On Broadway, Word-of-Mouth Rules

So says Deadline theater critic Jeremy Gerard

For NPR’s All Things Considered, Brooklyn-based freelance arts reporter Jeff Lunden this week filed a report about the state of all things Broadway. A realm where only one in four productions succeed.

Among those Lunden spoke to: Deadline theater critic Jeremy Gerard, who has been covering Broadway for three decades. Gerard says reviews have become somewhat secondary:

“Unless you come out of the theater saying ‘I have to tell everybody I know they must see this show,’ the show is going to die,” Gerard says. “It doesn’t matter what the New York Times says, it doesn’t matter what New York magazine says. If they don’t come out feeling that, it’s not going to work.”

Though rarer, audiences sometimes flock to a show that critics are not fond of, as Gerard reminds was the case with Wicked. But in the case of The Last Ship, closing this coming weekend, pans by the Times and New York magazine were right-on the hoi polloi money.

In other words, co-creator and late cast addition Sting should have listened to his neighbor.
[Photo of Times Square: Stuart Monk/Shutterstock.com]

@hollywoodspin rhorgan@gmail.com Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.