The Playgoer: The One Ain't Nobody Wants

Custom Search

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The One Ain't Nobody Wants

Ok, I even watched episode 2 of the continually embarassing You're The One That I Want. The real sign of lameness this time is that auditioners sucked even in New York!

(My take on episode one here.)

Turns out the real B'way talent may have boycotted. According to Michael Riedel:

One Broadway performer, asked why she didn't audition for the show (the nationwide casting calls were open to members of Actors Equity), put it this way: "You don't work your whole life to get an agent and then have to go stand on some hideous line to audition in front of television cameras."
Indeed. Professional actors get degraded enough. But at least they have a union that helps them get paid for it.

While the show's premiere generated some initial ticket sales for the resultant Broadway "Grease", the buzz, it seems, has not lasted. Quoth Riedel:

The TV reality show "You're the One That I Want" isn't having the wanted effect at the box office for the upcoming Broadway revival.

The only thing sliding faster in the ratings than Katie Couric is "You're the One That I Want."

The NBC reality show about the casting of the upcoming revival of "Grease" attracted just 8 million viewers last Sunday, a drop of more than 3 million from the previous week.

More ominously, the program, which has been trashed by TV critics, finished fourth among 18- to 49-year-olds, the demographic that makes advertisers drool....

"Grease," which opens on Broadway this summer, took in more than $1 million at the box office last week following the debut of "You're the One That I Want."

But there's been no spike at the box office this week, and people involved in the revival are starting to realize they can't rely on the TV show to generate ticket sales.

Get this irony. The TV show may even be weighing the Broadway production down!

In the meantime, people involved in the revival of "Grease" cling to the belief that, even if the TV show flops, there's still a huge audience for the musical itself.

"It's one of the most successful titles of all time," says one. "It won't be tainted by a bad reality TV show."

Despite the reassurances, the way I read that statement is: any "Grease" on Broadway--starring whoever--would have better chance out of the gate than any show promoted by a TV dud.

What a switcheroo!

Riedel makes one more good point that I noticed from the beginning. This show is crueller than American Idol, if you can believe it.

Like all reality shows, "You're the One That I Want" tries to get mileage out of sniggering at grotesque people who would never, under any circumstances, have a shot at playing the sexy leads in a Broadway show.

And so you have fat middle-aged women trying out for the role of 16-year-old Sandy.

At least on Idol, they can vote for a Rueben Stoddard or grey-haired Taylor Hicks. But they're casting two very specific roles in an obviously mainstream production. They've indicated they're "race-blind" about Danny and Sandy... but presumably they're still looking for young and conventionally attractive people. So encouraging thousands of people who don't fit the casting requirements is just plain...cruel.

And, worse, not even funny.

No comments: