It’s no fun to blog when business is bad, and business wasn’t great for two days last week as we labored to get PANGS OF THE MESSIAH in front of a critical mass of August theater-goers. We turned a corner last Thursday night and now September seems to be smiling on our decision to bring back this extraordinarily powerful production.
It didn’t seem such a wise decision last Tuesday night with 26 people in the house, though. Treat that as an invited dress rehearsal with a few hundred bucks thrown in and there’s no consternation. But if you say “we need to average $10,000 a week [downgraded from $11K] in sales to break even on this extension and you only bring in $256,” then you start to worry.
Fortunately, the first weekend in September brought forth rays of sunshine—immaculate weather really, thus far, hasn’t it been?—and our tally for the week totalled $7,000. Not bad. Under what we need, but a significant enough rally to tell us that, with two strong weekends, we’re going to make it.
And guess what? Once we get inside the Goldman theater, we actually stop thinking about money (!) and become absorbed once again in our play. And this play is triggering even more passionate responses the second time around. We hear it from just about every member of the audience — That the acting is superb (that’s what people seem to appreciate most, or at least first). And of course the power of the events being prophesized.
Speaking of prophecy, we had 168 in the Kennedy Center Gallery/KC Jazz Club yesterday afternoon for a standing-room-only reading of Karen Malpede’s play (yes, PROPHECY) starring Maria Tucci, Jake Robards, Larry Pine, George Batenieff, Najla Said and Michael Perilstein. A surprisingly strong and gripping read considering it read 2 hours and 40 minutes long, including the 10 minute intermission. Multi-layered, too long, but rich as hell – you read the blurb on our website – “history, myth and memory erupt inside a marriage when a troubled acting student and an estranged daughter make claims upon the affections of Sarah and Allan Golden. With humor and compassion, Prophecy explores the layered legacies of wars in Vietnam, Iraq, and Lebanon through the lives of complex, well-intentioned people and shows the possibility of reconciliation which coexists alongside tragedy.”
We’ll be talking with Karen as the play moves onto its next reading at New York Theatre Workshop in October.
Let’s leave it here for now. We’ll have more to share about PANGS’ discussions soon. More pressing, Amy Ziff is in town (!!!) and ACCIDENT starts Thursday at Studio where we’re renting the 4th floor theater space to present this extremely funny world premiere. I think I’ll put a tiny excerpt of it up in our next posting. Amy’s awesome. Bawdy, bold, and very revealing.
Pay What You Can Tix are available for Thursday night’s show at 8:30. And critics start coming Saturday! Check it out!