Cricket's Notebook by Larry Stark - "It's all about STUBS, really..."

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide


SAMUEL D. REICH....................GUESSES....163 STUBS..................$ 10.00
LOUISE HERMAN......................GUESSES...1300 STUBS..................$ 10.00
TOTAL TO DATE............................................................$220.00

Saturday, 1 December, 2001:
"It's all about STUBS, really..."

I moved to 125 Amory Street about five or so years ago, and placed on a low table a beautiful, ornate ceramic serving-plate about a foot or more across, given to me by a friend. Soon after, I got into the habit of tossing into that dish the ticket-stub (or stubs, if I had found a date) I had from the night's performance. Occasionally I lost the stub, and occasionally my friend had picked up the tickets, and sometimes I came home with only the one, and sometimes (like at readings) there was no stub at all. Nonetheless, the ticket-stubs from nearly every show I've been to for more or less five years are right there in that dish. How many do you think there are? Make a guess.

All right, since I happen to need some money (and I'll explain why in a minute) let's make a real contest of it, and attach a prize:

Send me your best guess, and a check for $10.00. I'll put the checks into a separate new savings-account, and I'll list the names and the guesses of everyone who does so in a new STUBS PAGE in The Mirror, where everyone can see them.
At Midnight, New Years' Morning, 2002, I'll count all the stubs --- something I've never done before, and I promise I won't do until then. (Or maybe I'll ask a witness to the count and wait till we're both awake.)
If anyone happens to guess the Exact Number of stubs, I will split the money, 50-50.
If not, I will send a check for One Quarter of the amount to the person whose guess comes closest to that exact number.
No Strings.

Send guesses and checks to:

Larry Stark --- The Theater Mirror
125 Amory Street #501
Roxbury MA 02119

You can make multiple guesses, but at $10.00 per guess.
And good luck to everyone who enters...

And now I'll tell you what I want the money for:


The Theater Mirror's counter has been leaping around astonishingly lately, logging over four hundred and occasionally over five hundred people looking in some days... twenty-THOUSAND in the month of November alone. But I suspect most of those are people --- like you! --- who work in theater in some way, and look into The Mirror nearly every day. You are my audience, and I love you.

But the goal I always had for The Mirror was, to quote Joe Papp, "To put asses on [your] seats!"
If I'm going to do that, I have to make people who don't Make but who Attend theater try The Mirror, and learn about what they've been missing --- learn about Your Performances, and how easy it would be to see them.

To start, I want to stick The Theater Mirror into the faces of people reading the entertainment section of a local newspaper. And not just one ad --- I might be able to aford to buy such an ad by myself, if I went without lunches for a few months --- but Every Week for One Year.

And that's why I'm asking for a flood of ten-dollar guesses in the STUBS contest.

Here's the text I have in mind:

For news, views, and reviews of the
over NINETY THEATRES in Boston

If enough entries to the STUBS Contest come in, I'll use the proceeds to buy an ad saying exactly that in every Friday's Boston HERALD. If the contest comes up short, I'll borrow or beg from some rich friend enough to make up the difference. (I want to pay all the money up-front and have it out of the way.)

If the contest generates More money (think big, I always say!) I'll make the ad even bigger.
But I won't tell you what I might add to the ad until next year, when the contest is over. (But if you'd like to know what I have in mind: Think STUBS!!!)


THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide