How do you maintain interest when you are selling pretty much the same product every single night? This is a question that every long-running show needs to ask itself. Other entertainment brands outside the theatre industry have many possibilities. Movies can release a sequel, artists can release a new album and smaller theatre groups will do limited runs. But how do the long running shows tackle this issue?
Wicked is about to reach its twelfth year running continuously on Broadway. This is not a milestone that many shows ever reach in their lifetime. And not many of them do it with the continuing popularity that Wicked has seen still as it maintains capacity levels in excess of 96%. So what is the secret for this production?
There are numerous elements including a constant turnover of leading actors and actresses who each bring something new to the show, its incredible accessibility for non-traditional theatre goers and the wave of positive word of mouth that the die-hard fans generate. But they also have one other uncanny ability to keep themselves top of mind. They continue to reinvent themselves to this day.
The team at Wicked have announced a new video series called ‘Out of Oz’ which features reimagined versions of the popular songs and the first in this series was released today. Rachel Tucker (the current Broadway Elphaba) teamed up with Aaron Tveit (a former Fiyero and current television hot property on Graceland and the upcoming FOX Grease remake) to release an acoustic, reimagined version of the Act 1 monolith ‘Defying Gravity’. Watch the video below:
This new recording may not provide much new content for non-Wicked fans nor will it probably get them along to the show purely off the back of this video. But it has another purpose.
Your most powerful advocates are your biggest fans. They will generate word of mouth, which spreads further than any marketing campaign, and they will provide personal recommendations to their friends, family and everyone they meet in the street. And it is this word of mouth and personal recommendations which will fill your box office with prospective ticket buyers.
So the point of this video isn’t for the general audience members. It is for the die-hard Wicked fan. It acts as a simple reminder of how amazing Wicked is while also providing something new for these fans to talk about and share amongst their friends.
The one thing that will kill any long running, unchanging product is stagnation. Wicked have remained relevant through their stream of new and shareable material and will continue to benefit long into the future until the Wicked movement becomes the longest running show on Broadway! (Look out Phantom of the Opera).