A Tony Award-Winning Producer’s
Perspective on Broadway
And How You Can Get There Too

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May 14, 2021: What TheaterMakers Are Talking About This Week

From even more Broadway reopening dates and why Broadway is waiting to reopen until the fall to Indie Venues finally receiving their “Save our Stages” money and more . . . here’s what TheaterMakers were talking about this week . . .

 

1 – Hamilton, The Lion King and Wicked will return to Broadway on Sept. 14

Hamilton, The Lion King and Wicked are all set to return to Broadway this Fall! The “Big Three” were long-rumored to reopen the industry due to their popularity.

Read more: broadwaynews.com 

 

2 – EXPLAINER: Why Broadway is waiting until fall to reopen

The four-month long wait is explained. Producers and union leaders must reach agreements on all issues before shows open while also gauging their audiences back.

Read more: apnews.com

 

3- SBA Expects ‘Save Our Stages’ Money to Finally Reach Indie Venues Next Week.

Indie venues have been struggling to keep afloat since the pandemic began more than 14 months ago. They have received no aid thus far, news states the payments will begin starting next week.

Read more: variety.com 

 

4 – Hollywood Bowl reserves 85% of seats for vaccinated guests. Everything you need to know.

Want a seat at this year’s Hollywood Bowl? Get vaccinated! The remainder of the tickets will be reserved for those showing proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of a given performance and masks will be required for all patrons.

Read more: latimes.com

 

5 – Cut the intermission, please. Why I hope the pandemic ends a theatrical tradition.

It’s hard to believe after the lockdown, people will want to maximize their time indoors. Will this pose an issue on the theatrical tradition of a 10-15 minute intermission? Or will intermission be of that of the past, moving towards uninterrupted performances?

Read more: latimes.com 

 

Fun on a Friday:

If you’ve been following the Bridgerton Musical trend on TikTok, you may have seen this new cover with Darren Criss (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying).

@abigailbarlowwwSurprise!! @darrencriss  is on tiktok and we burn for him. #bridgertonmusical @emilythebear♬ original sound – Abigail Barlow

 

 

Want to be part of an (free) online community of #theatermakers? Join 750+ theatermakers here

He helped give the world #AllGoodGifts. RIP To one of the original producers of Godspell, Stuart Duncan.

Godspell changed my life.

I saw it, I performed in it. And I was blessed to have been able to produce it.

Without Mr. Duncan, there’d be a godspellian hole in my gut. Thank you, Sir, for the risk you took and the passion you had for the theater.

P.S. Read his obituary to learn about how he turned his side hustle of theatermaking into a successful producing career.

For Producers Only. (Quick favor needed.)

This one is for Producers. Only.

Whether you’re a Producer (or want to be) of other people’s work.

Or whether you’re a Producer (or want to be) of your own work.

This one is for you.

If you are not a Producer or never, ever, want to be, you can stop reading now.

Ok? Just us Producers now? Good.

See, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about Producing Theater lately. Yep, even more than usual. That means, I’m not doing much of anything else these days!

I started this blog 14 freakin’ years ago with the goal of helping people produce shows (whether their own or other people’s). And now, we’re at such a pivotal point in the history of producing, with so many questions floating around out there, I am going back to those roots. But with a new producer’s perspective, if you will.

Here’s where you come in.

I have an idea on how I can help break down what I believe is the best way to produce theatre in the 21st century and beyond. But before I put it together, I wanted to ask you just TWO questions so I can make sure I’m providing you, Producers, the answers you are looking for.

So, if you are a Producer, or want to be a Producer, click here to answer those two questions.

If you are not a Producer or don’t want to be a Producer, DO NOT click.

Oh, and if you know someone who is a Producer or wants to be, please forward this along to them. The more data I compile, the better the results will be. The better the results, the better the theater.

Click here. 2 questions. 2 minutes. Tops.

Yet ANOTHER thing we need to do before Broadway comes back.

The To-Do list continues to grow.

Last Saturday night after my kid went to sleep, I scooted down to my office to wrap up a bit more work.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that Times Square was shut down.

If you missed the news, it was because there was a shooting. And, while none of the three bystanders were critically wounded, one was a four-year child.

I don’t remember the last time this happened. Maybe in the 90s when I got here.  When Times Square was a different place.

Anyone who has been to Times Square over the past year knows that is a different place again. I’ve seen drug deals in front of the Belasco Theater. I’ve seen a drinking-out-of-the-bottle-cocktail party in front of The Marquis. I’ve seen more homeless who need help than ever before.

In other words, I’ve seen a Times Square that is not exactly what tourists are going to want to flock to when they can.

And after all the momentum we built up last week? Well, it takes just one incident like the one over the weekend, to move back three spaces and lose a turn.

We’ve got a lot to do to come back. We’ve got Covid-19 safety policies to put into place. We’ve got equality policies to put into place. We’ve got shows to put up.  And audiences to convince to come back.

And, now, we need to remember that one of the most important factors in a brick-and-mortar industry’s success?

Location.

Location.

Lo. Ca. Tion.

Our political leaders have come through for us in many ways throughout this pandemic, and I’m thankful for their support. And now we need them to focus their efforts on restoring the beacon of light and energy that is Times Square.

And we need to help too. The Broadway theaters are the big citizens on this block.  We need to flex our muscles and do our part.

See, Times Square used to scare people away. I know, because I was one of them. I used to walk around it or bike through it after I escaped two muggings and defrauded out of $100 in 1991.

And for the sake of Broadway’s comeback, we can’t let that happen again.

That’s why this year’s NYC Mayoral race is more important than ever.

I’m not going political, don’t worry.  And not suggesting a candidate to you at all.  But if you are an NYC resident, I will suggest that you vote . . . and vote for the candidate that you believe will restore the epicenter of our city, and possibly the world, to the glory that it was.  Even if that means tourist-packed sidewalks again.

Learn about the candidates running for Mayor here. 

Why have one podcast when you can have TWO! This one is specifically for . . .

Over five years ago, I started podcasting.  And it instantly allowed me to connect with more theatergoers than ever.  I thought it might be a fad.  But nope.  (Clubhouse – now that’s a fad.)

Podcasts are here to stay.  In fact, I not only host my own, but I also listen to about a dozen, on all sorts of subjects that I want to improve in my life . . . from golf to parenting to investing in real estate (gotta do something a little less risky than the theater to keep myself diversified, right?).

Because they’ve been so helpful to me, and because I’ve gotten great feedback on my podcast, I charged my team at The TheaterMakers Studio to start one as well!

This one has a very clear and specific focus.

It’s a podcast solely for people who want to make theater.  It’s . . . well . . . The TheaterMakers Podcast!

So if you’re a writer, producer, director who wants specific, actionable tips and strategies on how you can make more theater, better theater, and make it all more efficiently (translation – cheaper and faster), then this podcast is for you.  

Upcoming episodes include info on:

  • How to obtain the rights to a novel, movie or song catalog
  • Creating a memorable elevator pitch
  • Fighting writer’s block
  • Writing a one-person show and why everyone should have one
  • The different types of Broadway producers and how to decide who is best for you
  • And more!

New episodes will debut every Tuesday at 9am ET/6am PT.

You can subscribe now to The TheaterMakers Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google and everywhere podcasts are available.

Listen to the trailer here and the first episode here.

Enjoy it . . .

Podcast Episode #232: How shows get the green light on Broadway versus Hollywood.

ESTIMATED LISTENING TIME OF THIS PODCAST EPISODE:  12 Minutes

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN:

And then, do these three things.

  1. FOLLOW The Producer’s Perspective on Apple Podcast (it’s FREE!)
  2. Rate/Review the Podcast on Apple Podcast (it’s the biggest compliment you can give)
  3. SHARE this episode with your friends!

DESCRIPTION:

Looking to get a show produced on Broadway or Off-Broadway?  Or curious how a show gets the green light in the theater biz, as opposed to our (sort-of) sister industry in Hollywood?

Listen in.  I break it down.

 

AFTER YOU LISTEN:

My mission is to get more people talking about the theater.  The more people talking about it, the more people who want to make it, perform it, support it, etc.  And that’s how theater not only survives, but thrives.

The biggest compliment you can give me is by sharing this podcast.

I thank you and the theater thanks you!

What Broadway Shows Are Opening Back Up And When (So Far) (Updated 5/14/21)

On May 5, 2021, Governor Cuomo announced that Broadway shows can return to performances with a full capacity as of September 14, 2021. Though we have not heard from the unions, theatre owners, and producers on their specific safety plans they’re putting into place, the following shows have announced their reopening dates (or for a few . . . their Opening Nights!).

 

SIX 

First Performance: September 17, 2021

Opening Night: October 3, 2021

Buy Tickets

 

PHANTOM ON THE OPERA

First Performance: October 22, 2021

Buy Tickets

 

AIN’T TOO PROUD

First Performance: October 16, 2021

Buy Tickets

 

DIANA

First Performance: November 2, 2021

Opening Night: November 17, 2021

Buy Tickets

 

JAGGED LITTLE PILL

First Performance: October 21, 2021

Buy Tickets

 

CHICAGO

First Performance: September 14, 2021

Buy Tickets

 

MRS. DOUBTFIRE

First Performance: Oct 21, 2021

Opening Night: December 5, 2021

Buy Tickets

 

COME FROM AWAY

First Performance: September 21, 2021

Buy Tickets

 

COMPANY

First Performance: December 20, 2021

Buy Tickets

 

WICKED

First Performance: September 14, 2021

Buy Tickets

 

THE LION KING

First Performance: September 14, 2021

Buy Tickets

 

HAMILTON

First Performance: September 14, 2021

Buy Tickets 

 

CAROLINE, OR CHANGE

First Performance: October 8, 2021

Opening Night: October 27, 2021

Buy Tickets Soon

 

TINA

First Performance: October 8, 2021

Buy Tickets 

 

ALADDIN

First Performance: September 28, 2021

Buy Tickets 

 

MJ

First Performance: December 6, 2021

Opening Night: February 1, 2022

Buy Tickets 

 

MOULIN ROUGE

First Performance: September 24, 2021

Buy Tickets

 

DEAR EVAN HANSEN

First Performance: December 11, 2021

Buy Tickets 

 

FLYING OVER SUNSET

First Performance: November 4, 2021

Opening Night: December 6, 2021

Buy Tickets

 

 

 

Watch this space and my social for updates to this list as more Broadway shows announce their reopening dates.

May 7, 2021: What TheaterMakers Are Talking About This Week

From more Broadway reopening news from Governor Cuomo to National Tours and revivals making their way back to the stage (and screen) to concerns about the country going back to “normal”. . . here’s what TheaterMakers were talking about this week . . .

 

1 – Andrew Cuomo Says Broadway Shows Will Open at Full Capacity September 14

The Governor of New York announced that Broadway will start selling tickets as soon as May 6th, with a reopening date of September 14th, 2021. Few shows have announced exact opening dates. Diana says it will resume December 1 and the revival of The Music Man expects to begin previews December 20.

Read more: playbill.com 

 

2 – Wicked tour announces return date as first touring production to resume

The musical will have it’s post-pandemic premiere at the Music Hall at Fair Park in Dallas from early August to September. Tickets for the Dallas showing of Wicked will go on sale May 21st.

Read more: broadwaynews.com

 

3- Applications Now Open For The Prince Fellowship

Applications for the newly renamed Fellowship (in honor of the late great Hal Prince) are open now through June 15. Prospective applicants are asked to join an informational Webinar at 6PM EST on Thursday, May 13.

Read more: broadwayworld.com 

 

4 – The Secret Garden Revival Workshop to Stream in May

Warren Carlyle will direct the musical workshop.The streaming proceeds from ticket sales will go toward the Dramatists Guild Foundation and the Actors Fund. Some cast members for this workshop will include Clifton Duncan as Archibald, Drew Gehling as Neville Craven, Sierra Boggess as Lily, and Amber Iman as Martha.

Read more: theatermania.com

 

5- As we return to normal, a new plague: stage fright in the theater of daily life

As we begin to leave our homes and return to normal, waves of fear arise. There are still concerns about variants and the number of people who still aren’t fully protected. Despite progress made with vaccinations around the country, concerns are growing. 

Read more: latimes.com 

 

Fun on a Friday:

As Broadway’s reopening nears, Six the Musical announced their opening night will happen (again) on September 17th. 

 

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Want to be part of an online community of #theatermakers? Join 700+ theatermakers here. Best part? It’s completely free.

3 Pieces of Advice I Got From My Mom That I Use Everyday.

Mom gives the best advice.

I wasn’t so sure about that when I was a teenager, but boy am I now.

So, in pre-celebration of Mother’s Day (It’s this Sunday – in case you haven’t ordered your gift yet!) I thought I’d thank my mom by sharing three pieces of advice she gave me that I use every day.

Here they are:

 1.  “Don’t ever use that word!” 

She snapped at me so fast, you would have thought I say the eff word in church. But what I said to her back in my early 20s wasn’t even a cuss. It was this . . .

“But Mom, I deserve . . . “

“Deserve,” she said. “Oh no. I won’t let you say that. You don’t deserve anything.  You work hard.  You work long.  And you receive. If you’re not happy with where you are, do something to change it.  But don’t just sit back and think you deserve anything just because.”

It’s easy to get to that place in this business.  Because you can work your tail off and still not be where you want to be.  But thinking that you deserve something over other people is not going to help. In fact, it’ll put you in that bitter camp of people who go backward rather than forward.

I’m so thankful my Mom set me straight that day. And her verbal slap in the face is what I remember on the tough days when I’m super frustrated that something isn’t further along.

Eliminate “deserve” from your vocabulary and you’ll find yourself getting further, and you’ll be happier throughout the process.

2. “Finding out what you want to do is like that SAT course you took.” 
On another day in my early 20s, I called her almost in tears, because I knew I was about to get fired from a job. (I walked in on my supervisor interviewing a potential replacement.) It was ok, I hated the job. And I wanted to quit anyway.

“So what’s the problem,” Mom said.

“But Mom, I’m 22 years old . . . I’ve worked in at least 10 different jobs in this business.  And I don’t know what I want to do!”

And that’s when she truth bombed me.

“Kenneth, it’s ok. First, you’re only 22. Second, with every job you do that you don’t like, you get closer to the one that you DO!”

In other words, finding the right career path is like the trick they taught me at The Princeton Review SAT Course.  Finding the right answer is about eliminating the wrong ones.

I settled into a job that I loved about three months later.

And lastly . . .


3.  “Come on, Kenneth, you’re auditioning for this show.” 
This wasn’t so much a piece of advice, as it was an order. I was only five, so that’s all I really knew. But for some reason, maybe it was because I was an only child.  Maybe it was because my parents were recently divorced. Maybe it was because they were both involved in the local theater, so it was a place we could still be a family.

Whatever the reason, my mother dragged me to an audition for The Steadfast Tin Soldier when I was five, and my life was forever changed.

Because I not only got to spend time with both my mom and dad, but I also met the family that I will spend the rest of my life with: theatermakers.

Mom, you’re the best.  And I thank you for every piece of advice you ever gave.  Even the stuff that I said was crazy at the time.

Happy Mother’s Day and please . . . keep telling me what to do.  Because I owe so much of who I am to you.

How do you honor your mom? Drop a comment here and let me know!

Tickets Going Back on Sale for Broadway! Shows to open on 9/14!

It’s official! Today, Governor Cuomo gave us the green light to reopen Broadway at 100% beginning September 14th!!!  Tickets for your favorite show may go on sale ANY moment!

Those first performances are going to sell out in a minute (can you imagine being at that first performance?) so get your buy-tickets finger ready!

And make sure you’re following my socials for the announcements when the shows go on sale!

Facebook: www.facebook.com/kendavenport

Instagram: www.instagram.com/kendavenportbway

Twitter: www.twitter.com/kendavenport

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kendavenport/

For more information on this news: click here

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