Taking a Bite Out of The Big Apple

By: Tracey Lawie

I recently visited New York City for the Broadway League’s annual Spring Road conference where Broadway presenters from across the country converge  to discuss the latest marketing trends, hot topic issues, meet with producers and agents and, of course, take in as many Broadway shows as possible while there!

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This year did not disappoint. As always, we garnered much information on the latest hot topics including building/show accessibility, venue security, best practices for social media, the latest contract negotiations with various unions effecting the cost of touring shows and our personal favorites–creative conversations with casts and crews from shows currently playing Broadway.

We were treated to a private showing of the revival of My Fair Lady on our first night in NYC. While not my favorite show, I walked away stunned by how beautifully it was done. It was amazing and the freshness of this production was welcoming. Other shows I took in over the week included Frozen, The School of Rock, Summer and Come From Away.  My favorite of the week was Come From Away. It is based on the true events that occurred on September 11, 2001 when air traffic was shut down in the U.S. and all flights rerouted to other locations, including 38 planes that were sent to the small town of Gander, Newfoundland. Over 6,000 “plane people” were welcomed by the locals of Gander for several days while awaiting the clearance to fly on to their original destinations. It is a beautiful musical about the selflessness and giving nature of the human spirit. I hope to be able to bring the national tour to Kalamazoo in the next few years.

While Come From Away was the stand out show for me that week, the others deserve high marks as well. Frozen was breathtaking and Disney magic abounded. The School of Rock left me in awe of the talent of the young cast. Summer had me singing along with all of my favorite Donna Summer songs, not to mention being surprised and genuinely entertained by her life story.

As always, it was a fast and fabulous few days in New York. We hope to be able to bring some of these amazing shows to Miller in the near future!

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