The Spanish are Coming! The Spanish are Coming!

Recent research reports indicate that a whopping 37 million people in the US speak Spanish in the home, making this Latino-language the most spoken non-English language in this country, by mucho.

And that number is only increasing.  (Why did I take French in high school again?)

Extrapolate that statistic to our business and you’d see an audience that is about to emerge, despite the fact that our audience is currently only 7.8% Hispanic, according to the recent Broadway League Demographic report.

But maybe that minuscule number is because we haven’t produced any shows that “speak” to that audience specifically.

Expect that to change.

Because just last month, there were three announcements that got me thinking the Spanish tides were turning.  And you know, things happen in tres.

First, I was just asked to speak on a panel called Latin America Meets Broadway:  Exporting, Importing and Co-Producing Musicals and Plays  put together by the US-Mexico Chamber of Commerce and Broadway’s Luis Salgado.

Second, Mexico’s Cameron Mackintosh, Morris Gilbert, announced that he was bringing his Spanish speaking production of The Vagina Monologues to the Westside Theatre Downstairs right here in NYC, where it’s playing right now!  Vamanos!

And lastly, and by far what could move that minuscule Hispanic audience stat most significantly, the long awaited Gloria Estefan bio musical, On Your Feet, which was announced for Broadway next year (with a reality show in the works to find its leading lady)?

The audience isn’t going to change overnight.  Because nothing changes overnight.  But when our population shifts, as it has been, everything shifts with it in time.  Including our entertainment.

And tomorrow’s Producers should take notice.  Because the Spanish speaking population is going to make up a much bigger part of our audience.

 

(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 a $500 Telecharge Gift Card!   Enter my Tony Awards Pool here! Click here

– Win two tickets to see 50 Shades: The Musical!  Click here.

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

 -BroadwaySpotted’s Next Big Star live contest is on May 22ndClick here to get your tickets!

Tags:
Comments
  • senorvoce says:

    Maybe if immigration reform were not blocked at every turn by those old white guys in Congress, the hispanic demo on Broadway might be somewhat higher.

    http://www.theproducersperspective.com/my_weblog/2013/07/invest-in-a-broadway-show-and-get-your-green-card.html

  • Gerry says:

    Just a heads up – it’s actually quite offensive to use Spanish and Latino interchangeably (just as you wouldn’t refer to someone from the Ivory Coast or the Congo as French). And Latino audiences are just as complex as white audiences – there are plenty who enjoy Shakespeare as much as Gloria Estefan (just as some white audiences go to see Twelfth Night and some go to see Jersey Boys).

  • Lauren says:

    These are all awesome developments AND it’s really important to recognize In the Heights for all of the doors it opened to using spoken and sung Spanish and telling Latino-centered stories on Broadway. No matter how you feel about the new Spanish lyrics in WSS, that fantastic and important experiment wouldn’t have happened without Heights.

  • Jeff says:

    “But maybe that minuscule number is because we haven’t produced any shows that “speak” to that audience specifically.”

    Yeah, no reference to In The Heights is definitely an oversight here.

  • senorvoce says:

    I like to be in America…..

  • George says:

    “Capeman” with Mark Anthony and Spanish Harlem Orchesta… 68 performances…

    And – yet – Mark Anthony fills Soccer Stadiums (unlike Ricky Martin who can’t sell out a large nightclub anymore… but did bring in a few thousand to see him (suck) in “Evite” (which served neither well!)

    I think I am agreeing with the poingt that this is a VERY complex issue… marketing Broadway to a Spanish Speaking Audience…

    Probably because people – even German, French, Spainish, Italian tourists – attend English speaking Broadway plays… but mostly musicals.

    IF You took a hit play, say, something like “Vanya… Spike” and translated it into Spanish and played it on alternate nights… would you expect to pick up much of a crowd?

    Might be worth a try…

    But – as the “adopted” Uncle of a Dominican Family and an Lover of Latin Music (I’ll listen to Mark Anthony or El Gran Combo rather than dig out the old R&R any day!) – I don’t think it would work… for the same reason that “Capeman” didn’t work (with Super Star Power) – Content!

    I remember everyone wanting to see “Mark Anthony” and asking what “Capeman” was about.. eh! Pass!!!

    Nor is “Kinky Boots” on the list.

    Sure there are exceptions… but I find Latino culture united by their traditional views of Life “Familia!” but diversely scattred… Domicans tend not to associate with Purto Ricans, let alone Mexican… which is probably a wider gap that Americans and Brits… speaking the same language.

    And Pennisular vs Latinos? What did GBS call the Americans/Brits “a people divided by a common language?”

    I know that when did marketing for our Latin Investors… we were very specific on “Puerto Rican” vs “Dominican” vs “Cuban” etc.

    And – as for classic theatre – the Spanish speaking peoples have their own “Shakespeare” and they are performed in Spanish in Repertorio Español 138 East 27th Street
    New York, NY 10016… and they are not packed.

    I think IF one is Spanish speaking – one may find a certain syncroncity in marketing a play one Broadway… but – as a Gringo – I know I don’t have the insight into the varied communities to figure out which, who, how and (most importantly) How Mucho$$$

    g

  • George says:

    (As for trying to get some of the 10 million – specifically Mexican migrant workers – into a Broadway Theatre… you’d probably have better luck getting the Sunday Football crowd into to see “Rocky – where Love Wins!”

    They just call it soccer… good luck with that!)

  • LARRY ABRAMSKY says:

    AT $145 FOR A BROADWAY SHOW TICKET, ‘VALUE’ NEEDS TO BE CREATED FOR ANYONE TO WANT TO BUY ANYTHING.

    BROADWAY IS NOT SOMETHING THAT THE MAJORITY OF THE U.S. SPANISH/LATINO MARKET TRADITIONALLY SUPPORTS.

    ANY SPANISH/LATINO THEMED PROJECT MUST ALSO APPEAL TO THE GENERAL THEATER GOING PUBLIC IN ORDER TO BE FINANCIALLY VIABLE FOR INVESTORS.

    IT MIGHT BE INTERESTING TO CREATE AN ‘ENCORE’ TYPE SERIES ‘IN SPANISH’…. FIVE PERFORMANCES OVER A WEEKEND OF MAJOR BROADWAY SHOWS, WITH ALL-STAR SPANISH/LATINO CASTS, PERFORMED IN SPANISH.

    BTW, AS WAS RE-IMAGINED IN THE PARK SEVERAL SUMMERS AGO, I THOUGHT ‘CAPEMAN’ WAS FRIGGIN BRILLIANT AND FULL OF ‘POSSIBILITIES’ AS A $UCCE$$FUL BROADWAY MUSICAL….I WENT BACK AND SAW ALL THREE PERFORMANCES I WAS SO TRANSFIXED…. THE PROBLEM IS ABOUT NOT GLORIFYING THE NYC GANG MURDERERS OF THE 1950S… THIS PRODUCTION FOCUSED FROM THE VANTAGE POINT OF THE MOTHER(S), AND NOT SPECIFICALLY ON SALVADOR AGRON (THE CHARACTER MARK ANTHONY PLAYED ON BROADWAY….THAT PRODUCTION ALSO STARRED RUBEN BLADES AS THE ADULT SALVADOR AND EDNITA NAZARIO AS SALVADOR’S MOM…….3 LATINO SUPERSTARS……)

  • Howard Levitsky says:

    And the current Roxie in CHICAGO on B’way is Bianca Marroquin who does a terrific job. Bianca was the first Roxie in Mexico City and since then has done the show a lot in English over the last decade both on the tours and on B’way, where I had the pleasure of working with her. (She is completely bilingual, BTW.) She has also done a long run in Mexico City as MARY POPPINS, as well as work on telenovelas and as a judge on the Mexican equivalent of Dancing With the Stars and has just released her first solo CD. In another era, people would have been writing shows for her. (Hint, hint, Ken…)

  • Carlos Mendoza says:

    Although things happen in tres Ken, I have one more production that will make tres into a Grand Slam. Valencia will be hitting the boards in the near future. Not only does it speak to this audience as well as all audiences out there, but what is sure to make this show a great hit is that it took its early steps in your Getting Your Show Off The Ground Seminar. Plus that are not many shows that take place in the South Bronx.

  • Patricia says:

    Vamonos! not vamanos

  • Elisa Christina Clayton says:

    I agree with Ken’s premise from the earlier blog, “Looking for an idea? Look, look, look to your childhood.” Also, remember that the majority of ticket buyers are women and when it comes to musical theatre we prefer ROMANCE (i.e. that doesn’t make us feel guilty or immoral)and/or COMEDY.

    • Elisa Christina Clayton says:

      And this is true for women regardless of race, nationality, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status.

  • Cara says:

    Haha. I took Fench in HS too. I didn’t care that all my friends were taking Spanish because French was “beautiful”

  • As a Hispanic marketer, and theater enthusiast, I´ve been able to work closely with spanish only marketing campaigns. Contrary to what many people think, there are many people in the US searching for products and services in spanish. Two months ago a friend who is a director approached me and said if there would be an opportunity for a spanish play off off broadway. Well I did what I do always, started a market research and to my surprise: searches about theater, theater plays all in Spanish appeared. Now the best part, NO COMPETITION online. Needless to say we killed it. It was a test, sold out all nights we produced it.
    People loved it, they found us on facebook, google. I mean I can tell you there is a market. Anyway here is it if you want to see what it is about:
    http://www.facebook.com/guacamolink.com

  • a says:

    Hi! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after reading through some of the post I realized it’s new to
    me. Anyhow, I’m definitely delighted I found it and I’ll
    be bookmarking and checking back often!

  • to this magical place you will find everything you need from two finger gloves to crazy beanies and snow gear.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

SIGN UP BELOW TO NEVER MISS A BLOG