This blog may fall under the category of “duh,” but I couldn’t help myself. It’s a pretty basic concept, but I got slapped in the face with it again the other night, so I thought I’d share it this morning.
At the 3rd annual National High School Musical Theatre Awards (aka The Jimmys), the judges grouped the actors and actresses competing for the coveted prize of Best Actor and Best Actress into groups of 5. These groups then sang medleys, with each performer getting a featured spot. A typical group would be a Baker from Into The Woods, J. Pierrepont Finch from H2$, a couple of Tevye’s and a Bobby Child from Crazy For You.
Then there was a very special group of five . . . count ‘em . . . five Millie’s.
That’s right, five of the twenty five girls in the competition had all played Thoroughly Modern Millie at their high school. 20%. That’s a pretty high number, don’t you think?
Extrapolate that to give yourself some sense of the number of high schools that licensed that show last year, which will give you some sense of the amount of royalties paid to to the authors, which will give you some sense of the amount of money that trickled back to the original investors and producers.
“Everything today is Thoroughly . . . ”
I was the Company Manager of Millie on Broadway, and while I was watching the show come together, I don’t think I ever thought about the life that Millie would lead years after the Broadway show had closed.
But you can bet Millie’s bob that I think about it now on every show that I produce or invest in. The after-life of a show is an essential part of evaluating the risk, and it can be the deciding factor in whether I get involved or not.
I’d bet that if you asked a Writer or Producer of a new show what their fantasy was they’d say, “My dream come true would be seeing my show on a Broadway stage.”
Ironically, the dream of a financial success might just be seeing the same show on a high school stage.
Oh, and if you missed The Jimmys this year, don’t worry. You’ll be seeing these kids again very soon, I’m sure of it.
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