Before Broadway shows like Wicked or Jersey Boys go on a national tour, they typically rehearse for weeks and work out technical issues. Right now many shows go to Louisiana or Rhode Island to take advantage of tax breaks but now New York State lawmakers are considering incentives that would make it attractive for them to rehearse upstate. Producers have said the Landmark Theater in Syracuse would be a preferred choice.
"Something like this would be a big start towards reestablishing ourselves as a national treasure and not just a treasure here in Syracuse," said Jeremy Ryan Brown from the Landmark Theater.
After the Landmark Theater's recent $16 million expansion, it is one of a handful of theaters in Upstate that have the backstage space, power and rigging for large Broadway sets.
"You have the 1920 grandeur and the 2014 technology," said Landmark executive director Thomas Kazmierczack.
The Landmark also has three floors of dressing rooms, rehearsal spaces and production offices a show can move right into
"We have everything they need so they can come in, move in the show. rehearse it, change it edit it," said Kazmierczack.
Typically two to six national touring shows rehearse each year and bringing a large cast and crew into town can have a multi million dollar economic impact.
Broadway producers say a proposed 30% tax credit for Upstate rehearsals has bipartisan support from New York State lawmakers.
The Stanley Theater in Utica has also been used for pre-tour tryouts with great success.