The Saturday announcements of the winner of the Sunday Giveaways are usually a joyous celebratory experience.

This one is a little sad.  For two reasons.

First, to enter this week’s giveaway, I asked you to predict what the price of a Broadway ticket would be in 2025.  We took the average of all of your comments, and collectively you believe that the price of a ticket to a Broadway show a decade from now will be . . .

$254.70

Tear, tear.  Sad face.

The second bit of depressing news is that Greed, the show that we’re giving away four tickets to today, announced their closing this week, and their last performance is TONIGHT – April 19th.

Double tear, tear.  Triple sad face for the folks at Greed.

So that means our winner of the tickets . . . ALEX B . . . has to email me right away to get those tickets so you can see the show tonight!

It’s such a sad day.  I’m going to go turn out all the lights, watch Beaches and eat a quart of Ben & Jerry’s.

But I’ll be up and at ‘em tomorrow with a sexy new giveaway.

 

(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below! Email Subscribers, click here then scroll down to say what’s on your mind!)
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FUN STUFF:

- Nominate your favorite Broadway Behind The Curtain Staffer for the 1st Annual GHOSTLIGHT AWARDS!  Click here.

- Need help raising money?  Who doesn’t.  Take my How To Raise Money seminar and raise more money faster.  Guaranteed.  Register today.

- Win $500 in our Broadway’s Next Big Star contest!  Click here to enter! Only 2 days left to enter.

 

So get this noise . . .Ken Davenport Top 100 Blogs

Today is my 4,000th post.

I really can’t believe it, but it’s true.  Since I started bloggin’ back in 2008 (!), I’ve written four-freakin’-thousand entries.  Huh.  Let’s think about that for a sec.  If each entry is about a page, then I’ve written the equivalent of War and Peace . . .  two-and-two-thirds times over!

Crazy, to think about it.  Especially when you consider that if someone walked up to me six years ago and asked, “Ken, will you write a 4,000 page book about theater and producing?” I’d tell them to go stuff themselves because there’s no way I could write a 400 page book on theater and producing!  (Once again proving that big goals should be chunked down to bite sized goals so they are more easily digestible by your self-conscious.)

Back in January, when I asked you all, “Yo!  What’s Your Problem!?!” I got a bunch of emails from new subscribers saying, “Ken – where do I start?!?”  When I got this in the past, I used to say, “Browse it up!”  But now, with 4,000 posts, and some blogs better than others (even I know when I write a stinker), I figured it was time to solve this problem with a little more structure.

So I put together a book of my Top 100 Blogs!

But I had nothing to do with picking the Top 100.  I let you do that.  And you didn’t even know it.

The Top 100 blogs that made it into this book are the blogs that were the most popular and the most read over the last six years.  They are the blogs that, for whatever reason, resonated with you.

Blogs like:

- “What do Barry Manilow and Mike Tyson have in common?”
- “Does an attack on The Times signal a change in the times?”
- “Why you should focus on getting people to NOT see your show!”
- And 97 more of your faves.

It was so tempting to just fill up this book with the blogs I personally enjoyed, and the ones I thought were “important.” But, when it comes down to making something that you want people to read (or see . . . if you apply this theory to a show), you have to put the audience first.

(Huh.  I think that’s actually my producing mission statement.  I gotta remember that one.)

So, the blogs in this book are not my Top 100.  They are yours.

If you don’t want to click through the 4,000 to read the “most read” then get the book.

You can get it in ol’ fashioned paperback here.

Or you can get the eBook version here.

And if you want to see the other books I’ve put out in the world there, click here.

Thanks again for gettin’ me to 4,000.  I wouldn’t have gotten to four blogs if it weren’t for all of your passion keepin’ me goin’.  Because believe me, I’ve wanted to stop several times.  But your emails and comments (even the ones that disagree with me!) keep me bloggin’ away.

But, I think I’ve got another 4,000 in me.  You in?

Great.  I’ll see you in six years!

 

(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below! Email Subscribers, click here then scroll down to say what’s on your mind!)
- – – -

FUN STUFF:

- Nominate your favorite Broadway Behind The Curtain Staffer for the 1st Annual GHOSTLIGHT AWARDS!  Click here.

- Win 4 tickets to see Greed Off Broadway.  Click here.

- Need help raising money?  Who doesn’t!  Take my How To Raise Money seminar and raise more money faster.  Guaranteed.  Register today.

- Win $500 in our Broadway’s Next Big Star contest!  Click here to enter! Only 2 days left to enter.

 

Broadway Triple Crown The Olivier Awards were Sunday night.  And as I tweeted, The Book of Mormon shockingly took home the big prize of Best New Musical.  (In case you can’t read ‘tone’ through text – that “shockingly” was my little attempt at wry irony.)

We all knew it was going to win, right?

By bringing home that blimey best musical prize overseas, The Book of Mormon entered the theatrical history books (as if the first musical to use the “C word” on a Broadway stage wasn’t enough), as a Theatrical Double Crown Winner, which means it won the Best Musical or Best Play prize on both sides of the Atlantic.

There have only been thirteen musicals and only six plays that have impressed nominators and voters in NY and London, so this ain’t an easy feat.

Here is a list of the others plays and musicals that have taken home the 2x Crown:

PLAYS

Children of a Lesser God, (Tony- 1980, Olivier- 1981)
Dancing at Lughnasa,
(Tony-1992, Olivier- 1991)
Art (Tony -1998 , Olivier -1998 )
The History Boys, (Tony- 2006, Olivier- 2005)
God of Carnage, (Tony- 2009, Olivier- 2009)
Clybourne Park, (Tony- 2012, Olivier- 2011)

MUSICALS

A Chorus Line, (Tony-1976, Olivier- 1976)
Sweeney Todd, (Tony-1979, Olivier- 1980)
42nd Street, (Tony-1981, Olivier- 1984)
Cats,
(Tony-1983, Olivier-1981)
The Phantom of the Opera, (Tony-1988, Olivier- 1986)
City of Angels
, (Tony-1990, Olivier- 1994)
Crazy For You, (Tony-1992, Olivier- 1993)
The Producers, (Tony- 2001, Olivier- 2005) 
Hairspray, (Tony- 2003, Olivier- 2008)
Jersey Boys, (Tony- 2006, Olivier- 2009)
Spring Awakening, (Tony- 2007, Olivier- 2010)
Billy Elliot, (Tony- 2009, Olivier- 2006)
The Book of Mormon, (Tony- 2011, Olivier- 2014)

While the twin cities of NYC and London are the theatrical centers of the universe, the people in them have massively different tastes.  (I’m convinced that for a show to work in London that was born in the US or is about the US, then it has to somehow, at its core, mock Americans just a bit.  Cases in point – Enron: a hit there, and flop here.  Rent: a hit here, and never had the same box office or cultural power there.  Book of Mormon . . . well, you see my point.)  The US and the UK may share the same language, but there could be another revolutionary war over exactly how that language should be used on a stage.

What do you think are the characteristics of a show that make it a hit here and ‘over there’?

Oh, and by the way, I’m supremely aware that “Theatrical Double Crown” is a lame moniker for this kind of winner.

So I leave it up to you.  What should we call a play or a musical that wins both big awards?  A Coast-Stopper?  The Fish and Fries Award?  (Oh boy, it’s late.)

Comment below what you think we should name shows that get this lofty EGOT like kudos.

 

(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below! Email Subscribers, click here then scroll down to say what’s on your mind!)
- – – -

FUN STUFF:

- Win 4 tickets to see Greed Off Broadway.  Click here.

- Nominate your favorite Broadway Behind The Curtain Staffer for the 1st Annual GHOSTLIGHT AWARDS!  Click here.

- Need help raising money?  Who doesn’t.  Take my How To Raise Money seminar and raise more money faster.  Guaranteed.  Register today.

- Win $500 in our Broadway’s Next Big Star contest!  Click here to enter! Only 3 days left to enter.

 

Broadway Ghost Light AwardsIt takes hundreds of people to put on one Broadway show.  But only a max of a few dozen are ever seen on a stage.

The rest of ‘em are backstage, offstage, in orchestra pits and in dressing rooms.  They are in box offices, in SM offices and perched up high on fly rails.  And without ‘em, Broadway wouldn’t happen eight times a week.

These are the folks whose names aren’t on marquees or on the title pages of your Playbill.  And there has never been an award celebrating what they do.

Until now!

Yep, after a big time Broadway investor put a bug in my ear about honoring the people behind the people some time ago, I’m finally proud to announce the Ghostlight Awards – The Awards For The People Behind The Curtain.

We’re going to look for Broadway’s best Stage Door Person, Box Office Treasurer, Usher, Dresser, Company Manager,  and everything in between (a full list is up on the link below).   And we’re going to post those names here for everyone to see.

Here’s how it’s going to work.  We’re asking you . . . all you folks out there who know those people working in the Broadway Theaters  . . .  to pick your nominees.  Anyone working on a show that ran in the 2013-14 season (still open or not) is eligible.  (That means that people working on Phantom are just as eligible as a person who worked on First Date or a person who is currently working on Violet.)  Based on the number of suggestions we get, we’ll announce the slate of nominees.  And then, you’ll vote for who wins.

It’s pretty simple.  And way overdue.

Actors, Designers, Directors, Producers . . . there are awards for all those guys already.  The Ghostlight Awards are for everyone else.

I hope you’ll show your support for all of ‘em by nominating your favorite backstage or front of house employee by clicking here!  The nominations close on May 11.

Nominate for the Ghostlight Awards today!

 

(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below! Email Subscribers, click here then scroll down to say what’s on your mind!)
- – – -

FUN STUFF:

- Win 4 tickets to see Greed Off Broadway.  Click here.

- Need help raising money?  Who doesn’t.  Take my How To Raise Money seminar and raise more money faster.  Guaranteed.  Register today.

- Win $500 in our Broadway’s Next Big Star contest!  Click here to enter! Only 4 days left to enter!

 

Pulitzer Prize on DramaI would never have produced The Flick.

I will never produce The Flick.

I can’t.

You see, I’m a Broadway producer.  Not a theater producer.  I produce for a 10 block radius in the middle of New York City with a very specific audience.

And I don’t believe for a second that the Broadway Audience would support something like The Flick enough for me to be able to repay my investors.

So I can’t produce The Flick.

But Playwrights Horizons can.

And they did.

And yesterday, when The Flick won The Pulitzer, Playwrights showed us what non-profit producing and leadership is all about.

Last year at this time, people were walking out of The Flick.  According to this NY Times article, which described the controversy, Artistic Director Tim Sanford confirmed that 10% of the audience left at intermission of the first performance.  And word of mouth from those that stayed was something else entirely.  It was three and half hours long, “nothing happened,” and those were just a few of the complaints.  People were canceling subscriptions.  And in an unprecedented move, Mr. Sanford emailed 3,000 of the theater’s subscribers to explain why he chose to produce it.  Not to apologize.  But to bring his patrons into the process.

To many, choosing that play for its season looked to be a monumental mistake that was going to have an immediate effect on the theater’s bottom line.

And now . . . bam . . . choosing that play looks to be one of the smartest choices Mr. Sanford and his team could have made.

What I love about this story is that they produced a play that so many wouldn’t, and they produced a play that they knew many wouldn’t even enjoy.  But they felt it was important.  And they knew that it was the responsibility of their institution to produce plays exactly like The Flick.  Because if they didn’t, who would?  Certainly not me.

And now, get this, another gutsy guy around town, Scott Rudin, just announced he’s going to put the show back up at the Barrow Street this fall!

The team at Playwrights did something that all great producers do.  They stuck to their artistic guns.  They didn’t run for cover when the criticism came.  They stood up for what they believed in:  new, challenging, boundary bustin’ plays.  And boy did it pay off.  (Do you know how many more productions The Flick will get now?  And how much in additional royalties Playwrights Horizons will get as a result?)

Risks like this don’t always work out this way.  But when they do, it’s important that we stand up and say congrats.

So congrats to Annie Baker, Sam Gold, Tim Sanford and everyone at Playwrights for a producing job awesomely done.

[Want to read The Flick?  Click here.]

 

(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below! Email Subscribers, click here then scroll down to say what’s on your mind!)
- – – -

FUN STUFF:

- Win 4 tickets to see Greed Off Broadway.  Click here.

- Need help raising money?  Who doesn’t.  Take my How To Raise Money seminar and raise more money faster.  Guaranteed.  Register today.

- Win $500 in our Broadway’s Next Big Star contest!  Click here to enter! Only 5 days left to enter.

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