Macbeth on BroadwayRemember when I tweeted this?

If you saw last night’s late NY Times or Playbill announcement, then you’ve prob put two and two together and realized that the “#NewShowThisSpring” I was talking about was the National Theatre of Scotland‘s production of Macbeth starring Alan Cumming that I’m producing on Broadway this spring.

So what’s the story behind it?  The Times alluded to it . . . but let me give you a few of the details . . . because isn’t that what this blog is about?

Yes, it’s true, I did get a call about my interest in producing this one-man interpretation directed by John Tiffany and Andrew Goldberg that played to sold out crowds at NTS and last summer’s Lincoln Center Festival.

And when I hung up the phone to think about it, it took me, oh, about 37 seconds to pick the phone back up, and say, “I’m in.”

Why did I decide to do it so fast?

The funny thing was . . . as I told Mr. Healy from the Times . . . I didn’t see it when it was at the festival.  I was out of town and frankly, it was hard to score a seat.

But I wanted to see it.  Badly.

I’m not usually the biggest fan of seeing Shakespeare.  I love to read it.  I love to study it.  But seeing it is another matter.

But when I heard Alan Cumming was starring (who is arguably one of the greatest and most versatile actors we have – how many people do you know can go from winning a Tony in Cabaret to starring in Spy Kids to Threepenny Opera to a concert with Liza Minnelli to Emmy noms in “The Good Wife,” etc., etc.) . . . and when I heard it was an hour and forty-five minute interpretation where he played all the roles . . . and it was directed by Black Watch and Once‘s brilliant John Tiffany and Andrew Goldberg . . . and it was set in a psychiatric hospital . . . and it featured multimedia . . . and Alan didn’t use a microphone . . . and so on . . . I wanted to see it.  Badly.

And if I, someone who doesn’t usually love seeing Shakespeare, desperately wanted to see it, and was willing to pay more than full price, I was willing to bet that there’s a whole lot of theaterlovers like all of you that would love to see it as well.

So that’s what went through my mind during those 37 seconds it took me to say “I’m in.”

(Ok, so I also read some stellar freakin’ reviews and checked with a bunch of people who saw it who called Alan’s portrayal one of the most phenomenal performances they had ever seen.)

As you’ve also read in the Times article, because of the unbelievable physical and emotional demands of playing 30+ (!) roles, Alan can only do six performances a week, which means there are only 73 performances to see.

Commercially speaking, is that a risk?  Sure.

But you know what?  All of Broadway is a risk, I don’t care if you have 27 performances a week.

And as Terry Teachout said at Monday’s TEDxBroadway . . . if I’m going to take a risk, I’m going to roll the dice on something that I think is great. Truly great.  I’m going to gamble on excellence.  A performance and a piece that I think needs to be seen.

And Alan Cumming in a one-man Macbeth on Broadway directed by Tiffany/Goldberg sounds pretty great to me.

I hope you’ll think so too.

Get your Macbeth tickets here.  Truly, there are only 73 shows, and the great seats will go quick, as you can probably imagine.  And you’re going to want to be close to this one.  So don’t wait.  Get ‘em today.

To learn more about the show, visit the brand new website here:  www.MacbethOnBroadway.com

(Big thanks to Neil Murray and everyone at The National Theatre of Scotland for birthing this production and putting all hands on deck to make this Broadway move happen faster than the Birnam Wood came to Dunsinane Hill.)

 

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16 Responses to Why I’m producing Macbeth on Broadway.

  1. Madeline says:

    There is no doubt in my mind that this will be amazing.

  2. Kevin Lambert says:

    Awesome. But the tickets aren’t available yet! DANG. Thus creating even MORE desire for tickets.

  3. Any chance of there being any student/rush tickets?

  4. Jeff says:

    I saw this at LCT and it was a phenomenal tour de force from Cumming. Highly recommended…

  5. This is very exciting, congrats! I completely understand why you would only take a little bit of time to think about it. Alan is incredible and the show sounds great!

  6. Ken, you’re a classy guy and you announced all the classy things about this production. And since I wish you all the success in the world, and since I have less class, and since it might sell a few extra tickets, well, I figured I’d mention that . . . Alan is naked on stage for a portion of the show.

    There, I said it. Now you can go back to classing up the joint.

  7. Got mine! 2 tix, second row center, Sat May 18. I… Can’t… Wait!

  8. Doug Braverman says:

    I assumed you are producing MACBETH on Broadway because you believe in giving new writers a chance.

  9. Cathie A. says:

    When I saw the subject line I thought Macbeth – Shakespeare – YUCK. But, if Ken is producing, well then maybe I should take a second look, perhaps give the Bard another chance. I didn’t have to read any further than Alan Cumming. Just like you Ken, I was hooked! Awesome!

  10. John David says:

    Ken,
    Fabulous! Bless you for your leadership. Hope it is a gigantic success!

  11. Donna Keren says:

    Brilliant and daring. (Production and producer alike.)

  12. David Merrick Jr says:

    But will it recoup?

  13. Ashley says:

    Full disclosure: I am not a fan of Shakespeare (start throwing barbs now), I am not a fan of one person shows, and anything that has a whiff of experimental makes me have unpleasant flashbacks to college where my college direct thought “Pushing Boundaries” meant “Being weird for weird’s sake”.

    Having said that, my BF is friends with Andrew Goldberg and wanted to go see this at Lincoln center to support a friend and it was AMAZING! Alan Cumming just grabs you – it was mesmerizing. We’re hoping to get to see it again on Broadway and so excited for you guys who are bringing it back.

  14. Nathalie says:

    Will you be bringing MACBETH to California? I’m a total Shakespeare Geek and to find out that the extremely talented Cummings is doing a one man version AND that Richard III has been found, in one week. Well….it’s very, very exciting!

  15. David Neal says:

    The LCT production was phenomenal. My wife and I walked out thinking (among many other things – it’s quite a provocative presentation of the material): too bad more folks won’t have the ability to see this amazing piece of work. Ken checked that box. I would go see it 73 more times if I could. It’s that good, folks.

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