Broadway has another family.

I’m a dude.

And that means I love The Godfather.

That also means you have to deal with a Godfather analogy every so often.

And I’ve got a good one today.

Because Broadway has another family.

I’m talking about theater owners, of course, because, let’s face it, Broadway and its theaters are a little like mafia territory, don’t you think?  And just like The Godfather had five different “famiglia” that controlled all the crime activity, we’ve got a handful as well that control all the theater activity (and no jokes about what some of them charge as being criminal, ok?).  Leaving out all the non-profits, here is a list of the theater owners on Broadway:

The Shuberts
The Nederlanders
And our maverick independent owners of Circle and Helen Hayes.

Until recently, there was one more theater owner . . . Live Nation . . . the corporate and concert behemoth that acquired the Foxwoods in a bit of an estate sale that traces back to the disaster formerly known as LiveEnt.

Live Nation never really felt like one of us, as the others on that list above did.  And, well, they weren’t really one of us, because they just sold the Foxwoods . . . to The Ambassador Theater Group (or ATG, for acronym lovers out there), a UK org run by Harold Panter.  (You can read the Variety article about the sale here.)

As you can tell by the “T” in ATG, ATG’s principal biz is the theater (they own 39 venues around the world, including 12 in the west end), so they are one of us . . . and will undoubtedly take an active role in the shaping of our industry as we grow older.  And I’ve got a feeling they’ll shake some things up along the way.  How?  Too soon to tell, of course, but I will say this . . . they own a ticketing company.  So . . . there’s that.

There have been a lot of rumors of who was going to get the keys to Foxwoods in the last couple of months.  And while I had my money on another player . . . I think it’s pretty cool to have a super successful “family” from overseas jumping into our fray, especially one that is as passionate a player as ATG.

So let’s welcome them with a Godfather-like kiss on the cheek.

And let’s hope we don’t end up with a horse head in our beds.


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  • Nice piece. And though you often stick the landing, this one deserves extra credit. I bet even the Russian and French judges gave you a ten.

  • Tanya says:

    ATG owns 11 West End venues, not 12 =)

    I’m so excited about this, I’ve got everything crossed that at some point I can get ATG to transfer me over the pond for a few months in NYC! It’s about time we had a Broadway theatre!

  • Jon Oak says:

    Of course, originating in the UK isn’t the correct spelling Ambassador Theatre Group.

  • Zanne Hall says:

    I don’t consider Disney theatre “family.” Disney is for Disney, first, last & always. Even though they’ve had B’way shows running they don’t really put the money back into theatre by participating in events that make it stronger or accessible to artists (like comp or discounted tkts).

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