News & Events

Campaign to Keep Broadway Live Heats Up!

 

Like New York City in the summer, the campaign to keep Broadway live just keeps getting hotter!  We are rapidly approaching 5,000 signatures to our petition demanding Broadway producers give you the robust musical experience you pay for and deserve.  If you haven’t signed the petition yet, you can do on the right side of this page.  It only takes a moment!

We continue to get comments from you—theater lovers of all ages—telling us about the profound impact live music has had on you. Some of our favorites are below.

 

What You’re Telling Us:

 

The feel of live music cannot be duplicated…  I thought Broadway would be a once in a lifetime experience for me, but now I know I cannot imagine my life without going back again, and again, and hopefully again!

Judy

 

My first Broadway musical experience was a dream come true.  Our junior high school band director took all of the members on a bus trip from southwestern Virginia to New York City to see The Phantom of the Opera…  Many of us had never heard professional musicians like this before, and the beautiful sweeping score reinforced what we could do if we just practiced a little bit more, tried a little bit harder.  That performance was a life-changer for me…  I hope to one day give someone else that experience our band director gave us and remind someone why music makes life worth living.

Brianna

 

I saw my first Broadway musical, Pippin, as a junior in high school.  From the first note of the Overture I was hooked and have been ever since!  It was an experience I will never forget.  I can’t imagine going to see a Broadway musical and not hearing a live orchestra.  I believe the actors and musicians feed off one another’s energy and this enhances the performance.  Please, please, please KEEP LIVE MUSIC!

Cindy

 

Thanks again to Cindy, Brianna, Judy, and everyone else who has written in.  If you have an experience you’d like to share, or just want to a message to producers, please visit our contact page – you might see your comments a future post!

 

Posted in Audience, Broadway, Musicians, Phantom of the Opera, pippin, Supporters

The Authentic Musical Experience

This New York Times review of the fully-orchestrated version of Annie Get Your Gun at the Glimmerglass Festival really illustrates the startling power you can only get from a truly live musical:

“Speaking of doing things naturally, this production uses no amplification, employs a full orchestra of 42 players and adheres to the original keys of the 1946 production….

Hearing ‘Annie’ with natural sound and a proper orchestra was a revelation. What a relief from the cranked-up amplified world of a typical Broadway musical. Take the first song, ‘Colonel Buffalo Bill,’ when Drew Taylor as Charlie Davenport, who manages the colonel’s touring show, drums up enthusiasm among the townsfolk of Cincinnati. A rare thing happened for an audience at a musical. I could sense everyone leaning in a little, attentive and involved, not wanting to miss a single word of Berlin’s charming lyrics.

In amplified productions the words and music are blasted at you. In Glimmerglass’s wonderful 900-seat theater the words came through beautifully, wafting over the orchestra. You just had to focus a little, as audiences routinely did in the golden days before Broadway became amplified…… [e]very Broadway producer should come here to experience what unamplified, historically informed musical theater can be.”

Posted in Annie Get Your Gun, Broadway, Musicians, Press

Prerecorded Priscilla’s Box Office Woes Continue

As we’ve previously noted, the grosses for Priscilla Queen of the Desert have tumbled downwards in recent months.  This marks the third consecutive month of falling revenue for the first Broadway show to replace live music with recordings.  In fact, it fell to 15th place in Broadway grosses last week.  Perhaps Priscilla’s producers should have asked Broadway audiences before using prerecorded strings:  they would have learned that three-quarters of the theatergoing public would not pay to see a show that uses recorded music.  Now it appears they are learning the hard way.

 

Posted in Audience, Broadway, Disco, Priscilla, Queen of The Desert

Broadway Fans’ Passion for Live Music Continues to Amaze

 

When producers of Broadway’s Priscilla Queen of the Desert decided to use a recorded string section, they had no idea it would unite musical fans across the world in a campaign to keep Broadway live!  The passion of Broadway fans continues to amaze: we’ve gotten over 13,000 fans on Facebook!  Thank you so much to everyone who has shared the page and the petition with their friends, this campaign’s success ultimately depends on you!  We also have to give an extra round of applause to everyone who continues to write in with personal stories of how much live music on Broadway means to them.  Below are some more of your comments.

 

What You’re Telling Us:

 

“I’m pretty sure my first Broadway musical was Me and My Girl when I was about four. Since then, I’ve seen dozens of shows both on and off Broadway and performed in pit orchestras for both school and community theatres. As a musician, I’ve seen the quirks of live performances, and recorded or synthesized music just can’t react to a dropped verse or a costume crisis the way live pits can. Keep the entire Broadway experience as it’s meant to be: live.”

Katie

 

“Musicals are about music. All music, not just vocal performances. The energy that comes from an all live musical performance does not compare to someone singing along to a CD. They might as well pipe in the vocalists as well and just have people lip-syncing on stage, or better yet, just pre-record the lip-syncing performances and show them. Oh, wait, that’s already done: it’s called the movies! Keep Broadway live.”

Stephanie

 

“Part of the fascination for me when watching a musical like Wicked or Phantom of the Opera, as a string player, is watching the conductor time everything perfectly with the actors. There’s an elegance and an art to that kind of coordination that is just as impressive as any choreography I’ve ever seen.”

Joanna

 

“Many years ago I visited Broadway for the first time where friends of mine talked me into seeing The Scarlet Pimpernel.   Having never seen a live musical before I was not expecting much; however, I was overwhelmed by the middle of the first act and swept up into the music.  It was breathtaking, to say the least.  The live performance added excitement to the music, much more than any recording could very produce.”

Dennis

 

 

Thanks again to Joanna, Stephanie, Dennis, Katie, and everyone else who has written to tell us how much the power of live music has affected them!  Keep your stories coming, and we’ll keep posting them.

 

Posted in Audience, Broadway, Comments, Me and My Girl, Musicians, Phantom of the Opera, Priscilla, Supporters, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Wicked

Broadway Audiences Know Live Music is Irreplaceable

 

Broadway fans the world over continue to send us stories about how live music has touched their lives.  It is so inspiring to know how much live music means to so many people.

 

What You’re Telling Us:

 

“I remember seeing West Side Story when it came to the Winter Garden Theater for the second time in the early ’60s due to popular demand.  When the conductor took his position and the overture began with the music from the ‘Tonight Quintet,’ it was electrifying.  The sound of the orchestra in the rumble scene was so frightening, it moved me to tears.  This would never happen with a robot orchestra. I am so glad I saw it before this travesty happening now on Broadway began.”

Rick

 

“Having been in a pit orchestra before for my high school’s musical, I can definitely say that it was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had…   recording does not have the same touch and emotion that an actual musician can put into music.”

Bekky

 

“I’ll never forget what seemed like a hundred or so audience members hanging around to listen to the orchestra play what I think was supposed to be exit music. These musicians were so good, that the rail adjacent to the pit was lined with patrons watching the orchestra play. They were fantastic and received a rousing applause of appreciation from those that stayed around to listen.  Now THAT is something you’d NEVER get with canned music.”

Glenn

 

Reading stories like this reminds us of the true magic of seeing a live musical on Broadway.  Keep sending your stories in, and we will keep sharing them!

 

Posted in Audience, Broadway, Comments, Musicians, Supporters

Give The People What They Want: Live Music!

The success of the campaign to keep Broadway live has gone worldwide: theater fans have come to this site from 113 different countries!  Comments continue to pour in, telling us how much live music means to them.  Below are some more of our favorites.  If you support this cause, please urge your friends to sign the petition!

What You’re Telling Us:

“I know as well as any other person that’s seen a show from that close up that live music IS Broadway. The music fills the theatre, something a recording could never do.” – Katie

“I’m saving up for a flight to New York for the sole purpose of seeing a show… I hope we can save live music on Broadway so when I finally see my first show there I’m not disappointed” – Jonathan

“Live music in any show is important, whether it be in Broadway theater, a cafe, a small recital space, or in Carnegie Hall. The passion of the musicians is manifested in their music and we, as audience members, receive it. That is the ultimate gift, for an artist to share what they do and move people with their work. Canned music in our theatrical productions would kill that passion; extinguishing that spark that makes us all thrive.” – Anna

Thanks for writing, Broadway fans!  The chorus of support for keeping Broadway live continues to grow.  We need to remind anyone who may be thinking about replacing live music that fans are not easily fooled, that we will continue to demand the irreplaceable experience of live musical theater.  So keep your comments coming, everyone, and we will keep sharing them with the world!

Posted in Audience, Broadway, Comments, Supporters

Priscilla’s Downward Spiral

Broadway audiences are rejecting recorded music.  As seen above, Priscilla Queen of The Desert, the first musical in the history of Broadway to use recordings in the place of live music, has been experiencing falling revenues.  The average weekly gross for Priscilla has been steadily trending downward for the last two months.  This isn’t surprising, given that reviewers panned it for being “a glossy costume party masquerading as a musical” (New York Daily News) and “synthetic to the core” (Time Out New York).   In a recent poll of theatergoers, it was found that 3 out of 4 would not buy tickets to a show that they knew used recorded music.  Of course, Priscilla’s multimillion dollar advertising campaign has so far neglected to mention the use of recordings.   But as more people become aware of the profit-squeezing tactics of some producers, it’s not surprising that they choose to spend their money on musicals with live music, the authentic Broadway experience.

Posted in Audience, Broadway, Broadway League, Disco, Priscilla, Queen of The Desert

More of the Audience Sounds Off About Live Music

Below we have a small sample of the positive comments and stories that have been coming in from all over the world in support of keeping Broadway music live:

“I am a musician, have played many shows on Broadway and one of the best experiences was playing ‘A Christmas Carol’ where the orchestra was in full view. Families would come down after the show to get a chance to talk to the musicians; parents would show their kids the instruments they played, etc. I really want to see the tradition of live musicians playing live music continue on Broadway.” – Janet Continue reading

Posted in Audience, Broadway, Comments, Musicians, Supporters

NY ♥ Live Music

Countless tourists have traveled to New York from across the globe in order to see live musicals on Broadway.  Live music has always been a major draw.  The thrill of seeing a live show on Broadway is the basis of this classic “I Love New York” ad from the late 70s, which begins with a conductor leading an orchestra and includes the casts of top Broadway shows of the time.  Enjoy!

Posted in Ads, Broadway, History, YouTube

Save Live Music on Broadway Ad Campaign Goes Web-Wide!

We just concluded a highly successful run of ads on several major news websites, resulting in a huge increase in support for the campaign to keep Broadway live!  Below are two of the ads, feel free to post them on your site or blog to show your support for preserving live music on Broadway!

 

Posted in Ads, Broadway, Priscilla, Queen of The Desert