As a native East Coaster, I was known to make the off-handed, “Go back to Iowa Pollyanna” comment towards tourists as they slowly make their way down the sidewalks of DC, my hometown. Now that I am a mid-westerner though, I finally realize what a bad rap we get! Recently Nancy Coyne, a major theatre critic from NYC was quoted saying, “We hate tourists from Cleveland.” Well as anyone can guess, this didn’t go over too well with Ohioans or mid-western people in general.
There was a general outcry of snobbery and then the truth set in, those tourists pay many of her theatre friend’s salaries. If it wasn’t for the buses of church ladies from the fly-over states, would CATS really have run for so long?? Methinks no.
Coyne quickly realized the error of her ways and in a genius move of good will and crisis management, the musical CHICAGO is now giving away free tickets to any and all Cleveland natives that come to see it! Additionally, Coyne is scheduled to appear in a massive PR blitz on Cleveland-area radio stations giving aways free tickets for other Broadway plays and musicals.
Not only is this a great example of crisis communication on NYC’s part, but also speaks to the power of our mid-west, denim, probably a hand-me down (Just Kidding!!) purse strings. If only there was some reciprocation here when I get called an East Coast elitist… I am thinking a free Portillo’s dog.