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Saturday, May 14, 2005


I just heard a very odd commercial on the radio, for Glengarry Glenn Ross. (It was on WQXR.) A middle aged husband and wife, very Long "G-Island", have a Mamet-esque volley including exchanges like (forgive the paraphrase)...

HE: I hear there's lots of swearing in it.
SHE: You love swearing!


HE: Do I have to dress up?
SHE: No, you don't have to dress up.
HE: What if I want to dress up?
SHE: That would be nice, if you dressed up.
HE: Can you buy me clothes?

The announcer comes in at the end to "close the sale":

"That's right, ladies. There IS a show on Broadway your husband will want to see!"

Interesting trend here. Jesse McKinley had a Times piece April 10 called Spamalot Discovers the Straight White Way....Get the pun yet? (Here's the only feed I can get on this article now--it was picked up by the Kansas City Star(!) which the Spamalot producers probably feel will reach an even more ideal reader...) The ad above even echoes (lifts?) McKinley's lede about the lines at the men's room.

The trend of interest here is not necessarily whether or not more schlubby house husbands are or are not in fact willing to venture into such girlie man arenas as the Shubert Theatre. What's weird is how gaga the B'way establishment itself (the PR machines fueling the radio spot and even the Times, I'm sure) has gone at the mere thought of a new demographic! The producers feel they've hit paydirt.

Has it gotten this bad for the non-fabulous male? (Playgoer knows he has not been the only one carrying the torch these three decades--okay bad metaphor.) True, all the latest surveys show that if it weren't for women--and their daughters--there would be no Broadway. Surveys have not been tracking sexual orientation, though. Matter of time...?

And so what next can we expect from producers eager to cash in on these stray Y-Chromosomes that have wandered into their theatres? ("Jack Black, as you've never seen him before...") Or is the real unspoken message here that if you present quality work, written and crafted by serious artists, maybe even culturally helpless hetero manchildren will show. Hmm...

(In a related story, stay tuned for Adam Sandler's The Wedding Singer: The Musical. I kid you not. Or should this be filed under Bad Musical Ideas below...)

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