MGM Grand moves a “popular” show from a theater for productions to a nightclub meant for dancing. How does that make sense? The reason, of course, has to do with popularity. A press release announcing the move–well, sort of announcing the move–opens dramatically: “The phenomenally popular off-Broadway production Girls Night The Musical has extended its limited Las Vegas engagement due to popular demand.”
“Extended.” “Phenomenally.” And, “popular,” used twice. All this in one sentence. Do you sense some desperation to get a message out? The odd venue change, of course, was not actually mentioned.
There was an argument during Vietnam that “declaring victory” and leaving that country should be a strategy. By and large, that is how Las Vegas resorts present bad news to the press and public. This is a city that spins without any care for trivialities like the literal meaning of words. News therefore is often delivered in such a propaganda heavy format that one has to look at what the words scream out at readers in order to know the opposite is true.
The headline on this particular release in all CAPS: “ADDITIONAL PERFORMANCES ANNOUNCED FOR GIRLS NIGHT THE MUSICAL AT MGM GRAND’S STUDIO 54.” The venue change here is thus announced, announced and buried, via being a mere implication. The show was scheduled to be at Hollywood Theater for its run but the press release announces an extension at Studio 54. I think magicians call this misdirection. Therefore no explanation of the actual news is needed. Okay, well at least we are told: How many additional performances? The headline does scream: ADDITIONAL PERFORMANCES. But that number is not mentioned at all in the press release. It may be as few as 5 (though it could be a more). The extension lasts a week, from what I can tell, with shows Wednesday – Sunday at 7:30 pm.
The other day I wrote about how Cathouse at Luxor presented their restaurant closing as the triumph of the Cathouse nightclub, excuse me, ultra lounge X 2. This release seems to have an eerily familiar strategy. Here the actual news is a sudden move from Hollywood Theater (with a stage and room meant to offer off-Broadway shows) to the casino’s nightclub, Studio 54, which is not meant for musicals at all. What happened? How is this a result of popularity?
My guess(and it is a guess) that I am making because the press release makes no sense to me as written: Perhaps, popularity in this context means sales have been so slow the decision was made to move out of the Hollywood Theater at once. Expenses are probably less in a nightclub than at the professionally equipped and staffed Hollywood Theater. And, in that case, adding more shows would make sense, because fewer tickets could sell to each show. Otherwise, how does too much popularity explain yanking an off- Broadway show from a stage and tossing it into a nightclub?
Also, I don’t think the shows planned at Hollywood Theater were selling out, and so how is demand being defined here?
After getting the press release I did write asking about the move and when it took place and wondering why the press release was so indirect? I am waiting to hear back.
If the press release version of the move is less than true and the show is not moving entirely because of “popular demand,” why not–for argument’s sake– just offer reality? Hypothetically, would the world end were a press release to note that ticket sales were not as brisk as anticipated? Therefore the show has been moved to another room in the casino and added a few more performances– added in order to have opportunities to sell enough tickets to reach where the money needs to be.
Of course, especially if true, that would never happen in Vegas.
Instead, the mantra for Vegas remains– “Failure: the new success”