Thursday, September 28, 2006


Well, here's a bit of theatre news from Toronto. The Blue Man Group show that was running here is closing, after a year and a half.

This raises a lot of questions about the viability of Toronto as a major theatre town. I gotta say, I've never gone to the theatre, it's not my scene at all, but you'd think a show like this would get customers. Of course, Toronto closed down The Lord of the Rings after only a few months, and also made a flop out of The Producers. And that was a show that was a big hit in New York City, on Broadway! We're not talking about shows that were flops everywhere. These are shows that only flopped HERE. In fact The Blue Man Group has been getting big crowds everywhere they played--- but not in Toronto.

In fact you can ask the same question about a lot of events in Toronto that seem to flop here. For instance, major league baseball gets big crowds everywhere in all the major cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles --- but not in Toronto. Instead, people here waste their money on the crummy Toronto Maple Leafs NHL team that hasn't won a Cup in forty freaking years. And the Leafs games absolutely cost an arm and a leg. People have season tickets which they spend a fortune on, so they have no money left over to go see any other entertainment. The boys in the blue uniforms are sold out forever, meanwhile the Blue Man Group is going home.

I think it's a different crowd here, a weird crowd. The people who live in Toronto are freaks when it comes to the entertainment they like to go out and watch.

The shows they make hits out of here are, well, weird. When it comes to theatre they kept The Phantom of the Opera running here for years, which you can understand. But what I don't get is that they also made a big hit out of that ABBA-inspired musical Mamma Mia. And they like silly stuff like Spamalot. Why they'd turn their backs on the Blue Man Group, I dunno. Maybe it was the bad press that came from hiring non-union labour for that production that turned people off.

I know the critics also say that poor reviews kept people away but I dunno why people would say that's the reason. I think the crowd in Toronto is really tough. Maybe the competition from the film festival and the Leafs is simply too much for them. Maybe folks just can't afford the tickets in this blue-collar dump of a city. Probably a bit of both.

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