Broadway’s New Trend: Delaying

Broadway is starting to add a new word to their vocabulary book this season. The word is Delay.

A new trend this season that seems to be all about through out various Broadway shows is productions delaying the opening of their production. This applies for both show’s preview periods and their official opening days. While this new trend might be needed for various shows depending on their size or conditions relating to the show, this new trend could become very ugly, very fast.

The most obvious show to talk about relating to this issue would be Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark. However; believe it or not, Spiderman is not alone…

Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark is the most apparent and obvious example of a Broadway show delaying. Spiderman has experienced both the delaying of their preview period and their official opening. And believe it or not, the saga might not be over. Spiderman was originally set to begin previews February 25th, 2010. The show has since delayed 5 times to now have an official opening date of March 15th, 2011. Previews began November 28th, 2010. Spiderman’s reasons for delaying have ranged from running out of money to injuries to major rewrites to the production. The argument consistently made is about the production team being allowed to finish the piece of art they are creating. However, with recent events that question seems to be being questioned itself as to what Spiderman’s true intentions are.

Catch Me If You Can joined in delaying their preview period beginning on March 7th to March 11th. The producers announced the delay after citing the amount of snowfall in New York City causing major delays to the production schedule. Catch Me If You Can said the last show occupying the Neil Simon Theatre, Rain – A Tribute to the Beatles, had not completely moved out due to the snow. This is causing a need for more time for Catch Me If You Can to move in and then begin technical rehearsals. While the reason is completely legit, the show still delayed.

The Merchant of Venice delayed its official Broadway opening earlier this year. The delay moved the official press opening of the show from November 7th to November 13th. Only a mere week. The opening was delayed after Lily Rabe, who played Portia, experienced family issues after her mother passed away. The delayed time allow not only for her return to the show be readjustment.

Arcadia which is coming to Broadway this spring delayed its preview period by one day. Previews will now begin February 26th instead of February 25th. The reason for this delay? Visa issues with cast members in the processing matter and also the amount of snow in New York City causing much less rehearsal time.

It should be mentioned these are not all the shows that have delayed this past year and most definitely not in the history of Broadway. While productions that are delaying these days are only delaying a few days at a time or maybe a week at the most, the question should be raised of Are production teams not accurately planning out reasonable rehearsal times/lengths for new Broadway productions? Production teams should definitely remember at this time, its not about getting a Broadway show up as fast as you possibly can. It is about accurately planning out a production schedule that allows you to not only complete your work of art but also set expectations at a certain level.

It is completely understand able that major snow storms hitting the East Coast one after another cannot be truly planned but Broadway shows by no means get into a habit of delaying. It is a standard that could easily become acceptable if a team merely “runs out of time” or anything else. While you  will have particular shows in the future that will delay, this expectation should not be set. Production teams delaying for reasons like weather and those various items will continue to happen just hopefully not in large numbers. Broadway has always set a high standard for when it comes to production quality and I would only want to see it stay that way.Tell us what you think!

Do you think delaying a Broadway show is acceptable? Write back to us!

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