In an age where a virtually infinite amount of entertainment is available whenever, wherever and however we want it–with much of it free or very inexpensive–Broadway just posted its best season ever.
Somehow, despite the inconvenience, despite the high cost, despite the fact that the show will start when it wants, not when you want, millions of people each year still choose to trek to Manhattan, plop their butts in a seat for 2 hours or so and, in the case of Hamilton, often shell out way north of $500.
It shouldn’t work. But it does.
It works because what a great Broadway show offers is unique and scarce.
It works because certain aspects of the experience of seeing a live performance cannot be replicated online.
It works because there is something magical about an immersive happening we get to share with our tribe.
It works because after we’ve been through it we have a remarkable story to tell.
Broadway didn’t have its best year ever because they collectively decided to make what they already offer cheaper and more digitally accessible. They had their best year ever by leaning into what they do that is relevant and remarkable.
The death of physical retail IS greatly exaggerated. But maybe if retailers want to do more than just survive or tread water, Broadway can teach us a thing or two.