How #DIM4JOAN Happened and Why Jordan Roth is the Future of Broadway


I’ve only tried to get a hashtag trending once. That was #smashtag, for the season two premiere of SMASH. It came about as close to happening as, “fetch.” So when the Broadway League announced that they were not going to dim the lights in honor of Broadway performer, writer, and investor, Joan Rivers — I was like, “THIS IS MY MOMENT.” I feel only Joan Rivers would fully understand how I tried to make this about me.

At first I tried #CanWeDim for “Can We Talk?” and then #WhoAreYouDimming for “Who Are You Wearing?” but they didn’t seem very “trendable.” This is where I must give credit where credit is due. Enter: Alex Wyse (@alexwyse). I told him I wanted to reverse the Broadway League’s decision by trending a hashtag, and he suggested (among several funny joke ides), #Dim4Joan. That is when I took to Twitter with —

Staying with the theme of my namesake, I annoyed the shit out of my followers until it caught on. It didn’t really take long, because it seemed obvious that a mistake had been made. People were more than passionate enough to come together in an effort to fix it. Every so often we are #blessed with a beautiful moment on social media. This was one of them.

Lovers of Broadway know how important Joan Rivers was to Broadway. We wanted to thank her for her contribution to, and undying support of American Theatre. By the time #Dim4Joan had become a trending topic — next to The Giants and #TheTeenWolfFinale — Jordan Roth (President of Jujamcyn Theaters) issued this statement:

BOOM. Jordan-EFFING-Roth.

Jujamcyn owns five Broadway theaters. Four of them are home to shows that won the Tony Award for Best Musical. Obviously they know what they are doing over there. However, it goes beyond what shows they bring in. It’s all about understanding what is going to be the next big thing.

Twitter can be an ugly place. It’s been known to end careers and spend an obnoxious amount of time documenting One Direction. Sometimes social media is so full of noise you just want to drown your smartphone. However, if you aren’t at least paying attention to what is happening on social media, than you are a solid decade behind everyone else.

If Joan Rivers passed away in 1998 and the same decision was made, I guarantee you there would be no dimming in her honor. The technology wouldn’t have allowed for our voices to be heard. That’s not the way we roll these days. Broadway is so often ridiculed for being blind to what’s current, but Jordan Roth and Jujamcyn were like, “We’re not going to fuel that stereotype.” They listened. Disney followed. Then the Helen Hayes. Hopefully everyone else will soon join 2014 and pay attention — or continue to suffer this less than stellar press.

I’ve never been more proud of a community coming together to show love and gratitude for someone else. People like Joan Rivers push entertainment further. They bring what we love to the next level and challenge us to do the same. Jordan Roth saw that, and I am thrilled to see what the future of Jujamcyn brings us.

I’d tell you all to go out and by a ticket to a Jujamcyn show, but they are always heavily sold and I certainly can’t afford a house seat.

See you all when they #Dim4Joan.

UPDATE: Shortly after the publication of this post, Roundabout announced that they would dim their lights as well — followed by this statement from The Broadway League:

BOOM. We did it, y’all.

Credit to Robbie Rozelle (@divarobbie) for the #Dim4Joan meme.



Leave a Reply