Attention: Hollywood

This morning, as I was pulling (uninstalling?) crabgrass from the garden Katherine planted in my backyard, I came across an odd thought. What if celebrities decided to go on tour like rock bands?

This happens rarely in comedy venues – you have your C-level stars like Dustin “Screech” Diamond and Christopher “Kid n’ Play” Reid trying their hands at standup careers, but what if a famous actor or group of actors just decided to tour, maybe doing one-act plays in rock clubs? Given that recent concerts by former New Kid on the Block and C-level reality star Jordan Knight have been well attended at Juanita’s, why not A or B-list actors? Something important to realize with national touring acts like Knight (or even popular rock acts) is that many people attend simply because they want to see someone famous (or in Knight’s case, formerly so).

I realize that there are touring versions of Broadway plays carrying celebrities across flyover land, but I’m talking about something less intensive and on a smaller scale: no sets, minimal props, no more than 4 people on stage. Why take a huge production on the road when everybody is there just to be in the same room with a celebrity? I think this could be a horribly lucrative thing (imagine, if you dare, Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore doing scenes from Ibsen’s A Doll House), and now that I’ve thought this through, I’m actually glad it hasn’t really caught on, because then there would be far less music going on than there already is.

4 thoughts on “Attention: Hollywood”

  1. If you must know, they do.

    The practice is used a lot with soap stars, who go together to huge events in tons of different cities on a sort-of tour where they sign pictures, meet their fans, and hang with the owners of all the syndicated stations that their shows air on.

  2. Sounds like Star Trek conventions. Those don’t really count because they’re not really celebrities; their only appeal lies in their being tied to a particular niche program. They don’t have any name recognition to the outside world.

  3. That’s a little like saying that when an obscure musician does a show it’s not really a concert, because they’re only known to a small number of fans. Soap stars may be minor celebrities, but you’re still talking about tens of thousands of people seeing their show every day. That’s a pretty damn big audience to brush off.

    Anyway, I’m not really sure this idea would make sense economically. A-list actors would have to weigh doing a tour against doing a movie, and my bet is that they would make more money doing the latter. You’d probably have to do a stadium tour to make enough money for it to be worth the stars’ time, and I don’t think the novelty of “being in a room with a celebrity” works on that scale.

  4. When an obscure musician plays a concert, people are there because they like what the musician does; an obscure musician, by definition, is not a celebrity.

    But you’re right about scale. I’m just thinking that someone who is famous could pack a club just for being famous. A-listers wouldn’t fit in a small venue, but more B list actors could easily make a living at it.

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