Thursday, September 3, 2009

Tix Booth in Union Square Needs a Sign

I walked through Union Square this morning and couldn't stop myself from glancing over at our city's venerable half price tickets bastion, Tix Booth. First and foremost, this is a solid operation that usually swings PianoFight somewhere between 5 and 12 tickets each night we perform. The staff is competent and courteous, and doesn't mind if you stand around in front with flyers hawking your show to the tourists.

Looks nice right? However, I couldn't help but notice that if you didn't already know it was there, you wouldn't have a clue that this establishment even existed. It might be the most poorly marked/signed business in the city.

In case you can't see it, it's smack dab in the center of that photo, just below the St. Francis Hotel.

This is a far cry from its East Coast cousin, TKTS in Times Square.

The signage there is no comparison. I remember the first time I saw Times Square, and those giant red letters really do jump out. The only thing is, the City of New York did theater one better, by turning the collection of trailers and tents that used to house TKTS, into this:

Here's another view of it:

Freakin awesome right? Now listen, I'm not saying that the City of San Francisco needs to rush out and build a giant light-up staircase in the middle of the most heavily trafficked block in the city, but don't you think a big, brightly colored sign with the words "THEATER" and "TICKETS" written in large, friendly letters would be a serious boon to the local theater scene?

Raelle Myrick-Hodges of Brava! For Women in the Arts, lamented in a recent interview that there was no centralized theater community in the Bay Area. While I do agree with the comment, I have a nagging feeling that it's a utopian pipe-dream. However, a nice, big sign in the heart of downtown, showing how proud this city is of its art scene, might be a good start to centralizing that community.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Daily Californian Sums Up State of Bay Area Theater

Finally, an article on the state of theater that is actually positive:

In a time when businesses in many industries are closing their doors, theater companies in the Bay Area continue to operate in full force.

Many thanks to Arielle Little for taking the time to interview a load of companies (including PianoFight) and make an objective judgment on the community as it stands. It's a far cry from other Bay Area media outlets, who appear to believe theater is headed straight down the toilet.