Reply All: #51 Perfect Crime
January 14, 2016 1:56 PM - Subscribe

Every night, Catherine Russell puts on a wig, picks up a gun, and defies the logic of Yelp.
posted by lunch (11 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I was disappointed by how many questions the episodes raises about the show's success and creation that ultimately go unanswered. I'd like to have known who wrote the play, how it's still profitable, and why people keep attending.
posted by lunch at 1:58 PM on January 14, 2016

They basically didn't answer it. Maybe Yelp reviews aren't representative of the general population? Read the NYT review from 1987
posted by the man of twists and turns at 4:38 PM on January 14, 2016

I'm sure the fact that it's the longest running play in New York helps ticket sales a bit. I'm surprised they didn't mention The Fantasticks, which has actually been going longer, though it has changed locations and actors. It seems to run on a similar model--the last time I saw it we got there at curtain and got front-row seats because they weren't close to filling up the 40-person theater. But it is a very good show, unlike this one apparently.
posted by chaiminda at 4:30 AM on January 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

Ha, now I see it's actually in the same building! Funny.
posted by chaiminda at 4:31 AM on January 15, 2016

I also wonder if people are hatewatching it? I mean, besides the reply all staff. Theater is kind of expensive to hatewatch, but I'm sure that hasn't stopped people in the past.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:02 AM on January 15, 2016

Yeah, I live in NYC and I kinda wanna check it out out of curiosity, but I'm not $60 curious (or even $30 and wait outside curious).
posted by Itaxpica at 8:03 AM on January 15, 2016

I'm sure the fact that it's the longest running play in New York helps ticket sales a bit.

I suspect it's a combination of things: Low overhead, good long-term lease with theater, out-of-state audience members who have only seen regional community theater and aren't expecting much, and it often being the only long-running Off-Broadway play with discount tickets available at the last minute for at TKTS Discount Booths.

I'm sold on Sampler. The Stone Cold Steve Austin fight with the fly is one of the best things I have heard in ages.
posted by maxsparber at 8:05 AM on January 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

Since the "Toast of London" episode in which Steven Toast was cast in The Moose Trap, it occurred to me that perhaps there's a hidden market for really long-running plays, and this Reply All kinda confirms it. This is like an all-season Nutcracker.

As with all sub-par things that seem to last forever, you always wonder whether it's a matter of finding people who love it for what it is and pay to do so, or just that there really is an endless supply of suckers begging to be parted from their money. I do believe there's a lot to be said for being the only available show in town.

"Hello Steven. This is Clem Fandango, can you hear me, Steven?"
posted by Sunburnt at 12:39 PM on January 15, 2016

I don't know that I'd even say it necessarily needs to be hatewatching; The Room has become an institution because people's incredulity at its ineptitude has genuinely turned into affection.

I'm also curious how many people even think of Yelp being the most obvious forum for theater reviews - I'd probably look elsewhere first, if it came down to it. My suspicion is that there are a bunch of Yelpers looking to pump up their number of reviews so they can go Yelp Elite, which is probably worthy of an episode in itself.
posted by psoas at 1:56 PM on January 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

Yes, checking Yelp for reviews of plays seemed odd to me too. But yes: people will review anything and everything on Yelp.

probably worthy of an episode in itself

YES YES YES YES YES. Yelp Elite is, from everything I've heard it, a weird cliquey thing.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 9:12 PM on January 20, 2016

I'd definitely like to learn more about Yelp Elite!
posted by radioamy at 1:38 PM on January 21, 2016

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