MAKE THEM FREE AND THEY WILL COME: We’ve been a big proponent of the Free Night of Theater program here at Art&Seek – what’s not to like? Many of those theaters have continued to offer deals through the program, and it seems those freebies do pay off. A new study conducted by the program found that over the past three years, between 41 and 44 percent of those accepting the free tickets returned to the theaters with paid tickets. That was exactly the case in my house – after accepting freebies to Theatre Three’s A Light in the Piazza, I was happy to pay to see a later production of Don’t Dress for Dinner. The numbers from the study are strong enough that the program will continue this year.
WHEN OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS: Photographer Scott M. Lieberman certainly knows how to seize the moment. When Dr. Lieberman isn’t working his day job as an interventional cardiologist in Tyler, he does freelance work for the Associated Press. And sometimes, those freelance opportunities come when you least expect them. Lieberman attended a recent performance of Happy Days at the Dallas Summer Musicals when he spotted Mr. Happy Days himself, Garry Marshall, in the auditorium. “He did a walk on in the first act, and they worked him in to a few jokes,” Lieberman says in an e-mail. “He gave autographs during intermission, and I contacted the house manager to get a camera in there, and I got his permission to take his photo.” The result is the image on the right. And odds are this isn’t the first one of Lieberman’s photos you’ve seen. He began his relationship with the AP when he snapped a picture of the crumbling Shuttle Columbia over East Texas in 2003. The AP estimates that between 1,200 and 1,400 papers ran the photo, showing it to some 2.4 billion people.
WHAT’S NEW AT KITCHEN DOG: Lee Trull has been nice enough to rangle us a couple of guest bloggers over the past few weeks to fill everyone in on Kitchen Dog Theater’s New Works Festival. If you’d like to hear more about the event, KD Co-Artistic and Administrative Director Tina Parker joins Justin Flowers for the new edition of his This Week in the Arts podcast.