It’s true, we’ve doubted Twitter in the past, questioning if it would ever catch fire in the mainstream. Well, here it is: Twitter is kind of powerful. And the proof comes straight from the Great White Way.
Yes, Broadway musical Next to Normal recently got a big boost from the social-networking site when it used Twitter to promote the show. I know, no biggie–that’s what Twitter is there for. But Next to Normal didn’t try to attract audience members with discounted ticket prices. What it did was unprecedented: it performed the musical via tweets, gathering thousands of followers along the way and contributing to a spike in ticket sales.
When Next to Normal, a show about a suburban family whose mother suffers from bipolar disorder, opened on Broadway in April after having been Off Broadway in 2008, it was met with critical praise, but less-than-ideal ticket sales. The New York Times reports that the show was selling only 72% of its seats.
In early May, six weeks after the show’s opening, the adapted Twitter production began to 30,000 followers, tweeting lines from characters and offering links to audio when it was time for a musical number. The Twitter performance concluded on June 7, just in time for the Tony Awards that evening. By then, @N2NBroadway had 145,000 followers. The show’s ticket sales saw a huge spike, and the cast was performing to 99% capacity (which admittedly had a lot to do with the show’s 11 Tony nominations, but the show’s growing amount of followers doesn’t lie).
To date, @N2NBroadway has over 570,000 followers, suggesting that the buzz generated by the Twitter performance is still, well, buzzing.