Just yesterday, I got an email from a reader who reminded me about my blog’s mission when she asked me a very simple question.

“Hey Ken!  How’s Godspell going?”

It’s a simple question, of course.  But it has a complicated answer.

I started this blog so I could lift the curtain on the mysterious process of producing Broadway and Off Broadway shows.

It was my mission to bring people inside the process of what I do and what my peers do . . . frankly, in the hope that more people will want to do it . . . and do it better than I do and my peers do . . . so that the theater not only survives the next 100 years . . . but that it thrives over the next 100 years.  To use a word that politicians throw about too often . . . the point of this blog was transparency.

And that’s when I realized I had let you all down a bit by not lifting the veil on what has been happening with the show so you could understand my strategy, my hopes, and my goals.  And so that you could see, hear, and feel what it’s like to go through what I am going through as I produce the show.

While I’m not going to be able to be 101% transparent with everything that goes on with all my shows (casting before announced, etc.), I can be more transparent now.

So I’m going to be.

Godspell, despite its fantastic response from audience members who see the show, has been struggling as of late.  After a decent and tourist-filled Spring Break, our grosses have dropped.  While we were expecting this drop (which is attributed partially to the incredible amount of competition there is at this time of year as well as a pre-summer lull in tourist traffic), it has been more significant than expected.  (Obviously we haven’t been the only ones affected – I was surprised to see both How To Succeed and Priscilla announce their closing prior to summer.)

Because I believed in my heart if we could get through this period, we would have a very successful summer (and because I had data to prove it – Godspell scored a positive approval rating of over 93% in recent surveys), I put my head down and instituted a number of promotions to help increase our awareness and our sales, including “Pay Your Age” Night, the Godspell Cast of 2032, Fan Appreciation Day and more.  Additionally I appealed to many of the people and companies that help make the show happen on a daily basis to ask for some relief that would allow us to lower our operating expenses.  I was blown away by the response and generosity and communal “We’re in!” attitude that I got after my requests.  But then again, I shouldn’t have been that surprised.  Godspell has a way of doing that to people.

These efforts were successful to an extent.  But not enough.

I also lobbied like a politician for an appearance on the Tony Awards, and, thankfully, thanks to the prescient “It’s not about nominations, it’s about the best show possible” attitude of the smartie Tony Award powers-that-be, we got one.

Honestly?  I was blown away when I heard we were chosen for a number.  But then again, I shouldn’t have been that surprise.  Godspell has a way of doing that to people.

So where is all this going?

This is my way of explaining that at this point, Godspell has a heck of a lot riding on that Tony performance, as well as tourist traffic over the next couple of weeks.

If I don’t see a sizable uptick in sales ?

Well, in that case . . . Godspell may close on Sunday, June 24th.

Is that a definite?  Nope.  And if you’re a reader, you know I’m a pretty glass-half-full type of guy, so I’m going to be staying up late over the week or so dreaming up ways we can keep “singing about love” over at Circle in the Square, so we can keep making audiences happy, and keep the 100 people or so employed for as long as possible.

It’s just not going to be easy.

But hey, what in life that’s worth doing easy?  And this show and the people involved in it are certainly worth every effort.

So that’s the honest to goodness truth of where I am in the process of producing Godspell today.

If you haven’t seen the show yet, this is the time to get your ticket.  I guarantee you’ll love it.  Seriously.  If you don’t see it, and we don’t make it past the 24th, it will be one of those shows that you say, “Man, I wish I caught that one.”  It took 40 years for Godspell to make it back to Broadway.  How long do you think it’ll take to make it back again?

Here’s the link to get tickets.  There are even discounts available, including a special $50 ticket for this Friday’s special matinee at 3 PM.

I hope to see you there.  As I was when we started previews, I’ll be at every performance from here on out . . . wearing that same Godspell hat I wore back then.  Hopefully we’ll get a chance to say hello.

Thanks for being a part of my process.  I’ll give you another update as soon as I can.

But right now, I gotta get back to work, as I’m sure you can understand.

 

(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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92 Responses to My Producer PROspective on Godspell.

  1. kathleen hochberg says:

    It breaks my heart to hear this news Ken and the possibility of closing the show… I as you already know, love Godspell and have come to love you and everyone involved with this stellar production. I am praying hard for a positive response from the Tony audience and I know you will keep fighting for the show, because you love it! And yes , Godspell does that to people <3 :-) keep the corners of your mouth turned up!

    • Wendy Asreen says:

      I am sorry to hear about ticket sales although it truly is NO reflection on your fabulous production. My daughter and I saw it with many other teens one weekend matinee and had a ball. My daughter even tried out for Godspell 2032 and although she did not make it, this play ranks as one of her favorites. We hope to see it again before June 24th but with school finals, it may not happen but we will try.

      Thank you for a TERRIFIC production and experience.

      WELL DONE!!!

  2. Daniel says:

    Alas, some of us are not on that coast. Hopefully, you’ll be able to continue the PROspective when Godspell goes on (I hope) tour. I look forward to seeing it when it eventually makes it out to Southern California (hopefully, at the Ahmanson, as I don’t believe the Pantages is a great venue, although I do understand it is a favorite of tours). I also look forward to hearing about how the dynamics of producing something on tour are different than the dynamics on Broadway.

  3. Ken,
    Our Godspell cast came to the show in March, and i wanted to thank you. I will be heartbroken for you and the rest of the cast if you close, but please know that the work you all have done has been inspiring and challenging. You all challenged our creativity and taught us thing about love, community, and purpose. I give you all standing ovations for making the theater vibrant and alive. I will never forget the night i came and saw the show. My heart and prayers are with you! I look forward to seeing you all at the tony’s!

  4. Laura says:

    Hello!
    ah Godspell shouldn’t close! Hopefull the Tony performance boosts it! I am seeing it the 2nd time with my mom and sis on June 14th! Can’t wait! Good luck to all of you! Hopefully i will see you at the show! :)

  5. Barb Dignan says:

    I brought 33 high school students to NYC last week. One of our shows was GODSPELL. It was everything a musical should be! The cast sang “out-of-their-minds” good and gave 150% all night. The updated score/script was even better than the original. The humorous parts were truly laugh-out-loud funny and current. Audience participation was a blast (particularly communion at intermission). The intimate, in-the-square-in-the-round venue made us feel like we were all performing together. Godspell was our group’s favorite play, and for quite a number of them, it was their first taste of professional theatre…doesn’t get better than this! Let’s compare Godspell to Phantom: large venue; we sat in the balcony. Couldn’t see. Couldn’t hear well. Cast was “tired”; just moving through the motions. Many of the audience were on cell phones, talking, eating, drinking… as if it were a basketball game. Ushers brought people in THROUGHOUT Act 1. Worst theatre experience ever. The kids and I left at intermission. I complained to the manager, who said, “What do you want me to do? This is how it is today.” My response was: THIS IS NOT HOW IT WAS AT GODSPELL LAST NIGHT!!”
    Kudos, Ken. Mediocrity abounds, as Salieri said in Amadeus; but your production rises above it. Thanks for a fabulous memory!

    • J says:

      “What do you want me to do? This is how it is today.” — That is horrifying to hear! I LOVE Phantom, and it is a real shame to hear that that is going on during the show. Unacceptable. I am so sorry to hear about your experience.
      Luckily, Ken is delivering the goods a few blocks up town. Very glad you enjoyed yourself at Godspell.

  6. Ellen says:

    Ken~you’ve marketed this show brilliantly. I’ve brought multiple friends and family to the show and, to a person, they’ve loved it. The show has even melted the heart of one of my most cynical friends. Your whole team could not have worked harder or communicated so sincerely their devotion to, and belief in, the show. And that has been such a gift to the fans. If I could personally pay for this show to have a years-long run, I’d write the check today. It is all the good things about theater combined with all kinds of good things about life.

    I am so excited for the Tony Awards performance so that such a huge audience can share the joy and rush to buy tickets. But uptick or not, this revival will live forever in our hearts. Corny? Yes. But so so true. Endless thanks to you, the cast, creative…the whole team (with special shout outs to Jen T and Lindsey F :))!

  7. Michael DiGaetano says:

    I noticed with interest how JC Superstar last week had a 51.11% capacity while we had a 51.55%. Was wondering if it’s ever been done before that two Broadway shows team up for some special discount if people bought tickets for both at once… “Two’s For Jesus”, so to speak.

    • Michael says:

      I love this idea! I enjoyed both shows so much and would love to see them both again! Plus I love when shows can work together for a common goal! Merde!!!!!

  8. Hal Jones says:

    Ken, first off thank you for the hospitality you showed me and my daughter back in October. Your kindness rekindled the fire in her to follow her dream of performing and your words were an inspiration to her.
    Godspell is special, and I hope it weathers this storm. After taking my 12 year old to see it back on October 13, its first night, I was planning on taking my 15 year old this August during my vacation.
    We appreciate your continued efforts and I hope to see you again in August so that my older daughter can see your fantastic production.

  9. I have so much respect for you, Ken. Thanks for being so honest in this public forum. That takes courage. I’m a producer of late night cabarets here at Teatro ZinZanni in Seattle, WA, and I want you to know that on more than one occasion I’ve forwarded along one of your blog posts to my Managing Director, Artistic Director, and Marketing Director. You are a bit of a mad genius, you know. I’m sure you’ll have your epiphany before June 24th. (and I agree with a fellow commenter that I can’t wait to read your National Touring Production of Godspell blog posts…..bring this show to Seattle under the STG Presents banner…beautiful theatres to choose from and you WOULD have an audience for this show).

    Keep your head high and your spirits even higher.

    Tim Gonzalez-Wiler
    Casting Manager and Special Events Producer
    Teatro ZinZanni

  10. Bruce says:

    While I didn’t see this production, I saw it off-Broadway in the ’70s and it didn’t thrill me then. It has only been 35 years since it was on Broadway though, as it moved there in ’76 and closed in ’77. These five years can be precious to us!

  11. Bert says:

    Even Miranda is promoting the show:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuAyXxvcy-4

  12. Larry says:

    If you look at the numbers, you fell into negative territory after Hunter left. Why not get another star?

  13. Claire says:

    While I understand it is increasingly hard for some shows to stay open, I ho

  14. Claire says:

    While I understand it is increasingly hard for some shows to stay open, I hope that Gospell can! My little sister and I are huge fans and are wishing so badly to see it. Sadly, we live in the Midwest. Please come on tour!

  15. Michael L. says:

    Thanks for your generous blog, Ken, and all the best to you. Just watched Godspell Cast of 2032, and was deeply moved. Well done, sir. We’re heading to NYC in December, and hope to be able to experience your Godspell then!

  16. Frayne says:

    Ken, I wish you the very best, and I hope that ticket sales go way up after your Tony number! “Godspell” is special to me because it’s the show that made me say to myself (long, long ago) “Hey, I want to do that!”. Yeah, Godspell has a way of doing all kinds of things to people. I was inspired. I hope your production continues to inspire others too.
    Take care,
    Frayne

  17. sophie says:

    bringing 52 friends from Ohio to see Godspell next Saturday – can’t wait!
    ps – we loved the 2032 cast! :)

  18. MB Catherine says:

    Mr. Davenport,

    I appreciate your efforts in allowing Godspell to spread its message and have a respectable run. At the same time, I believe that the fact that you have personally asked others who are living off of their salary from your production to take a pay cut from their personal earnings is demeaning! Does this mean that you will ideally make YOUR investment back more quickly while having these deserving and hardworking individuals fork over their hard-earned dollars for your own profit?

    Frankly, you have already surpassed the respectable running of your show before it has clearly become an investment nightmare.

    Sincerely,

    A concerned Broadway Enthusiast

    • producer says:

      Hi MB, don’t worry . . . I think you misunderstood. No one who comes to the theater each and every day has been asked to take a salary cut. Unions wouldn’t allow that even if I did ask, but I didn’t, rest assured. They work too hard!

  19. Marianne says:

    The last 3 shows I’ve seen have been Godspell, twice with Hunter Parrish and once with Corbin Bleu. I would see it once a week if I had the money. It is funny, moving, uplifting and inspirational. It truly is a show that makes you want to keep on singing and praising. I’m hoping and praying you will be able to continue the run so I can see it again this summer and finally see you, Ken, at the theater. We will see you on Friday for fan appreciation day!! We can build a beautiful city together!!

  20. Cassandra says:

    Godspell does do that to people! While I live clear on the opposite coast in California, I actually made two separate trips out to NY to see the show a total of four times. The following you do have is quite loyal. If I lived closer I’d be there as often as the regulars. Good luck to you all.

  21. Beth Doucette says:

    Ah dear Ken,
    You know my opinion about how all this has and will continue to happen, but also know this, Prayer has been and is continuing to be said for this production. I do look forward to seeing it a second time and to the Tony performance.
    God bless you,
    Beth

  22. janiska says:

    Either way, looks like a lot of us are hoping for a long run on Broadway and a touring show after. The message of Godspell is more important now than ever before and the whole country needs to experience it.

    Meanwhile, I’m sure you have thought of this, but I know several large churches with hundreds if not thousands of parishoners who have cancelled tours of the Holy Land due to the unrest there. It may be too late and perhaps not at all feasible, but churches of any faith that believes in the power of love would certainly benefit from seeing Godspell. Maybe they could be a new target market.

    It might sound hokey, but perhaps appearances on some of the televangelist shows might help get the word out quickly. Then there’s the publications, televised sermons, and internet presence of many large churches. I’m sure there are dozens of ways to reach that audience if the show can survive until summer. (Schools are out for summer now in the midwest and family vacations are already being planned)

    As anyone knows who has ever experienced the show, Godspell is not only about love, but the miracles generated by love. Your love for the show and your theater audience as well as your online audience is obvious. Every day love makes more miracles. You just have to believe. Look for a miracle.

    So call me sappy. I’m praying for a miracle. Keep the faith.

  23. Jonathan Drisko says:

    Ken, It is a breath of fresh air to have a producer walk among the masses. You have brought Godspell to each of us in a personal way. I loved the production in Dec. THe cast was marvelous. I have bought many tickets and for friends on theor trips to NYC. Each one said that Godspell was the one event that made their vacation. I am praying that it continues on and blesses many more. I have front row seats on July 3, so it has to continue!! I have the note from you inviting me backstage after the show. I have been looking forward to this since January!! The show must go on after June 24th! We are praying for you and still pushing the show from the deep south in Alabama.

  24. Last year we lost a great comic writer, Mike Price. Your “glass half full” comment reminded me of a shortie that Mike told me. “An optimist says the glass is half full. The pessimist says it’s half empty. The realist looks for a bottle with half a glass missing!” My gut feeling is that Godspell will be around well after the 24th. You’re a hard working guy and you deserve a long run. Break a leg.
    —Steve Conners

  25. David says:

    Corbin Bleu is a star, and he is amazing as Jesus–a huge asset to the show. If you have not seen him yet, I recommend you see the show again if you have the chance!

  26. Indigo says:

    Noooo!!! You guys can’t close yet! My mother raised me on Godspell. I’ve gone through two VHS copies because I watched the movie so much and it has been my dream to see it onstage. I want you guys to go on for years but I hope with all my heart you are at least open until August so my mother and I can see the show.

  27. Phyllis Buchalter says:

    Hi Ken,
    I just want to tell you what a great experience it has been being a POG. I admire all your efforts to get Godspell going and keeping it going for as long as possible. My family and I really enjoyed the show when we saw it in Oct. I am looking forward to seeing the Tony broadcast even though I was disappointed that Godspell was not nominated for best musical revival, which it justly deserved.
    I have been wondering if you thought of a move off-Broadway, maybe to New World Stages to keep the show alive.
    See you on Friday.

  28. Greg says:

    Thank you for such a powerful and frank blog. Transparency and honesty to be so important, yet you have such an inspiring sense of optimism. We need more of that in the world – thank you for sharing all that with us. I will be rooting for Godspell on the TONYs and beyond! I also noticed how many people who have commented before me are from out of town. It seems that you have a lot of regional excitement – I hope a tour is in the works!

  29. John Kunich says:

    Ken, I’m bringing my whole family with me to see GODSPELL next week. It would break my heart to see this splendid show end its run. On a personal level, it would be devastating to my family if we missed it. Our two daughters (Christie, age 15, and Julie-Kate, age 10) are thrilled about getting to see Corbin Bleu in person, and maybe even meet him. This show deserves to live on and on, and I am doing what little I can to help. Long live God(spell)!

  30. Patty says:

    I love GODSPELL! Saw the original in 1971 in Los Angeles–one of my all-time favorites. I certainly hope the run continues beyond June 24–think the performance on the Tony Awards show will provide you with more patrons. Would love to see it in NYC, but living in Las Vegas now.

  31. Brittain McGowin says:

    Am a Godspell “freak” from the old days. Saw the original casts in the 1970s in DC, Pgh, London, and Paris (yes, I have the French cast album!), sometimes multiple times. In London, where I was a college student on a theatre interim study, I became friends with one of the doormen at the theatre, and he would give me unused tickets after the performance began, so that I could sneak in and watch it…again and again. The cast members, including orig. London Jesus, Robert Lindsey, knew me, and would wink at me from the stage. GODSPELL was a primary igniter of my passion for the theatre. I became an Equity actor, even made it to Broadway in a small part in a play at Circle In the Square, but my dream would have been to be in a production of GODSPELL. I was beyond touched by the video of the 2032 cast performing so beautifully. I live in Nashville now, but am determined to make it up to see the show this month, just in case you have to close. Will stay with my friend, Susan Jannetta, one of your POGs. GREAT WORK, KEN, keeping the dream alive. Thank you, from a passionate GODSPELL woulda-coulda been. xox

  32. Nathalie Cunningham says:

    Ken,

    I just directed and produced Godspell at the high school where I teach. You may not know it, but you sent a letter congratulating the cast on doing the show, and wishing them well. They felt so special and were so proud to get that letter from “the Broaway Cast”. I wanted to thank you very much on their behalf. They had a terrific show, and of course, fell under that special magic Godspell tends to weave into cast and crew.

    I’m very new to producing (having been an actor until 4 yrs. ago) which is why I joined your blog; to learn how, and to do it well. I may “just teach high school”, but I expect as much from my actors and crews as has always been expected from me as an Equity actor. Our school just won the “SMASH”Make a Musical initiative, sponsored by iTheatrics, so I’ll be reading your blog a lot to learn as much as I can about EVERYTHING!

    Best of luck with the show. One can’t put into words what this show does to the heart, so I hope you get to run much longer. We’ll be watching the Tonys from LA! Cheers!

  33. Fran Clairmont says:

    Hi Ken,

    I have a vested interest in seeing Godspell stay open. My daughter and many in her theatre group in Seattle are going to NYC in August and Godspell is on their list – in fact they have their tickets.

    That being said – how do you keep the show open? I have some ideas and while they are pandering to the marketing centric one might stick or spawn a new idea.

    Right now audition type shows are popular – the Voice, AGT, Americn Idol, Duets, etc. So how can you leverage that popularity? 2032 was a great concept but it was limited to NYC area kids only – why not do it again and go nationwide? You may find the next Lea Michele, or Christian Borle. Why not look at 13-17 year olds that have the pipe and experience to fill in as one of the characters for a couple of shows – you could get national exposure – maybe get some of your finalists on the View, Live with Kelly, Today, GMA, etc. You could get ET to “showcase” the search.

    People love those plucked from obscurity stories and it may bring more foot traffic but it will definitely bring more attention via unpaid advertising. As the producer you could partner with one outlet and make the announcement. I am not sure how quickly your staff works but it would be timely if you put out the announcement the day after the Tony show appearance. Give it a shot.

    I hope you stay open through August, and I will be thinking of other things you can do to fill the seats.

    fran

  34. Jim Ryan says:

    Ken,

    Thank you for your candor on the production. Keep the promotions going– I have not been able to take advantage of any of them due to other commitments, but would love to see the show again before the summer.

    I know many self-proclaimed theater geeks who love the show, and your production. We’ll support you as much as we can.

    Jim

  35. MArvin Rotstein says:

    Hi Ken,

    Cathy and I were in NY a wew weeks ago and saw the Saturday matenee. We sat in the first row and throughly enjoyed the show. The energy and powerful performances were over the top. We hope the show can continue as it ranks as one of hte most enjoyable shows we have seen.

  36. Ken,
    I saw Godspell and it will stay on my mind and in my heart forever. I am one of the “People of Godspell” having helped raise money for the opening by performing in “An Evening of Stephen Schwartz”.I learned a little about what it takes to be a Broadway Producer and have a great amount of respect for you and all that you have done and will do. It was a pleasure saying, as small as it was, I helped. My family and friends have all seen the show and loved it. Good luck and keep us posted!!@

  37. Samantha says:

    A heartfelt thank you to you Ken, as well as the entire cast and crew for bringing such a beautiful creation to life. I shared my Godspell experience with my mother this past January, in her first trip to Broadway, and the absolute joy of this show will not be soon forgotten in our hearts. It’s a blessing I wish upon all, and I truly hope you have to opportunity to continue touching and inspiring others as you have us.

  38. Michael says:

    An Idea to Use Social Media

    Our Godspell cast attended a performance in March for a 25th reunion of the beginning of our run. We were overwhelmed, not only by the production values (which were spectacular), but also by the moving performances that brought Godspell to a new level. This production of Godspell should not close in June or anytime in the near future. It should continue. Here’s my idea on how to make that happen: in your next email blast, ask all those who attended a performance of Godspell to post their experiences at the show on Facebook or other forms of social media. Suggest that everyone post on a particular day or at a particular time. Before you know it, you’ll have a buzz about the show which hopefully puts more people in the audience. And as more people are exposed to this production, your following will increase. At least that’s my hope.

    I truly wish you and your cast the best of luck.
    Michael (Godspell, 1987)

  39. Mary Ellen says:

    Godspell was recreated uniquely and beautifully! Ken you deserve cudos for the spirit and success of the production. I have been an actress/singer on Broadway since I was four years old and I will never comprehend what makes a quality show such as Godspell with all the innovative production values not rise above and beyond where we find ourselves financially. You are truly to me the producer of the year….and every year hence. Let’s see if we can push it through after Tony Time! I will continue to promote as I have all along.

  40. MEGHAN says:

    NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GODSPELL CANNOT CLOSE!!!!!!!!!!

  41. Ken, I am staying here in NYC for will be 6 months total training at Lee Strasberg. I have seen Godspell and it is a great show and enjoyed seeing Telly Leung in it. He is friends with my career coach here. I hope this show does not close cause it sends a great message of the gospel and it’s parables. I would always support this show and be part of the cast. I predict it will stay open for the summer and at least I can say I saw it and loved it imencely. Thank you for a wonderful show!!
    Mark

  42. Becky says:

    Congratulations to the cast and crew at for scoring 10th Annual BroadwayWorld.com Awards!

  43. Brent says:

    This production of Godspell has everything that you would want from a Broadway musical. The blocking, dancing, singing, energy, and message is captivating and leaves you wanting to come back again and again, which I have. I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed that the show continues throughout the summer, because I was hoping to bring my parents to it for their annual visit to NYC.

    This was the show that brought me into the world of musical theater, so I found myself reliving the music and emotions from many years ago. When I heard and saw the changes that brought this revival into the 21st century, I was even more excited about this show than before and have been telling everyone to go see it.

    Congratulations to the cast and team for bringing new life to this already beautiful show every single night!

  44. Kathleen says:

    I am off to buy a ticket! Thanks for your honesty…

  45. Diane says:

    I really enjoyed every minute of Godspell.I was so impressed and fulfilled to be able to see and hear the music again come alive. As if I were on stage performing it in HS. Many people who have not performed it cannot even imagine the time, effort, and story line that makes this production so inspirational. It was unique at the time I got to see it for it was during Lent. It was a significant time in everyone’s lives. You gotta get people to become involved in this great performance by performing again in the city live…possible performances in area schools. Children need to be exposed to this great performance. Do not let go of something good and well performed. Look how many years it took to bring it back into production. Do not let go.

  46. CHRISTINE KROMER says:

    KEN; I HAVE TOLD YOU BEFORE HOW GRATEFUL AND OVERCOME WITH JOY THAT I WAS THAT YOU BROUGHT GODSPELL BACK. THE JOY THE ORIGNAL CAST BROUGHT ME IS SOMETHING I WILL NEVER FORGET.I BROUGHT EVERYONE OF MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY AND SAW THE SHOW AT LEAST TEN TIMES WHILE HUNTER WAS IN THE SHOW. MY HEART IS SO SAD THAT THIS MIGHT CLOSE HOWEVER I AM SORRY TO SAY THAT HUNTER BROUGHT SOMETHING SPECIAL TO THE SHOW AND THAT IS LOST NOW. I JUST THINK THAT THIS WAS NOT A GOOD FIT FOR CORBIN. I STILL HOPE AND PRAY THIS SHOW GOES ON CAUSE IT IS COMFORTING TO ME THAT WHEN I NEED A GODSPELL FIX IT IS THERE FOR ME. I ALSO HAVE MY SIGNED POSTER FRAMED AND HANGING ON MY WALL WHICH ALSO MAKES ME SMILE. I HAVE BEEN INVOLVED SINCE BEFORE EVERYONE WAS CASTED AND ENJOYED BEING PART OF THIS AND DON’T WANT IT TO END. THANKS FOR THE ADVENTURE AND GOD FORBID THIS ENDS I WOULD LOVE TO BE INVOLVED WITH YOUR NEXT PROJECT.

  47. Melissa says:

    Our Theater group of 28 people are coming to this Saturdays matinee and we hope to see you there! Godspell was performed at the beginning of our theater creation in 1978 and is our signature/anniversary show that we love , so many of the young performers at our theater will be experiencing Godspell for the first time. I cannot wait to see it again, I was there with my daughter in Feburary and I know our director of our theater Mark has been there as well. We are so looking forward to the show

  48. Christopher Yellen says:

    Ken:

    I am loving Godspell from afar (as are many of us!). I had the pleasure of seeing the show in January with family and friends and it brought back so many memories and rekindled so much spirit in all of us.

    How about a way to allow us to buy tickets that you could shower on the lucky New Yorkers who live there? Those would be some “good gifts,” no? I can’t come see the show again (trust me, there is no place on earth I’d rather spend time than NYC!), but I can afford a ticket or two to help you guys stay on track for a bit.

    I know that the cast will kill it on Sunday (not literally, of course)and you’ll have lines around the building on Monday morning. We’re all rooting for you.

  49. Al says:

    Ken,
    It definitely saddens me to read this. I purchased some tickets for my son and his girlfriend for last week’s Friday evening performance, and they said the show was GREAT, but they were disappointed to see a small crowd. I hope to return again in the next week or two, to see the show again. I’ll keep spreading the word, and hope for the best!

  50. Pat Rogers says:

    I beseech thee to hang on. I love this musical, one of my all time favorites. I have a ticket for the June 30th show and I am coming all the way from the east coast of Canada to see it. I have so enjoyed reading the blogs, seeing clips, etc, as a result I am so pumped to see the show and cannot wait to see the performance on the Tony’s this weekend!!!!

  51. Ken Caitano says:

    Ken,

    I took my 10 year old son Nick to see Godspell during Christmas week. Then, again with my daughter during January. Hunter was a great choice to play Jesus. The chemistry between Hunter, Telly, Udo, John the Baptist and the Ensample was very special. Your production has made Theatre very special to Nick. After Godspell, he has seen: Wicked, Book of Mormon, and Rock of Ages. The wholesome Judeo-Christiam Message of Godspell is inspiring and exactly that our Country needs right now. Albeit, a great memory from my Catholic school education Godspell movie every year :)–Godspell’s message of Love and Trust is applicable to all ages. The play is a great contract to Superstar. I understand that Broadway is about the numbers:Don’t underestimate the number of fans and the number of people inspired by your trendy, but true to the Gospel of St. Matthew production. Hang in there and the Godspell Message will be heard by new fans. Best of luck, Ken

  52. Jean says:

    I actually had to re-read your posting to believe what I was reading that the show might be closing by June 24th. Every year I take my daughter to see a show on Broadway for her birthday. It is a nice way for us to spend the day together for special time. Godspell was one of our all time favorite shows so that is the show that I chose to take her to this year. We both thought the show was awesome and could not praise it enough to others. The show was so interactive and made you feel that you were part of the performance.
    My grandson made his Confirmation last month and I had purchased tickets to take him to see this glorious show as part of his present (I thought that this would be a fitting gift for his having received Confirmation). I am heartbroken at the thought that the show may close. The tickets I have are for the Wednesday, July 25th matinee. What will happen to my tickets if the show closes?

  53. Steph says:

    I’m so sorry. You’ve got to keep it open til I get myself back to New York though!!!! Okay, well, maybe not a possibility,.

    So, instead: Godspell was a gift. Seeing it for the first time just… I was happy. Watching it *made* me happy. We were all a little community, surrounded by great music and comedy and just… words can’t even explain it.

    So, even if I don’t get the privilege of seeing this again: thank you for that gift. I can still listen to the soundtrack and remember… and it’s helped me in so many ways, more than one would care to count.

    I’ll wish you the best of luck for it. But mostly what I’m writing for is to thank you for everything. :-)

  54. jan Coles says:

    I was blessed in the 70′s to have a role in Godspell & I sang Day by Day which I currently sing to my 4 grandchildren. To me it was more than a play – it was a very spiritual experience that I shared with a few friends & we still stay in touch. Sadly, two of our cast members have died, but a few of us went to see the play in NY & we cried and we laughed and we sang along. I understand the costs of everything & I’m one of those people that live paycheck to paycheck & as much as I would love to take my 4 grandchildren, I can’t afford it. All I can show are my pictures & I showed them the movie, however it’s not the same. It would be a sad day for Godspell to close, but I understand costs for everything goes up every day. It’s almost a shame that people couldn’t volunteer to do some of the jobs to save the budget. I think you would be very surprised to see how many people would volunteer to work to keep Godspell alive. Good luck & joy to you and the rest of the cast. Godspell will always be joy in my heart. Thank you for everything.

  55. Marilyn says:

    We’ve seen the show twice. If it wasn’t 150 mile round trip, we’d see it again. I think its a top notch production and was pretty miffed at the Tony snub. The people, player and producers of Godspell are all pretty special. I’m hoping you can ride it out at least through summer (school doesn’t get out here until June 15th) so we can make it back in to see it again. Summer tourist season is just around the corner. Send promo flyers to every Church & Christian School within 100 miles–or at least an email! (Our local Christian Prep school had no clue till we clued them in). I’ve been promoing it on Twitter and FB (believe me, I saw the handwriting on the wall when we went in early May–its always about needing butts in the seats, I get it.) The show deserves a good run. Stage a Flash Mob in Times Square. Or in front of St Patricks Cathedral. Appeal to your core audience. And in the meantime…we’ll all keep saying our prayers. ;-)

  56. HAND says:

    Why not just move the show to a smaller, less expensive venue (ala ‘Avenue Q’, ‘The 39 Steps’, etc). I think it would be both fitting for the show and also a bit nostalgic since the New York origins of ‘Godspell’ was an intimate, Off-Broadway theater.

  57. Luis says:

    Godspell is a powerful piece of Theater and is one the best piece of Theater NY has to offer at the moment. The passion and heart in that production is unparalleled to anything on Broadway now. It is Musical Theater like this that inspire me when I walk out of the Theater and lingers in your spirit. I saw the show in January and it changed my life. Will pray for the show to keep on, America needs shows like Godspell it speaks life and hope and we all could use that. And the Cast is fierce and freaking Awesome! And the show delivers love

  58. Regina says:

    This is the saddest news ever! This show changed my life. I saw it when I was 7 at a local high school and was so overtaken by the experience I didn’t speak (more than necessary) for about 3 days. I got into theater in high school and have spent my time since then hoping to work on this show. I am now a Stage Management major at Ohio University.
    Last december my sister took me to New York for the first time because I’ve always wanted to go there. Knowing me, she got tickets to Godspell and it became the first broadway show I’ve ever seen. I still can not quite put into words how incredible it was to see this show. It was everything I could have dreamed of and more. I have never been more sure of my career choice nor more aware of how much I owed to Godspell.
    Godspell is an incredible show. I’m not religious by any means, but I do find Godspell inspiring. The show is beautiful, incredibly designed (in all aspects) and the actors couldn’t steal the show fast enough from each other. The music has always been incredible and I often rely on it to put me in the best mindset possible before calling a show.
    This show has shown me what I want to do with my life and consistently reaffirms that choice. It’s my dream to work on it in anyway or anywhere possible. When it came back to broadway finally it was a dream come true. I wish I could do something to help keep it open.
    Seeing it on broadway was the perfect christmas present. It can’t close on my birthday (June 24th) it just can’t.

    • Orlando Fontanez says:

      I totally understand where you are coming from. It is the best musical production I have seen. This musical has my heart! Please read my comment. :-)

  59. Jim Pullara says:

    Ken,

    Thank you for sharing your challenges on your blog. I LOVE Godspell. I love the story, the music but most of all the cast and production. The love the cast shares is more than a performance. Its genuine. You have compiled a remarkable cast of talent with hearts.

    My question to you is … How can I help? Can we develop a Godspell Ambassador program? Something like mini promoters. Perhaps on some mode of time a performance can include the ambassadors that make the biggest impact on sales. Perhaps an on stage appearance during Light of the World or an honor spot carrying Jesus out of the theater in the Finale. I would like to meet with you to discuss a volunteer outreach program to raise awareness of the show and promote it. I want to see Godspell run at the very least through the end of this year. I have significant family coming from overseas in September and I would Love to share my Godspell experience with them.
    See – Love – Follow

  60. Orlando Fontanez says:

    I will bring my brother, and a friend to Fan Appreciation Day, as well as that night’s performance. I will bring my parents to the show the following week. I enjoy this show so much I will have seen it 5 times. More than “The Lion King”, more than “How to Succeed….”, more than “Mama Mia”. All shows I have seen more than once. This show puts me in such a great mood, I want to bounce through the tunnels of the N.Y.C. Subway system singing “We Beseech Thee”. The entire cast is talented, and Anna Maria, and Telly are my favorites. I enjoy this show so much, it will break my heart to see it close. I have not been to a show where the audience gets to participate. The cast is very personable, and I like that. All good things must come to an end, but not this one. I hope it survives.

  61. I wrote this for Beliefnet, after I saw Godspell in April. Feel free to use it for promo purposes. Long may Godspell touch hearts. http://features.beliefnet.com/blissblog/2012/04/godspell.html

    <3

  62. Deborah McHenry says:

    This news breaks my heart! I found out about the opportunity to invest in the show too late. Maybe there are enough of us around the country who would still invest eveen with these circumstances.
    I am a 58 year old west Virginian who loved the show and it’s message as a kid. I did not see it in NY at that time, but saw multiple different traveling shows. I made a trip to NY in April for the first time in about 10 years for the purpose of seeing it. The show was everything I hoped for! The cast was fantastic and energetic! Every person I encountered was warm and friendly. It is an incredible show! There has got to be a way to keep it open. Thank you for all you have done!

  63. Mykkii Millott says:

    This. Is. INSANE! This cannot close so quickly…no, no, no. So, in order not to be a blight on this play, I think fans of it are obligated to get people there! I, for one, am going to preach this play to everyone I know! If I had the means, I’d totally buy out every show and just pass tickets out!!! This play, this cast is too awesome to not stay alive for a long time. Best of luck, I’ll get on it on my end, and I, along with my daughter, will be seeing you on the 21st. Thanks for all of your work Ken.

  64. MOLLY SNELL says:

    I AM ONE WHO WOULD DONATE MONEY IF IT NOT TOO LATE, HOW?

  65. Elizabeth says:

    I live in Philadelphia and have been plugged into your Godspell since it’s audition stages. I have seen it with my family and friends five times. I adore this show and this production. This makes me sad to read. We have won backstage tours and stood on line to speak with your amazing cast every time. I will get back before the 24th for sure and hope the Tony’s will spark something in theater goers.

  66. Raechel says:

    GODSPELL is lovely and inspiring. I’ve seen it three times with both of my children and once with my daughter. Being yet another of those folks who was in their high school’s production way back when, it was especially meaningful for me to share GODSPELL with them.

    Every performance has been beautiful. We’ve seen the show with Hunter, with Corbin, with Hannah subbing for Celisse, with someone subbing for Morgan, with someone subbing for John/Judas (can’t think of that actor’s name right now but adore him) — every performance and every actor brings something uniquely touching and irreplaceable to every performance. Hunter has moved on; the extraordinary Lindsay Mendez has been launched to her destiny of stardom. This is the nature of the business, no?

    I hope for all those who have yet to experience the joy of GODSPELL that the show continues to run. If that isn’t meant to be, I thank all of you for enriching my life and my children’s lives with your dedication and love for the craft and for this show.

  67. Ron Wartzok says:

    Dear Ken,
    We loved the show! After 26 years of running our own theatre in a small town in Indiana, we finally got a chance to get back to NYC to see shows! GODSPELL was our first choice & we consider it’s one of the best shows we saw on Broadway in March! I SURE HOPE YOU CAN KEEP THE SHOW OPEN, we hope to see it again maybe in August. Based the excitement of your show, we were missing seeing more shows in NYC and rearranged our Summer Shows to come back to NYC in August. BTW: We also produced GODSPELL in May this year at our little community theatre and our audiences loved it – but – unfortunately, we ALSO experienced low ticket sales. We really can’t figure out why the turn-out was slim. Those who DID see the show gave it great praise. When we saw your production in NYC, we really wished our Cast could have come with us to NYC to see this fantastic production! We hope your show continues and our best wishes are with you & your Cast & Crew.
    —ron wartzok

  68. Heather says:

    Ken,
    First, I want to say how much I enjoy reading your blogs! It’s really awesome to have a producer be so available to the general public!
    Second, I LOVE GODSPELL!!!! I can’t emphasize this enough! I was lucky to see the show last year, and loved every second! I had only seen a local production prior, so I was eagerly anticipating seeing Godspell on Broadway. It blew me away! I want to see it again! Unfortunately, I have only been able to get to the city three times this year, which has inhibited my ability to see shows. I am really looking forward to the Godspell Tony Performance! I have the cast recording, Stephen Schwartz’s book, and the DVD from the 70′s. I listen to the album almost daily!
    People don’t know what they are missing by not seeing this show! You have done amazing promotions to get people there, I don’t know why sales aren’t better! Everyone I know who has seen the show loves it, and I have friends who have seen it several times! I am bringing a friend in July who has never been to the city, and I was hoping to take him to Godspell(please keep it open past June 24!!) because I know he would love it!
    Regardless of the outcome, you have done a wonderful job! I look forward to reading more of your blogs and seeing more shows you produce!

  69. Frankie R. says:

    This is one powerful show! Loved every minute of it! The cast was brilliant & so kind to the fans waiting at the stage door. It would be a huge loss to Broadway if Godspell closed early.

    I want to thank you for being so honest & sharing this information with us. As fans of the show, we will do our part to spread the word & get our friends & family into those seats!

  70. Michele says:

    No, the show cannot close. I have seen it twice and have brought 12 other people to see it and everyone loved it. Not only that, but the cast was sooooo accomodating to my group (I brought 6 people with developmental disablilities) and the cast gave them a shout out, danced with them on stage during intermission, and made them feel so special. I am bringing them back for fan appreciation night, and they are so excited to meet the rest of the cast. I will be sure to send out messages to all my theater friends telling them they must see this show. I saw Godspell many years ago when it opened, and I can honestly say the update done was awesome. Let the fans spread the word and keep this show and it’s cast employed for many more months and years to come!

  71. victoria says:

    dear ken,
    everybody has already said everything i think and feel.
    i’ve seen the show 4 times (and i’m from switzerland!).
    a dear friend of mine is coming to NYC for 3 months beginning on june 16th. he’s a great singer and i’ve told him he must see godspell. i hope he can come and i hope you don’t close on the 24th because i will be visiting him in july and i want to come again with him to this fantastic show. praying for you and the cast and hoping for the very, very best!!!!
    ☆♫~♫ ☮`•.¸¸❤¸.•* ☼¸.•´☆`•.¸¸❤¸.•´☮♫~♫ ☽


    v.lots of love from switzerland!

  72. Alyssa says:

    Hi Mr. Davenport,

    I have now ventured to the wonderful Circle In the Square four times in the past five months. As an avid fan of the show in general and moreover this incredibly inspirational revival, I am desperately hoping that Godspell remains open! Like many fans, I was extremely surprised not to see Godspell dominating the Tony nominations, but I am overjoyed to know that the perfectly casted ensemble will be performing and will be watching from overseas along with many others. Thank you so much for the moving and breathtakingly fun experience that the show has been. I have enjoyed every minute of each show, from Jesus’s song “God Save the People” to the modern jokes (especially the Britney Spears and political ones!) to the heart-tending but wonderfully choreographed finale, at which I sobbed along with my neighbors. I have not yet had the chance to see Godspell with Corbin Bleu, although I did see Hannah Elless as a “Wunderstudy” and was thrilled with her performance. Hopefully I, an many others, will get the chance to see it again and again!

    Day by day,

    Alyssa

  73. joan m johnson says:

    GREAT SHOW – My husband and I traveled from Seattle to see it and would like to come again, so please stay alive!!! The story of Godspell interested me before the movie was released and I still love it and show it every year to my adult religious education class.
    We’re rooting for you in Seattle!!

    joanie

  74. PLEASE hold on!! Saw this wonderful show last October and have tickets with three other Dallas theatre lovers to see it the last Sunday of July when we’re in the city for an international convention of a key women’s educator’s society. I do NOT want a refund…I want my friends to love that show with me. Thanks again for the donation of the tickets for our Dallas Summer Musicals Gala. We made LOTS of money for entertaining the visiting touring casts.

    Hugs!
    Cynthia

  75. Cynthia Hansen says:

    I cried when I read that Godspell may close… I saw it three times on Brodway when I was young and seeing it again made me feel young and SO hopeful again. I have ONLY seen this production once. I intend to see it again (at least once more!), so I pray that you will be overrun with tourists and New Yorkers. I will continue to tell everyone I know to see it. One more thing, I went through a REALLY difficult time this winter. Listening to the cast album and remembering the show helped me tremendously. What you are doing is not only a business, it is a ministry. May God bless you and God bless Godspell!

  76. lynn komarek says:

    Why not use the 40 year absence as part of ads? I think your statement summed it up beautifully to instill that feeling of ‘gotta see it now’. Can people afford *not* to see it now? Where (translated into ‘how old’) will they be in 40 years.

  77. Mark says:

    Have you recouped anything? Any return of capital to all those investors? Just wondering. I enjoyed your production; looking forward to the tour.

  78. Cat says:

    Impressive post – I completely appreciate the candor and openness you have about the process. When so many people are closing doors, battening down the hatches and defending their turfs, you are opening up, reaching out and ‘growing the theatre.’ Kudos.

  79. Walt Frasier says:

    I remember sitting in on a panel with you and Kevin McCollum a few years ago. I think it was Kevin that said “The hardest thing to do for a producer is to pick up the phone to investors and say, ‘We’re Closing’”

    Something about the bluntness of that statement has made me a better producer. Being more BIZ and less emotional about the BIZ side of things.

    Maybe you can explain something. I never understand when a show closes at the beginning of the busy season. I understand closing TODAY with idea of stopping any more loss. But if you were to stay open the next three weeks and then close just as the Summer push hits. Unless it is about focusing resources on other projects, you are just getting out of the way of the competition.

    Summers can be fickle. Not every summer has been a sure thing in recent years. Our show is expanding to meet summer demand. It was a risk but thanks to some great group sales we are going to do great.

    I do fear those of us that do a lot of grass roots marketing run the risk of sounding desperate as we do certain “creative” marketing. But Baseball has survived of of Tshirt and Cap days for decades. Why should theater not do the same. Gimmicky is not horrible if it works.

  80. Jen says:

    Hi ken. I’m really upset to hear that, but before you close th show, I think it would be a great idea to have more 2032 shows because I am 12 yrs old and couldn’t make it to the audition but I would have loved to. Also a lot of my friends auditioned so there slowly be more chances for us to make it big

  81. Jim says:

    My wife and I flew to NYC expressly to see Godspell… and won the front row lottery for “Book of Mormon” too.

    I paid three times as much for my Godspell tickets thanks to the BOM lottery and had three times the experience at Godspell.

    Loved every moment of it. Keep the faith, God will provide.

  82. Kamilah Clahar says:

    Hi Ken.
    I am terribly sad to hear the news that Godspell is closing. I have one request. Please find a way, if possible, to make a DVD of the final performance. I will be going to see it one more time before it closes, but I would love to be able to purchase a DVD of this magnificent production. It would also be a great way for Godspell fans everywhere to experience it. Thanks.

  83. Mary Britton says:

    I am one of the People of Godspell and am so proud to have been part of this production. (I can’t sing, so no, I don’t have any story about actually being in a Godspell production.) My sister and I made it to New York to see it at the begininning of March and loved it!

    Ken – thank you so much for letting me be part of something that is bigger than my every day life.

  84. Ron Wartzok says:

    Ken,
    Once again, sorry to hear about closing “Godspell.” I know this is never allowed on Broadway Productions – but – maybe, just maybe, this time a DVD could be made available for the General Public to purchase. I’d certainly pay for a DVD to keep the memory of this Great Production! Maybe Stephen Schwartz & Music Theatre International could grant permission to release the video taken last March to sell to the general public. My wife & I were at one of the performances that was recorded for the archives. We went to see other shows on Broadway last March, including the Tony Award winning “Once” & “Newsies,” yet, we still got GREATER ENJOYMENT from the extraordinary performances & excitement of “Godspell.” I’d hate to see you loose anymore money on this show; yet, I wonder if selling a video could turn a slight profit. Over the years, so many great performances on Broadway have been exclusively seen by just a few because of keeping videos from the General Public. Only through an occasional PBS broadcast, the Tony awards, & the old Ed Sullivan Show has most of the general public has ever witnessed these great performances of the past. “Godspell” is a great performance that the public needs to see. If you ever decide to release a video of your great production, let us know.
    Thanks again for a Fantastic Show!
    —ron wartzok 6/20/12

  85. Eric You says:

    i have a bit of my own version of godspell it features a high school setting with Jesus as a new teacher. john the baptist is a janitor and a pastor for a local small church. Judas is a former gang member and he calls the authorities on a cell phone. then the authorities tie him to a cross made from the lockers outside of his class and he is crucified. after he dies his body is put on a long table and wrapped in an old white sheet. then next he is alive once again.

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