Calling in the big guns . . . from soccer?
I am about to make the biggest (and most tenuous) link I have ever made on this blog, but stick with me because it will make sense.
One of the most well-known soccer teams in the world, Liverpool FC, has touched down in Melbourne for a friendly game against Australian heavyweights Melbourne Victory. And for the first time ever, I have actually paid attention to a new segment that covered soccer news.
Because even though I couldn’t name any of the players on the Liverpool FC team, tell you what league they play in or explain what the FC abbreviation stands for, I know that Liverpool FC is a big deal. And as a result, I was interested in the game because if it attracted Liverpool then this soccer thing must be worth noticing (for more reasons than just the buff guys running around in tight shorts!).
So how does this translate into the theatre?
Well, like the world of soccer has Liverpool FC, we have some pretty big stars in the theatre:
- Kristin Chenoweth
- Idina Menzel
- Liza Minelli
- Julie Andrews
- John Barrowman
- Hugh Jackman
- Patti LuPone
But what makes these stars extraordinary is that their names have become associated with the theatre. And even though someone may have never seen these people perform in their life, they still know who they are and that they are a big deal.
As a result, when these people get a story on the news, someone who has very little interest in ever seeing a show actually listens and may actually be converted. As is happening to me as we get closer to tonight’s soccer match.
But how do we use these stars in the same way that Melbourne Victory is using Liverpool FC?
Easy! Say we get to the middle of next year when Wicked returns to Australia and the production is looking for a bit more publicity (not that they need it!). Why not bring out Idina Menzel for a one-night reprise of her Tony Award winning performance of Elphaba? Yes, it is a bit far-fetched and over the top, but I would bet you big money it would work!
It doesn’t even need to be on that scale. Get them to do a live concert with the cast where they sing some of the songs from the show, have them appear in the curtain call. Anything to get them involved and gain some publicity. Because if people hear about it, then they may pay attention!
Especially as these stars defy the traditional boundaries of theatre and are known throughout the population.
Any ideas? What would you do?