I promised things I must fulfill on in the name of marketing and branding NPT...
Four senior citizen groups responded to the calls I made to about 15 different residences after googling them in the Fairfield area. If a group of 10 or more bought tickets then the NPT youth board and I would go out to carol for them at their facilities.
They responded well to that and most sent groups of 15 or more! One of the most delightful things to see was one of the seniors in the front row, an older african american gentleman, looking up at Keemie, one of the cutest young Bridgeport Boy's Choir boys, singing his heart out in the carols at the end. I mean seriously belting it out there. Everyone wanted to take him home, but this older gentleman, who was not related, looked on so proudly.
I promised Talk Backs after the matinees. Since all of the NY/Broadway performers did an amazing job by learning the entire show in two days, when we did the "Talk Backs" or Q and A's, that seemed to impress folks. We also heard many folks saying that they had seen us other places, so the "tribe" idea is working. They are now following us to the "next gig". When we "settle down" we will have an audience waiting for us.
Another promise I made was that anyone who bought tickets before Nov 16th got a "walk on role". It will be an easy thing to do when we control the box office of our own theatre, but the Bijou was the booking agent on this one, so I had to do some extra work in making sure I kept that promise. I put all the names in a decorative Holiday bag and pulled one name from it while on stage to be my "Jingle girl/ or guy" and they played the jingle bells on my solo version of "Sleigh ride". I had them follow me around and into the audience. Fun!
If the show had just been the six Broadway performers it might have been easier to coordinate everything, but I wanted to be sure that we had some mentoring elements visible on stage since this is becoming a huge component (and hopefully grant worthy) of what we do. So the Boy's Choir not only sang behind Courtney on "Go Tell it on the Mountain" but also two of the older guys were our "elves" in the Santa/Mrs. Santa scene. "Daniel Elf "wrote the Rap and each performance the two guys got more and more confident and more fun each show. Four of the little boys were "letter readers" in the Santa Letters portion. So I had to rehearse them separately and the day of the show because of their school schedules. I had previously attended three of their Saturday rehearsals and worked with them, and David, our musical director, went to one to help teach them the song. The boy's choir is also a non profit so we are planning to help them with their Gala/fundraising in the coming months.
We had three "models" in the Santa Baby song who girls were from my voice studio and who wore minks, gloves, mufflers, jewels, and old Hollywood looking gowns while the slides behind them were old Hollywood pin up girls and also the logo of the shop, Village Vogue, that let us borrow the clothes. Our first example of what our "On stage advertising" can be. That involved coordinating fittings and getting the clothing from the boutique to the stage in tact.
We had carolers in the lobby half and hour before the show to welcome and entertain the audiences and they also sang one Xmas carol to start off the show. Mostly high school and some of the college kids. A few of their parents helped to usher and hand out programs and generally keep things on track since I was in the dressing room at that point. I had a responsible and talented young woman, Emily Hughes, take charge as the "Caroler Wrangler" and she did a great job!
To fulfill on the promise of having our winners of So Ya Wanna Be a Broadway Star competition get a featured role in our show, the Junior Winner, Matthew Fliegauf sang Santa Claus is coming to town (arranged by our music director for him) at the two matinee shows and Amanda Forker, our senior winner, sang My Simple Christmas Wish, for the two evening shows. They had to be rehearsed on the day of the show and put into the Weird Christmas medley.
The Rowayton Elementary school girls (9 little girls that I have mentored with our two Youth Board members, Shelby and Shay, in the "Broadway Bound" sessions...four sessions/hour long at 8am on Wednesdays this past month) and their parents came to the Sunday shows and so I had to work them in with the four existing letter readers. They will also read their letters for the upcoming Dec 16th show at the Lockwood Matthews Mansion and Museum show.
Because we have a nice relationship with the Miss CT program, she danced in Santa Baby, but only for three shows, so we had to rehearse her and the cast with the cuts and additions the day of the first show.
But I promised it would be a show that drew a diverse crowd and was entertaining with a variety of songs and scenes. The reactions and emails we got were outstanding. From:
The Bijou SHOW was Fantastic ... response from the audience and my family was wonderful ... We ALL loved the production - there were so many parts and pieces to choose from BRAVO ... ENCORE ... ENCORE!
Thank again! The Residents really enjoyed the show- they said it helped put them in the holiday spirit J
Thank-you for thinking of us. I brought 2 other families. The professionalism of the show really exceeded our expectations! I hope someday to have my children involved in what you are doing.
The residents loved the show!! They were very excited, for some it was there first broadway show...Thank you so much for inviting us.
Thank you so much! I have to tell you I enjoyed the show Sooooooooooo very much and you all did such a great job. It was funny, entertaining, heart warming -- just fabulous. The group was excellent.
And my favorite, because it means we fulfilled on what we promised.
You did exactly what you said you would - you brought many facets of the community together, and you brought Broadway to Bridgeport.