Who will be Broadway’s Producer of the Year 2012? You decide!

Are you ready to crown The Producer of the Year?

This is our fifth year of letting you decide who should sit in the Producer of the Year throne, with past winners including Broadway big wigs Gerald Schoenfeld, Kevin McCollum, Randy Adams/Sue Frost and the Man behind Spider-Man, Michael Cohl.

And this year, my secret nominating committee (who threaten to take away my complete symphonic recording of Les Miz if I ever reveal their identity), have come up with a very diverse group of nominees.

But only one can win!

Without further blah-blah build up, here are the nominees for Producer of the Year 2012!

1.  Nancy Nagel Gibbs, Greg Schaffert, Eva Price & Tom Smedes

This quartet of lead Producers picked up Peter and The Starcatcher Off-Broadway when so many others would have let it die after its downtown success.  “I wouldn’t have touched it with starstuff,” said one of my nominators.  But not only did they take this incredible piece of artistry uptown, they also picked up nine Tony nominations along with the way.  Oh, and in case you hadn’t noticed.  Peter is the only straight play from last season still running.

2.  Scott Morfee, Jean Doumanian and Tom Wirtshafter
This triumvirate are the Lead Producers of Tribes, the Off-Broadway show that announced its recoupment just a few weeks ago.  And well, having the courage to produce a commercial Off-Broadway show is almost enough to get them on this list, never mind recouping one.

3.  Jim Nicola, New York Theatre Workshop
Sure, Jim is an Artistic Director of a Non-Profit, but uh, have you looked around lately?  Both last year’s Tony Award winning Once and the aforementioned Peter and the Starcatcher were birthed at NYTW.  And their favorite-son, Rent, was Off-Broadway this past year as well.  “Watch out Public, NYTW is gaining on you,” said one nominator.

4.  Jeffrey Richards

“Jeffrey produces about 147 shows a year.  But he’s on my list this year for one:  Porgy & Bess.  Remember that Sondheim brouhaha?  Or when Ben Brantley reviewed the show out of town and didn’t really like it?   You don’t remember?  Me either.  That’s because Jeffrey believed in the project and in the people on it.  So he put his head down and produced the piss out of it.  And picked up a Tony Award in the process.”

5.  Stuart Thompson

Every single nominator threw Stuart’s name in the ring this year.  In the words of one:  “The man can get anyone to work with him, from Scott Rudin to Scarlet Johansson.  We should send him to DC to broker the fiscal cliff deal.  Not only would he get a deal, he’d probably sign Obama and Boehner to appear in a revival of The Odd Couple . . . for scale.”


So there they are!  This year’s nominees for Producer of the Year!

You can vote for your favorite (and even write in someone you think should have been on the list but wasn’t), by clicking here.

All votes must be cast by 12/27 at 11:59 EST.  The winner will be announced on Friday, 12/28.

Good luck to the nominees.  And vote today!


(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below!  Click here then scroll down to say what’s on your mind!)



– Come to my Producer’s Perspective social on 12/20!  Click here to RSVP!

– Win 2 Tickets to see Elf on Broadway.  Click here!

  • #1 — I expect Peter to be gangbusters if it tours, too. And it should be a big regional theater favorite.

  • M Ramirez says:

    James Nicola. Brave and committed.

  • Michael Orzechowski says:

    Jim Nicola. It’s all about where it starts out. NYTW picks the best and he is the man steering the ship. Not that the others aren’t amazing, but Nicola deserves it for his good decisions and taking the risk.

  • Scott says:

    Absolutely #2–hands down!
    To take a show OFF BWAY–and to recoup!!!
    An original, challenging, play that includes signing–and RECOUP!!! Not a transfer, not a revival, not a star-studded vehicle, not non-profit–and to RECOUP!!! All the other nominees are certainly more than worthy, but #2 will hopefully INSPIRE!

  • Bway Fan says:

    All great nominees–well-deserving! But my write-in ballot is for Sir Cameron Mackintosh. If necessary, let’s make it for Mary Poppins, but in reality he deserves it for his labored in delivering a phenomenal Les Miserables motion picture. I may not be objective, but that by itself will elevate Beoadway (and worldwide) attendance and enthusiasm, not to mention what will happen when Les Mis returns to the Great White Way. So congrats to all listed above, but this year’s Producer of the Year is Sir Cameron!

  • Michael DiPietro says:

    I would have to go with the crew of Peter and the Starcatchers – Nancy Nagel Gibbs, Greg Schaffert, Eva Price & Tom Smedes…they seem to have received the most recognition…
    – MJD

  • Ed from CT says:

    All worthy nominees!
    But I am going with the sentimental choice (well, one of them, anyway): # 1- the “Peter & the Starcatcher” team.

  • jim oher says:

    i can’t remember her name however there was ONE producer of the transfer of THE LYONS to broadway. I don’t know her history but i must salute her; had she chosen off- broadway and a limited run the show might have survived.

  • Xak says:


    Why is it that the theater follows a Season, not a particular year–which makes sense, the Tony’s are in June usually as the Season goes form September to May or June, yet theater folk get so excited about Awards Season for film and TV and just can’t help naming the 10 best this or that, like these moments of 2012 at the end of December?

    It is difficult enough to have to explain to non-theater folk how it works without these sorts of things which gather items from two totally different seasons (some in competition with others and others holdovers).

    Just curious.
    No hard feelings.
    Thought your inclusion of “Rebecca” was EXCELLENT!

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