Put another one in the win column. Kinky Boots recoups! And quick!

cheering-people broadway investingWinning a Best Musical Tony is one thing . . . but recouping?

Nothing gets me more excited than recouping a show, because recouping means three things to a Broadway Producer:

  • It means you did your job in building a financial model that works.
  • It means that your audience is loving what you’re laying down.
  • It means your investors will be more likely to invest in Broadway again.

And yesterday, after only 30 short weeks (one of the quickest recoupment records in recent history), we announced that Kinky Boots recouped its entire 13.5 million dollar budget.

Boo-ya!

That’s right, we’re one out of the four/five Broadway shows to recoup (if you follow the industry averages – we (cough, cough), are batting around .500, if I do say so myself!).

If you’re a theatrical handicapper, then last year you were probably betting on a different horse.  And the Kinky story goes to show you that in this business . . . and in any business . . . a sure thing is never that.  I decided to go into Kinky Boots for several reasons (read them all here), but one of the most important to me was that it was a riskier proposition than some of the other shows on my investing radar. That’s right.  You heard me.  It was riskier, and I wanted to do it.  Why?

Because with greater risk, comes greater reward.  And I knew that if our numbers came up (and I was betting on our team to do the amazing work they did), we’d . . . well . . . recoup faster than most shows in recent history.

After all, if you’re going to invest in a risky business like Broadway, and you know you’ve got a shot at losing a good chunk of your capital, you might as well invest in what has the biggest upside, right?

A huge thank you to lead Producers Hal Luftig and Daryl Roth, because what they’ve done with this show should be a master class in Producing.  And to Aaron Lustbader and everyone at Foresight Theatricals, our dazzling General Managers, who built a budget that could give the investors such a great shot at getting their money back and then some.  And, duh, to the creative team . . . but especially to those actors.  The creative team, the producers . . . our hard work is over.  But that cast, and the musicians, and the stagehands, and everyone at The Hirschfeld have gotta give it their all 8 times a week . . . and what happens in that theater every performance is what gets people to buy tickets.  And that’s what gets shows to recoup.

Congratulations to everyone . . . and here’s to your show recouping even quicker.

 

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Comments
  • Felicia says:

    Good job, Ken. Congrats!

  • Robert says:

    Ken, congratulations and I appreciate your enthusiasm, but I must disagree with a couple of the points you raise.

    1. “The creative team, the producers . . . our hard work is over.” – I completely disagree. The hard work is just beginning! Only on Broadway is recoupment actually considered a success. In other industries, anything short of returning significant returns to shareholders is failure. The producers must work tirelessly for the show’s entire existence to ensure maximum returns to their investors… anything short of this is lazy.

    2. I don’t want to rain on the parade – but as I mention in 1, should we really be celebrating “recoupment” to this extent? Yes it’s a great sign in what’s hopefully yet to come… but recoupment simply doesn’t warrant a big celebration. The risk reward ratio for Broadway is extraordinarily high, so there’s nothing special in *just* making your money back. Instead of celebrating mediocracy that would be not such a big deal in other industries, why don’t we discuss how to shift the statistics? And make Broadway a more sustainable business to ensure it’s longevity and continued investment.

  • Sue says:

    I read the blurb in the Times and was happy for you. But then I read the premium ticket price of $349. $349? $349? Ken?? $349? $349? I just can’t get over it. I have been known to buy $200 and $250 tickets (and did not let my husband find out how much I paid). But $THREE HUNDRED FORTY-NINE????

  • Liz says:

    Bought Kinky Boots tickets for my son’s graduation present as he loves to act and I knew the collaboration of Harvey and Cyndi had to be a hit. At that time I didn’t know what a hit. Congrats to Ryan Ratelle and all those great folks who knew this show was special. Bravo to All!

  • Marcinho says:

    I, respectfully, disagree with Robert, above.

    Recoupment, in this economic climate IS a big deal! Recoupment is the first stage of BLISS! You’ve met your ‘nut’, and now it’s all gravy! WHO WOULDN’T celebrate that!? And “Best Musical”, too! *does the happy-dance on your behalf*

    I also have to agree with Robert, however, that “The producers must work tirelessly for the show’s entire existence to ensure maximum returns to their investors…”

    But, SERIOUSLY (!!!!), $13.5 in 30… I think it’s a tremendous feat! Congratulations!

    “The team’s the thing”! 🙂 Bravissimi tutti!!

  • Stuart Green says:

    Ken, Congrats and keep kinkin’ them boots!

  • Robert says:

    Yes Marcinho I agree – but there’s approximately 29 producers credited on Kinky Boots. Yes 29!

    Shows you how hard it is to get money for Broadway – due to the 1 out of 5 recoupment rate.

    The point I’m making is the whole industry is flawed. As an investor, if I *just* made my money back, I’d be upset. If I lost money, I’d be really upset. Broadway operates on slightly different rules because it’s not run in an optimal fashion.

    I agree it’s great to recoup – and even better as a sign of future success, but not in and of itself a reason to say “our hard work is over” and celebrate too much. I would hope the operating partners of the show don’t adopt such a complacent mentality.

  • Ilene Argento says:

    Co graduations, Ken! I read this on broadway,com, I believe. I agree – in this industry it IS a great accomplishment! I’d be lying if I didn’t say “I’m jealous!”

  • Ilene Argento says:

    CONGRATULATIONS! (I hate auto correct!)

  • Phyllis Buchalter says:

    Congratulations, Ken!! Great job with Kinky Boots. By the way, members of my “Jersey” family caught a glimpse of Getting the Band Together and feel this should be your next Broadway attempt. They really loved it and enjoyed your intro before the show.

  • Rialtolover says:

    Kinky Boots is the 15th show we’ve invested in, and we’ve been fortunate to have now fully recouped with six of them. For us, overall breakeven balancing recoups & losses over the years is objective #5. Having a real passion for the production is #1; then participate in the process of putting art on stage #2; continue learning about the production process #3; meet really interesting people we may have not had the opportunity to otherwise meet #4. “Kinky Boots” met all these objectives and will have a major impact on #5. CONGRATULATIONS to all!!

  • diane uniman says:

    There’s another one in the WIN column people! I just attended Ken’s new show, “Gettin’ the Band Back Together.” Here’s a secret: Ken’s on to a NEW and PHENOMENALLY SUCCESSFUL enterprise…weight loss. That’s right, weight loss. You see, the show was so unbelievably funny, the real belly laugh kind of laughter, that for the entire length of the show WE LAUGHED OUR ASSES OFF! AND THE MUSIC WAS AWESOME!!! So my friends-my advice for all you rumba queens, soul cyclers and HOT YOGA passionistas–save the gym fees and go to this show!!! Take the train straight into New Brunswick and walk to the George Street Playhouse and hurry! If you love theater, you love music, you love dancing, you love laughter, you love HIGH VOLTAGE ENERGY….you’re gonna LOVE THIS NEXT HIT!!!

  • Glauber Barceló says:

    Congratulations Ken !!! Another hit. 🙂

  • Cependant, a msiqe n’est pas a see code qe a diva ait 脿 son ac. Je l’ai pr茅serv茅e de la m茅chancet茅 que j’ai pu parfois nourrir 脿 l’茅gard d’autres acteurs. Today Lois Vitton has hndeds of diffeent podcts with new ines of eathe goods, fashion, time pieces, cothes and shoes added each yea. Et va-t-elle le retrouver ? C么t茅 prix on trouve des gilets grande taille entre 25 et 40 des jupes 脿 une quarantaine d et des mantchristian louboutinx 脿 moins de 70 En cette p茅riode de Soldes Rue des rondes baisse les prix jusqu -50%, ce qui peut s tr猫s int茅ressant.

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Ken Davenport
Ken Davenport

Tony Award-Winning Broadway Producer

I'm on a mission to help 5000 shows get produced by 2025.

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