In White Christmas, Bob Wallace and Phil Davis sing and dance their way into the hearts of America (the Haynes sisters’ hearts in particular).
When the Broadway duo bring their hit musical to the rustic Vermont ski lodge owned by the commanding general with whom they served during WWII, their goal is to help boost the retired officer’s spirits and the fledgling inn’s occupancy.
Transporting a full-scale show to an off-site location is a risky endeavor that a theater production company’s insurance policy may not cover without an inland marine solution included.
“The entertainment industry has huge property values, but the potential for loss is much more than the cost of the property,” says David Brooks, vice president, underwriting, Argo Marine. “If the production halts, there’s loss of people’s income and, in this case, loss of revenue for this small-town business.
“That wouldn’t be a very merry Christmas.”
Economics of the stage
Broadway musicals average in the $10 million ballpark – a higher price tag than plays. That budget goes toward hair and makeup, costumes, lighting, sets, performers, the creative team, the crew, administrative costs, advertising, legal and theater expenses.
Imagine taking that investment on the road.
“There’s more risk for various reasons,” Brooks says. “Moving from Point A to Point B means opportunities for accidents and theft, especially during the holidays, when the weather is colder, the roads are slick and incidents of theft increase in general.”
Yet, musicals also have higher attendance and a larger gross revenue than plays. On average, Broadway tours generate an economic impact of 3.28 times the gross ticket sales. For a place that needs a financial boost, the risk might be worth it.