We should've known when we saw the first few book trailers that it wouldn't take long for another medium often-incompatible with cameras to follow suit. From musicals to one-man shows, biggest of Broadway to hole-in-the-wallest Brooklyn, nary a show opens nowadays without a poorly produced promo video telling us about it. To be sure, some companies are doing interesting things with this new format, but for the most part the results are disastrous.
10. A Life in the Theatre: This is not a mid-90s TV sitcom about a handsome old bachelor adjusting to life with his younger, more uptight roommate. But that sure is what this trailer seems to be about.
9. The Deep Throat Sex Scandal: Clearly there's a certain contingent that will be enticed by the prospect of watching porn(-related drama) in a darkened black box theater surrounded by strangers; and there's probably considerable overlap between that constituency and the one that finds visual sex puns HIlarious. Everyone else will just Netflix the documentary.
7. The Public Theater's Gatz: Way to make a massively-buzzed-about and perpetually sold out show look about as boring as watching actors read a whole novel on stage sounds like it would be.
6. New York Theatre Workshop's The Little Foxes: This minimalist set-designed re-imagining of the classic Lillian Hellman tragedy by stage auteur Ivo van Hove comes off about as stiff as it apparently was in this over-dramatic trailer.
4. Performance Lab 115's The Ring Cycle (Part 1+2): Actually, this is a pretty good example of a well-executed and fairly restrained trailer for an awesome show, and it's still pretty awful. The very format corrupts everything with which it comes into contact.
3. Vampire Cowboys Theatre Company's Alice in Slasherland: Maybe shows adapted from cinematic texts are just doomed to make terrible trailers. This one, at least, incorporates images from the actual show and more press clippings than anyone could possibly ever read.
2. DM Theatrics' Plan Nine From Outer Space: Not all that surprising considering how bad the show was, the hype-building trailer made similarly knowing use of generic cliches and parodically crappy clipart.
1. Primary Stages' In Transit: Oh, god, no, stop it! Watching people sing and dance about their subway experiences in a darkened theater surrounded by strangers might be okay (maybe), but this is not.