Thursday, November 26, 2009

Rock Concert or Musical Theatre

Somehow, a couple weekends ago, I ended up at the KISS concert and if that isn’t a form of theatre I don’t know what is. I mean, really, you’ve got 4 men on stage dressed up in these crazy costumes that range anywhere from a bat (oh, sorry, I mean “demon”) to a cat. Gene Simmons (aka The Demon) during his solo bit had fake blood gushing from his mouth and then flew like Peter Pan up into the rafters. At one point Paul Stanley (aka The Starchild) hopped on a trapeze-type thing and went flying through the air circus-style onto a revolving stage in the middle of the audience.

Only 2 hours previous to that concert I was at a matinee performance of another theatrical production and while I appreciated the performances given by the actors overall, and I’m sorry to say it, I was bored by the play and the subject matter. And, when I go to the theatre, I want to be more than appreciative of the performances. I also want to be entertained. Now the KISS concert on the other hand was more than entertaining. It was a visual and auditory assault and it was fabulous!

Now, I’m not saying, every time I go to the theatre I need to see men in platform shoes or a pyrotechnic show; but I do want to be entertained. At least a little. And, I’m not the only.

I would say the other major difference between KISS and the other production was the audience. I know, I know, I can already hear you saying “Oh, she’s back on that again” but I wouldn’t be saying it if there wasn’t an ounce of truth to it. GM place can hold approximately 18,000 people, so with 1/3 of the seats being blocked by the stage, there was, what, maybe 12,000 people there, give or take. Back at the other theatre, that can hold approx 150 people, I did a head count of the audience during the show and there was approximately 15 people in the audience.

My question is: how many people at KISS regularly go to the theatre? I don’t know but I think it is a fair assumption to say not all 12,000 of them. Maybe 5% and that is being VERY generous. Yet, 12,000 people paid on average approx $100 for what could be thought of as essentially a piece of musical theatre.

When you look at it that way it’s hard to come up with the justification that people in this city don’t want to spend money to go to the theatre now isn’t it?!

~Sabrina Evertt
Artistic Producer


  1. Hi Sabrina,

    Parabasis had a few comments up (maybe a month ago), about the problems of criticism within the theatrical community.

    What's you reason for not naming the show you didn't like?


  2. Hi Doug -

    Interesting you should ask that. Truthfully the first draft I wrote of this post did in fact mention the play and went into a little more detail regarding that production.

    The reason I took it out and basically reduced my comments to one sentence is because this post wasn't meant to be a review or criticism of that particular production. This post was meant to an observation on audience attendance.

    That being said, and I'm not sure I follow the comment about the posts on criticism at Parabasis, but I went back and read them. If I am correct I am assuming you are referring to the part about critics being soft with their criticism. And that by me, not mentioning the play, that I am essentially being soft with my criticism?

    If that is the case, then yes, I'll give you that. Maybe I should've mentioned the play in question; however, this blog was never intended to be a site for reviews or critiques of plays or productions. On certain occasion I have or will (see today's post) post my comments on specific plays or productions that I have seen or read that made an impression on me. Usually I try to write about them in context to what I talk about generally.

    On top of that, and this is something that Parabasis also mentions in his posts, is that I personally know some of the people involved in that production which is the reason I went to see it in the first place. People I have worked with in the past and people I may very easily work with again in the future.

    So, how do you reconcile all of the above? I don't have any more answers to that one than Parabasis. All I can say is that in this case I chose not to name the production and I stand by that decision.

    If you want to know which particular production I am referring to you can always email me and I am happy to tell you about it that way.