To rush or not to rush . . . and I’m not talking about a lottery.

There was a healthy sized article in yesterday’s Times about the limited number of new musicals debuting on Broadway this year, and how if you were a Producer with a pubescent musical, you might want to speed up your development process, in the hopes of grabbing some easy Tony noms, and maybe even a win.

Most of the shows that were mentioned in the article have actually had healthy pupa stages already, and were well on their way before the season turned out the way it has, so those aren’t my concern.

But for those Producers out there whose shows aren’t on the radar that might think they should be injecting their shows with growth hormone, they might want to think again.

Good business people look for holes in their respective markets that they can fill with product.  Good business people recognize when a lack of competition provides them with a market entry advantage.

But great business people never rush their development.

Sure, I’ll admit it.  When looking at the upcoming slate of shows this past summer, I wished that one of the musicals that I’m developing was further along.

But I also knew that if I put the pedal to the developmental metal I was much more likely to crash.

Yes, it’s true that every show’s gestation period is different and what takes one show a year may take another show ten.  But one thing is absolutely the same from show to show – if you rush it, you’ll regret it.

Read the interesting article by Pat Healy here.


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  • David Merrick Jr. says:

    Ken, I’m wondering how you feel about the opening of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR in the Spring.
    Will you splitting the faith-based market? Is competition really healthy, or is that just an old and dated way of thinking?

  • Ken, I agree, but I still cannot BELIEVE you used THAT image — you are so much funnier than I expect you to be!

  • Bryan David says:

    Dear Mr. Davenport, et al:
    I would think that a revival will allow you the time allotments you/cast/crew would need to be closer to ‘real-time’ schedules. Having full knowledge of prior productions. You know, (as they say) what you were getting into. A hit show. Yes, you can ‘make changes’ new/different sets. Daring blocking an/or costumes twists/turns or ‘blind-color-casting.’ But all in all; everyone knows the songs & what you are going to hear & the show you are about to see.
    Ken Davenport Presents:
    (No disrespect suggested nor implied.)
    Original works (musicals in-particular)are trial by fire & design, (the nature of the beast, again No disrespect suggested nor implied.) I do however suggest at least an additional 3-5 weeks for workshop. You start with a ‘blank slate – nothing you try is either wrong nor right until you try it. Only when you see/hear it right do you get that ‘eureka’ moment. I know of what I speak.
    I have written the Book & Lyrics to over a dozen (12) Two-Act Musicals and wrote & directed Two (2) ‘straight’ plays (No insult…)
    ‘The Musical’ is by far, thee most challenging work to prepare with the addition of Singers who can act, A Musical Director, piano player from rehearsal through performance, plus an orchestra ,add dance numbers, how ever many in the pit… this list is 1/3 longer than any other type of show. But if and when; done right, THE MAGIC supersedes the madness about five (5)weeks in the run. However I have never been in a show, in any capacity that everyone involved (running on coffee, and 3-5 hrs. sleep & drinking soda too!) WISHED if only we had one more week. You get it, but not until it has closed a year later or more (God willing) you then you can sleep for three 3 days.)
    With that said, I wouldn’t want it any other way. As a Playwright & Lyricist, seeing my Baby born, starting to take it’s 1st breath, learning to talk, crawl, walk and show everyone that yes, IT’S ON THE BOARDS and it MAKING IT’S RUN!!!!! (insert a tear here)
    With my 1st baby submitted to you, (and more ‘children’ right behind this one – I suffer from; ‘Theatre-Invitro’) my collaborator and I are ready to start a whole new family. By that I/we mean 12 Brand Spanking New Musicals that ranging from ‘G’ rated family fare to ‘R’ as in ‘Are you afraid of the dark:
    “Whitechapel” ©
    The Life & Times
    ‘Jack The Ripper’
    A Musical Love Story! ™
    © Copyright 1989/2011 All Rights Reserved
    What say you my future Director? All theater is a gamble, be it a legal one. Made even a bigger gamble with two talented (presently unknown) future ‘Tony Award’ winners bringing to life a new baby. An (off) Broadway Baby at that!
    One thing I have learned is it’s the audience out there that brings it to Broadway because they make or break both stars and/or a ‘hit’ shows. Someone had to discover and produce Asman and Menken, Kander 7 Ebb – I suspect that the person(s) that did are/were are glad they did. Tell me are you that kind of brave Producer? With insight & will be the Producer who could be known for discovering something else original; Bryan David/Brandon Kress? Are you afraid of the dark?…
    “Whitechapel” ©
    The Life & Times
    ‘Jack The Ripper’
    A Musical Love Story! ™
    © Copyright 1996/2007
    Bryan David/Brandon Kress
    All Rights Reserved

  • Mozz says:

    I have to say timing has a lot to do with it. And that is something that is energy, and magic, and just everything falling together perfectly.
    If I had the money, ;), I would rush to bring NEWSIES to Broadway. It is just the right time. It is a beautiful production, and with what’s going on in our nation at the moment.
    When I saw it, I felt that energy in the crowd. It was the perfect electric magic, where an audience was ready to hear what the musical said. That timeliness that spark, it can’t be created.
    so If I had to RUSH, it would be for NEWSIES.

  • Queer Heaven says:

    I guess this is more of a question than a comment about the time it takes to get a show ready for Broadway.
    In years past, how were the greats like Rogers & Hammerstein, Cole Porter and the like, able to get so many shows produced so often and so fast.
    Oh, by the way.. loved your Godspell daily blog!

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