When Broadway Suddenly Stopped This Broadway Ticketing Startup Figured Out How To Restart

6/30/2020 11:53:00 PM

Jeryl Brunner profiles people who are guided by a deep and unshakable passion for what they do. Following their joy inspires them to think outside the box, take risks and triumph. Her publishing credits includes O, the Oprah Magazine, Parade, The Wall Street Journal, InStyle, Travel Leisure and more. She is also the author of the book My City, My New York: Famous New Yorkers Share Their Favorite Places where hundreds of famous New Yorkers, including Tina Fey, Anthony Malkin, Matthew Broderick and Will Shortz share their favorite locales and things to do. She has been featured on TV and radio. Follow Jeryl on Twitter, @jerylbrunner or visit her website, jerylbrunner.com

Broadway RouletteStreisand realized she had to take action. She brainstormed with her team on ways they could reinvent their business to operate without Broadway shows. “We went into it with the mantra that there are no bad ideas because we needed that freedom to get started, but honestly, there were some pretty bad ideas,” she shares. But Streisand knew they only needed one good one.

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A few weeks later, Broadway Roulette Mixer was born. The concept is simple: make it fun and easy for would-be theatergoers to experience Broadway from anywhere in the world. Customers (aka “users”) pay a flat fee of $12.99 to reserve their spot in a specific Mixer. Each Mixer is 45-minutes long as users get to interact with three surprise Broadway guests for 15 minutes each.

Within two weeks they ironed out the idea. And within a month their beta test was live. “We built a very basic checkout page and handled everything else manually,” shares Streisand. “We didn’t want to put resources into building a system for Mixers until we knew users actually enjoyed them.”

Unlike most live streaming events, Broadway Roulette Mixers are not scripted in advance. Instead, the 15 users in the “audience” get to ask their questions directly, hear behind-the-scenes stories, and enjoy exclusive performances by the Broadway artists. Recent guests have included Samantha Barks, Jackie Burns, Carrie St. Louis, Caitlin Kinnunen, Telly Leung, Austin Scott, Taylor Louderman, Wesley Taylor, Jelani Remy, Samantha Pauly, and Scott Pask to name a few.

Elizabeth Durand Streisand“We’ve had aHamiltoncast-member perform the “My Shot” dance on her rooftop and a former Simba sing “Circle of Life” from his mother’s basement. We’ve heard stories about “no fly” shows for Elphaba and “no bubble” shows for Glinda,” says Streisand. Users don’t know exactly what or who to expect before the Mixer begins, and in this way, Streisand feels they have captured a bit of the magic of live theater.

“We’re now working to build the tech to keep up with the demand,” says Streisand. “But that’s a very good problem to have.” Read more: ForbesWomen »

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