When you are a touring theater company, you have to be ready for almost any situation. People expect you to get to the gig, no matter what! Weather can be a tricky thing to account for when you’re putting together an event with entertainment. Outdoor affairs open to the elements keep event coordinators up at night, however even a party indoors can be impacted by Mother Nature. Heavy rains, wind, power outages, snow and even weather related traffic can all disrupt itineraries and spell a cancellation. But one thing is always certain, and that’s when your patrons and customers are sitting at the table, the entertainment better be able to get there! As a touring theater company, Riddlesbrood has performed more than 2500 shows and has seen its share of weather related problems. We've performed shows with flashlights on more than one occasion, but the best story goes back a few years.
Brian Albert - Drive Safe!
In the spring of 2007 our company was working with a restaurant in an quaint historic town in Southern New Jersey. We had been working with the establishment for several years when we discovered that the restaurant was about to be sold. After the transfer, the new owners decided to continue using our services for some of the Murder Mysteries, but chose to hire one of our competitors to perform the more profitable holiday shows that we had done in the past. Understandably, we were disappointed about this and also confused. Our shows had always gone well in the past and our prices were very competitive; to us the change seemed unnecessary. It was later discovered that it was a personal relationship, and not market forces that had facilitated the change, but there was nothing to be done. The decision had been made and we would have to make the best of it. However distraught we might have been, however, we did our parts professionally and ensured the shows we were tasked with were as good as they could be. In business, things happen, you have to be thick skinned and more on to the next mission.
Fortunately for us, we learned of this change early on in the year and had plenty of time to concentrate on booking up what otherwise might become a light winter. So when December finally did come around we had made up for the losses with new business and were planning on another great season. That’s when the weather turned nasty!
In early December a snow storm came and hit the South Jersey area pretty hard. It was more of the white stuff than people expected and came earlier than usual as well, prompting the media to throw around terms like “Snowmageddon”. To make matters worse more snow was forecast for that upcoming Friday. Long lines queued up at the hardware stores to buy shovels and rock salt as event coordinators feared for their fundraisers! Meanwhile, the before mentioned restaurant had a large private party scheduled on that date—almost 100 people. The staff were sure that the group was coming, and there was a lot of deposit money on the line. Their worries mounted when the other theater company called; telling them they couldn’t make it out due to the predicted weather. Although it was still two days away, the restaurant manager’s fears were realized. They were in a sticky situation—a full house and no entertainment.
By Thursday morning we received a call explaining the situation and asking if we could do the show despite the weather. Of course, we made it happen. By that night the snow was coming down heavy and when the whole area woke up; it was to about eight inches. Truth be told it was a tough drive, the roads were bad and traffic was crawling but we got there. When we arrived at the Restaurant the parking lot was completely blocked in. The actors all jumped out of the van to help dig out the area with the rest of the waiters until finally we were able to pull in. We loaded in our equipment, set up the stage and got into our costumes. An hour later, the customers started to show up. We made it and most importantly the customers made it as well.
The show went great and the people all had a wonderful time. Everyone seemed effervescent with a feeling of happy surprise, that regardless of the storm, it all went off seamlessly. After the audience departed the owner shook all of our hands and thanked us. They even gave all of the actors sweatshirts! We were given back all of the shows we had lost and the competitor was let go. Furthermore, as we had planned for a slower season, the addition of the new shows gave us more business then we otherwise would have had if we had not lost the work to begin with! That other company has ceased to exist and we have worked at the Restaurant ever since.
Although weather can be unpredictable it can be beaten. If you’re an event coordinator or party planner and select the right company for the challenge, you will not only come off with a great show, but you will have a real event worth taking about!
To find out more about us, or for upcoming events be sure to check out the videos that we have saved for you to look at Here. We operate in NJ, NY, DE and PA. If you have any questions, please reach out to them directly at 866-276-6399.