Who won the tickets to How I Learned to Drive?

I was going to pick this one randomly, but when I read how Marty Strenczewilk was just as passionately bummed about missing How I Learned the first time around, how could I resist?

Marty, you and I are finally gonna see this sucker!

Email me and we’ll set it up.

Here’s to crossing things off the ‘To See” bucket list!

And if there’s one thing I learned from this contest is . . . man oh man, have we all missed some great theater for one reason or another.  Let this contest serve as a reminder to us all (me included, who almost missed Follies), live theater doesn’t happen again.  That’s why we love it.

So, when you’ve got a desire to see something . . . see it.  You’ll never have that chance to see that show with that cast in that space ever again.

And life is too short, and good theater is too rare to miss.

 

(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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One Secret to Finding New Audiences, or What I Learned from Mohegan Sun.

Casinos have a lot on the ‘line’, which is why there is a lot to learn from everything they do.

I stumbled upon a simple little trick that I’ve started using for my shows already, and it has been so successful, I had to share it with you.

It’s simple . . . if you want to get a new audience to the theater, you may have to get that new audience to the theater.

The Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut needs people to come to its casino constantly.  And they do.  But to really fill their craps tables they know they need a bigger market than the natural adopters . . . they need people who may have always thought about going to a casino, but would never make the effort on their own.

So they have buses . . . for free . . . or with cash back incentives that are scheduled to pick people up from places like NYC and take them to the Indian lands of Connecticut for a little blackjack and maybe a little Jimmy Buffett.

I started thinking about all the people in my hometown and nearby that would love to see a Broadway show (especially if they knew me), but the thought of planning it, figuring it out, and getting over the fear of coming to the city, was just too much on their own.  New York and Broadway seem far away, even when you’re just a few hours by car.

So . . . knowing that these folks would never come to a show without a little catalyst, we decided to make it easy for them.

We created BroadwayRoadTrip.com, and on Saturday, February 4th, a bus full of people will depart Sturbridge, MA, come to see the Godspell matinee, get a talkback from me, and then return home that night.

The local papers have done stories on it (the hometown boy connection always helps), and this pretty small town is a buzzin’ about Broadway.

You know what I love about this simple casino-concept?  This bus will sell out . . . and on board will be 56 people who never would have seen Godspell had we not set it up for them.

And you know what else?  We will take a survey, but I bet over 90% of them will have never been to a Broadway show before.

My hope and my dream is that they enjoy their day with us so much, that when we ask them if they want to come see another show in a month or two that they don’t have a personal connection to (translation: that I’m not producing), they’ll fill up another bus again, and bingo, bongo, we’ve got brand new multi-musical buyers.

By the way, there are a few more spots left on this bus, so if you’re from Massachusetts and want to come to NYC for the day, see the show, and meet my Mom (who will be on board), click here.

Has this been successful so far?

Ahhh, yeah.  So much so that we’re doing another BroadwayRoadTrip from Washington DC on February 25th.

What’s so special about the DC area?   That’s where cast member, Nick Blaemire is from (Hometown boy angle again).   And if you know Nick, or have even seen the show, I’d bet money that the Nick Express Bus from DC is going to be one heck of a party.  Click here to get tickets for that trip.

We have to remember in this business that if we want new audiences, sometimes we gotta make it real easy for them to get here.

 

(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:

– Win tickets to see How I Learned To Drive!  Click here. 

– SEMINAR ALERT: Get Your Show Off the Ground Seminar: 2/18.  Only 2 spots left!  Sign up today!

What if Ghost The Musical was written by a Ghost?

A friend of mine wrote a book.

Wait, that’s not entirely accurate.

A friend of mine made it look like he wrote a book.  The truth is, he had it written by someone else.  A ghost.  (Insert spooky music here, or this from the upcoming musical version of Ghost.)

And in the publishing world, hiring a ghostwriter is a lot more common than you think.  It’s what a lot of people do if they (or someone else) think there is a market (translation: money to be made) in the written word of that individual or in a particular subject.

Bill Clinton’s bio, Barack Obama’s Dreams from My Father, and yep, sorry to burst your bubble young female detectives, but even the Nancy Drew books.

And that’s what amazed me as I’ve been reading on the subject lately.  I always knew that business books and biographies were written by poltergeists-for-hire who for a fee will write your book and turn over ownership to you.  And in those genres, it makes a heck of a lot of sense, because without a Casper, the books probably wouldn’t have ever been written in the first place.

But fiction?

Yep.  And a lot of it.  (Some folks say as much as 40% of today’s books are ghosted.)

Ever wonder why your favorite mass paperback author can turn out a book a year 20 years in a row?  They might be incredibly prolific . . . or they might have a little supernatural aid.

So, of course, I wondered why it doesn’t ever happen in the theater?

What if someone like Neil Simon hired the brightest young comic mind he could find to churn out a new play for him.  The play would be produced, there would be a built in audience and a lot of press, and maybe it would get a head start in the market.

And I’m not saying the young comic Turk wouldn’t have Neil’s guiding hand along the way.  He’d be involved and it would have to meet his approval before it saw a day on the stage.

Could a successful songwriting team do it?  With as long as it takes a show to develop, maybe this is a way to have more musicals by some of our favorite writers?

Why doesn’t it happen?

Is it ego?  Is it that our genre of entertainment is more complicated than the novel and requires more collaboration?

Maybe a little of both.

But the real reason that we don’t have ghostwriters in the Broadway biz is that . . . despite a lot of cracks we take for being commercial . . . our art is too pure for that.   Sure, we’re the commercial theater, but we’re not in the mass commercialization business as much as it may seem.

Our passionate writers wouldn’t let someone else touch their ideas for all the gold in the world.

And that’s why ghosts don’t haunt Broadway, I’m proud to say, and never will.

 

(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:

– Win tickets to see How I Learned To Drive!  Click here. 

– SEMINAR ALERT: Get Your Show Off the Ground Seminar: 2/18.  Only 2 spots left!  Sign up today!

Last chance for you to see Chinglish.


Chinglish
, the very funny and very timely play by David Henry Hwang that I produced on Broadway this Fall, is closing up shop this Sunday, January 29th.  And yep, it’s closing earlier than we had all hoped.

And you should go see it before it does.

Why?  Because it’s a very good play (Time Magazine named it the Best American Play of the Year.)

But also because it is that very rare thing . . .  a new American play . . . and my co-producers and I tried hard to buck a trend and put it up without stars.  (Although I guarantee you’ll leave the Longacre saying that Jennifer Lim deserves her own constellation after seeing the performance.)

Unfortunately, in this Fall’s star-packed season, that may be one of the reasons we couldn’t quite attract enough of an audience to make it to the Spring.

But we tried.

And that’s something that I’m very proud of, and thankful to all my investors for, and I know they are proud of too.

Because we produced a great play, and we did it the way we wanted to.  And no matter how disappointing our abbreviated run may be . . . I’ll always be able to sleep at night knowing that.

See Chinglish before it closes on January 29th.  Get tickets here.

 

(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:

– Win tickets to see How I Learned To Drive!  Click here. 

– SEMINAR ALERT: Get Your Show Off the Ground Seminar: 2/18.  Only 2 spots left!  Sign up today!

10 Takeaways from TEDxBroadway

http://www.theproducersperspective.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/my_weblog/6a00e54ef2e21b88330163000aef6f970d.jpgWhat a day.

Damian, Jim and I had high expectations for the first ever TEDxBroadway, but we were blown away by the presentations given by our big-brained speakers.  It was an exciting and inspiring day and all of us were so thankful to each and every presenter, and especially to each and every audience member who gave up a day’s worth of work and $100 to focus on what Broadway could be in twenty years.

The talks will be online in the near (or so) future, so if you’re not a New Yorker, then you’ll be able to catch them all in their entirety.

But in the meantime, I thought I’d give you one quote from each of the 16 speakers’ presentations that I found memorable/insightful/funny.  And let me tell you, distilling it down to just one was haaaaaaard.

Here goes.

1.  Jordan Roth – “No one sets out to create something unremarkable.”

2.  Randy Weiner – “Different is my favorite word.”

3.  Neil Patrick Harris – “I find that the more I drink the more I enjoy the show.”

4.  Patricia Martin – “We are poised for another renaissance.”

5.  Joe Iconis – “I’ve never actually seen a Powerpoint presentation.”

6.  Matt Sax – “I hate to say this, but Broadway is looking a lot like Vegas.”

7.  Frank Eliason – “Customer service is about a simple human connection. We’ve lost that connection in business.”

8.  Kara Larson – “Create the future and let other people adapt to you.”

9.  Steve Gullans – “The opinion of 1000 people is better than the opinion of 1.”

10.  Damian Bazadona – “Think of Broadway as an idea factory.”

11.  Barry Kahn – “What if all Broadway theatres worked out of the same box office?”

12.  Vincent Gassetto – “Schools + Broadway = Infinite Possibilities”

13.  Juan Enriquez – “You would be doing a disservice to the theatre to ignore today’s medical questions.”

14.  Joseph Craig – “Do not ignore the male audience for Broadway.”

15.  Greg Mosher – “You can’t Google a broken heart. That’s what we need Shakespeare for.”

. . . and finally, in my “prologue”, I ended by saying . . .

16.  Ken Davenport – “People create ideas, and ideas create the future.”

And I am so thankful for all of the people and their ideas that are what made the first ever TEDxBroadway a success.

I am going to make a prediction now about our future.  You ready?

There will be a TEDxBroadway next year.

 

(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 tickets to see How I Learned To Drive!  Click here.

– SEMINAR ALERT: Get Your Show Off the Ground Seminar: 2/18.  Only 2 spots left!  Sign up today!

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