To: Letters, Chicago Reader
In reference to the April 21 column "What Killed Killer Joe?" by Lewis Lazare, I feel compelled to address the following: (1.) Mr. Lazare reported that reviews of Killer Joe were mixed to negative, seemingly ignoring the fact that we have appeared in the Tribune's "Raves" section for the past ten weeks, that WGN's Dean Richards deemed the play a "Must See," and that a half dozen other reviewers shared their enthusiasm--please visit killerjoe.com for a complete inventory. (2.) Lazare then called on producer Doug Bragan to offer his insights on the subject. Mr. Bragan commented: "You don't charge $40 a ticket in a 200-seat house in this town." We didn't; we charged $20 to students, $30-$34.50 for weekday and Sunday night shows, and $30-$39.50 on Fridays and Saturdays. We also offered group and day-of-show discounts and upgrades, and released tickets to all shows to Hot Tix outlets. Mr. Lazare would do well to check the listings in his own paper before allowing a third-party analyst to pollute his column with incorrect information. (3.) Mr. Bragan added: the New Yorkers "were also foolish to start out with seven performances a week." What he fails to realize is that our costs would have only been nominally lower had we dropped performances. Marketing costs, theater rental, and many staff positions are fixed and are not reduced by limiting performances. If Chicagoans are trending towards four-show weeks, then it might be more pertinent to inquire about what is killing Chicago theater. (4.) And finally, let me clarify that the playwright's name is Tracy (not Tracey) Letts, and my name is Scott Morfee (not Morfree).
Darren Lee Cole