone, as I have not seen the show) it still is an example of the kind of safe, boring, homogenic show (title) that the Centre looks for as a companion to Anne.

dave s said...

it's rare that a theatre can come up with a mega-hit like "anne", but i think maybe concentrating on its mandate and aiming for some smaller successes would be a healthy way for the centre to go.

dave s said...

it's rare that a theatre can come up with a mega-hit like "anne", but i think maybe concentrating on its mandate and aiming for some smaller successes would be a healthy way for the centre to go.

Graham said...

Midsummer night and sketch 22 aside there are actually some local plays (most by Kent stetson) that would be more then Ideal for the centre. Obviously the two examples I used earlier were...used to point out that people, including tourists are here and are going to productions. I think the centre for it's 3d stage productions should atleast take a look at the local talents. Didn't the drill queens do something there a couple years ago? And hey, if they could do it...

Davey said...

I think this cancellation is indicative of a larger problem. You may be right and a musical review of Broadway leading men has limited appeal for a potential CCOA audience (but I would argue that audience currently is not one interested in anything as challenging as Kent Stetson's work.)
I think this show would need to find an audience at CCOA. The content isn't necessarily the issue, but David Rogers (a talented man) is not well known on the Island, so his name wouldn't draw many. If the show had actually run it might have found an audience eventually. Even Peter Pringle (who at the time was better known than David Rogers is now) took a while to find an audience for his show about Noel Coward back in the late 1980s.
Since the show hadn't even opened, I would suggest two possibilities exist: 1) David Rogers was probably mortified that the advance bookings were nonexistent, didn't want to risk the embarrassment, and pulled the plug. 2) Tickets sales are dire generally at CCOA (especially "Something Wonderful") and CCOA wanted to cut its losses.
Whatever the reality of the situation, I am sure it is more complex than may be supposed by a quick reading of the press release.
And don't get me started about how this show has nothing to do with the Centre's mandate to produce Canadian musicals. Patsy Cline?

josh said...

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the fact that in addition to being a financial flop, Broadway Heroes is also a flop where fulfilling the Center's mandate is concerned. The centre gets beaucoup de taxpayer's money to develop great canadian musicals...how well did Heroes serve that purpose even before it was cancelled? AoGG is great! AoGG should be the solid foundation from which the Centre is able to take some chances. I don't think you have to do that with local shows, but I think you should be doing it with Canadian shows. This is starting to sound preachy, but seriously, enough with the Bus Tour dinner theatre crap. Dinner theatre shouldn't be publicly funded.

josh said...

Sorry Dave, I obviously didn't read your last post all the way to the bottom.