More Thespy advertising silliness
SO NOW IT COMES TO THE GREAT WHITE WAY.
TURNS OUT WE DON'T JUST GET THEIR GOOD STUFF (RADA-TRAINED ACTORS, GUINNESS BEER, STILTON CHEESE), BUT SOME OF THEIR SILLY STUFF TOO (ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER, "BLOOD BROTHERS", SIMON COWELLL....)
Enter Stage Right: Live Advertisements
By CAMPBELL ROBERTSON
Seven fifty-five p.m. A moment, in theater, of whispered anticipation, of studying Playbills, of turning off cellphones. And a perfect time, before a performance of "Stomp" at the Orpheum Theater in the East Village last night, for a commercial.
"Give me a picture of the London scene," said an actress in the audience on her cellphone, supposedly talking to her daughter in London on the eve of her own trip there.
Alice Parsloe as a newlywed in an onstage commercial before a performance of "Stomp" Tuesday night, where she declaimed the joys of a London honeymoon.
No, to answer your question, there is nothing sacred.
The advertisement, which is itself advertised as the world's first live theatrical commercial, is a creation of Visit London, a tourist organization. There have already been performances of the live commercial on stages in Dublin and Hamburg, said Ken Kelling, Visit London's communications director, and there is to be another on Friday in Pittsburgh.
"They're a captive audience," Mr. Kelling said. "They can't switch channels or change over or walk out once the thing is started." EDITOR'S NOTE: OH YES WE CAN! (TRY TO STOP ME!) He said that he did not think this would open the door to live ads for detergents and soft drinks, and that Visit London had no plans to continue the ads after this Friday in Pittsburgh.
Richard Frankel, one of the producers of "Stomp," said he viewed the three-minute performance as a "public service spot." No money has changed hands, he added. "Stomp" also has a London production.
Last night's ad began with a woman onstage putting the audience on notice that they would in fact be watching a commercial, "brought to you by Visit London."
The audience, mostly foreign tourists and students from a Brooklyn school, clapped and kept chatting.
The cellphone rang in the audience and the mother-daughter scene followed, with an almost-inaudible daughter, onstage, recommending London attractions. And the British actress Parminder Nagra (Dr. Neela Rasgotra on "ER") stood up for a cameo appearance.
Next, the audience was treated to an onstage couple on their London honeymoon discussing "a stroll along Shaftesbury Avenue," in the West End.
A disembodied voice chimed in: "Whatever you like doing, you'll love doing it in London."
"It took a long time for everything," said a Dutch-born New Yorker, Daphne van der Meulen, 29. "I think you can see from the people that it didn't really — how do you say it? — didn't really hit."EDITOR'S NOTE: WEIRDLY CLEVER IDEA. BUT IT TAKES SO LONG TO GET TO A THEATER TOILET....IF YOU'RE A WOMAN, AT ANY RATE...THAT I DON'T THINK PEOPLE ARE GOING TO SEE THE AD FOR THE CHATTING AND MAD-DASHING TO THE LOO.