But Riedel proposes an explanation for the play’s failure that Healy has thus far neglected: a bad advertising deal with The Times itself. Riedel reports:
The Times offered the producers of Brighton Beach several weeks worth of splashy ads in the paper and on its Web site at steep discounts, production sources say.
In exchange for what one source calls the “fire sale” price, The Times demanded exclusivity.
Brighton Beach couldn’t advertise anywhere else until after opening night.
No radio spots, no e-mail blasts, no direct-mail campaign — none of the things most shows do to generate advance sales. . . .
“It was a pilot program,” one source says. “It was supposed to be secret. And it crashed and burned.”
More or less plausible, as a fatal flaw, than the play’s failure to be Michael Jackson?