You know what I love about theatre, as opposed to the music biz? When you record an album or a CD, it comes out. If you're lucky, you get some traction, and then it goes off the charts and it's dead.
But when you write a theatre piece, all it takes is for a new theater to want to produce it, and suddenly, it's totally alive again. I experienced this over and over with The Last Session, and it's happening again with The Big Voice: God or Merman?
Since the next production of Zero Hour isn't due until August in DC, we were approached by the Broward Stage Door Theatre in South Florida about doing The Big Voice there, beginning in June.
From a purely commercial standpoint, The Big Voice is a more difficult marketing problem than Zero Hour because, with the latter show, Zero Mostel is a known entity, especially among ardent theatrephiles. Jim's jaw-dropping characterization of Zero, which picks up awards everywhere it plays, is also another factor.
So, Dee and David at the Stage Door were skeptical about producing it in their space until they actually saw our one-night benefit a few weeks ago. Once they saw it, they fell in love with it and became passionate about it. And, by the way, that's another thing I love about theatre. Those who are in it are usually doing it because they have a great passion for the artform itself.
So, having experienced it for themselves, armed with our lengthy list of great reviews and awards, they want to give it a go.
We're going to open for two weeks, initially, and see if people come. There will be hurdles to overcome. First it's in the off-season. Secondly, though Jim has garnered some attention for Zero Hour, we aren't, in terms of name recognition, Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, either.
So, aside from promoting the show to their regular patrons, which mostly consist, candidly, of the huge retirement community in the Coral Springs area (where the advertising can focus on Jimmy's recent run), they want to try to reach the gay community in nearby Ft. Lauderdale, who, like most people, don't want to have to drive too far to see a show. Luckily, it's only about a half hour, but still, I know how I am when someone asks me to go even to Santa Monica.
So, if you have any friends there, tell them about The Big Voice!
When the history of "The Big Voice: God or Merman? is written, there will be one moment that will shine, for us, above all. And it happ...
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Charles Nelson Reilly with the Laguna Playhouse cast of The Last Session. R. to L.: Joel Traywick, Bob Stillman, Michele Mais, Charles Nels...