Egyptian Theatre plans to host world premier next September | ParkRecord.com
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Egyptian Theatre plans to host world premier next September

Meet Joe.

He’s the title role in a light-hearted spoof of the Broadway musical that will be one of the first productions to make its worldwide stage debut at the Egyptian Theatre in September 2009.

"Joe, The Musical" is an off-Broadway production about a serious dramatic actor who auditions for musicals even though he hates them until his life actually becomes a musical in which everybody speaks in song and performs dances.

Artistic Director Terence Goodman said the show will cost about $130,000 to produce and will make the Egyptian the first theater to ever stage the musical in its entirety. "I think the benefit is we’ll start to build that reputation that we’re a serious company and not just another company out there," he said at the nonprofit’s annual public meeting Monday, Sept. 15.

Ticket sales have been down about 10 percent so far this season, which started with "Altar Boyz" in June. On the other hand, box office revenue is slightly up from last year, a feat that is almost unheard of in the sluggish economy.

"Even though we have a cash flow problem, a little bit, we’re a whole lot better off than other theater in the country," Goodman said.

Most regional theaters have seen ticket sales decrease by nearly half. The seemingly paradoxical increase in revenue and decrease in the number of tickets sold means that patrons are buying more expensive seats, such as the Cabaret tables at the front of the theater, explained newly appointed president Jeff Groy who takes over for Sandra Vogt at the beginning of the fiscal year.

Groy says the Egyptian plans to advertise its shows more aggressively on Salt Lake City’s Trax trains and at the Gateway shopping center to encourage patrons to make the drive to Park City.

Members of the board also discussed the possibility of partnering with the National Ability Center to build future audiences and offer kids a chance to participate in youth theater productions such as Charlie Brown, which opens in December, according to education director Jane Talley.

Talley is trying to make youth productions that appeal to younger actors and build future audiences. "My first experience was working with kids so little you’d almost step on them," she joked, adding that last summer’s production of "The Year of Frog and Toad" appealed to young patrons such as her two-year-old grandson.

Besides slow cash flow, Goodman said attracting actors from outside Park City remains difficult, but the boost in prestige from the premier of "Joe, The Musical" should help. "It’s hard for actors," he said. "They just don’t want to make the drive up the hill."

In addition to discussing next year’s lineup of shows, which includes the musical "A Christmas Carol" and the theatre’s first non-musical play, board members voted to allow part-time residents to serve as honorary members of the board, Groy said, primarily for social networking.

They also voted to eliminate the 30-person cap on the board to allow more people to serve.


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