Saturday, October 4, 2008

An Open Letter To TPTB At Sony's New Hot Ticket Division...

Dear Steve Elzer:

This afternoon-- a rare, rainy one in Los Angeles-- I popped in my DVD of Christopher Columbus' version of Jonathan Larson's RENT and ten minutes in was already red in the face and hoarse in the throat from talking back to all of the errors, omissions, and oversights in the adaptation. I shut it off ten minutes in, just after Angel's introduction, and opted for the second disc's documentary on Larson himself instead. This cannot be the version of the classic tale I have to show my children.

RENT has been gone from Broadway not even a month, and already high schools across the country are working on stage productions of their own, and the word "revival" has been breathed (though perhaps with more hope than conviction) by many a fan as well as industry insider. I know I will have the chance to take my children to the play somewhere, someday, but it would make it a whole heck of a lot easier if I could bring it into our own home. The press release I received back in March, talking of Sony's new Hot Ticket division, promised such a thing: for those who couldn't make it out to some one of a kind performances and shows that were halfway around the country if not the world, they could venture to a theater nearest them and receive 99% of the same energy and experience. But now I ask you to please take it one step further and release the same projects on DVD.

An email inquiry about such a thing received only a "DVD release is being considered" one line, not even properly punctuated, response. I don't really know where the question lies: you like money, don't you? Releasing RENT: The Hot Ticket via home entertainment promises not only that you will make butt loads more in disc sales than you did in theater tickets (considering the short run was not well advertised at all! Hell those that did manage to find out about it had no idea what The Hot Ticket was or why there was only one screening per night...) but also that you will influence generations upon generations of future teenagers who will then turn out to buy tickets to any subsequent tours or revivals-- which may not be a win for you financially but it should at least make you feel good. And let's face it, in this industry that Mark himself says is full of "egos and sleaze," that should count for something!

1 comment:

mrc242 said...

I was at a Sunday screening and they were handing out questionairres, including the important question "Would you buy the DVD?" The possible answers were something to the effect of "Definitely"/"likely"/"unlikely"/"definitely not". Hopefully everyone answered "Definitely."