BOOK PRESALE ALERT: This one answers the question I’m asked the most.

Last spring we released the only book on the subject Broadway Investing . . . and now we’re releasing a brand new book about the subject I’m asked about more than anything else . . .

Early Hungarian cabinet making!

No, no . . . jk, jk.  (By the way, that cabinet making quip is a European Vacation reference.)

The topic I’m asked about more than anything is . . . how to raise money for Broadway or Off-Broadway shows.

So, in an effort to help those of you out there producing or self-producing shows (and as part of our #5000By2025 mission), this summer I wrote the only book about raising money specifically geared towards the theater.

And it’s available now for presale on for only a fraction of what it will cost when it is officially released.

What’s it called?

It’s a continuation of our “How To” series.  The first was, How To Succeed in the Arts . . . or in Anything.  And this is, yep, How to Raise Money in the Arts . . . or in Anything. (There will be one more in the series, by the way – I’ll let you guess what that “How To” is.)

This book covers . . .

  • The different legal structures for raising money for the arts.
  • Where to find investors for your specific project.
  • How to script your ask in order to increase your chance for success.
  • The most important part of raising money that most people forget (do this and you’ll raise the money you need 10x faster at least).
  • How to enjoy raising money (it is possible – truly).

The book is gonna list for $19.95 . . . but you can get it via the Amazon presale for only $5.99 (Jeff Bezos likes when self-publishers give his customers a super-duper entry-level price for new books . . . and what Bezos wants, Bezos gets – and you benefit).  Just do me a favor, after you finish it, give it a good review so that more people can find it.

Because the truth is, after Bezos takes his chunk, this book doesn’t make us any money.  But it could find money for a lot of people’s projects.

And that means there will be more theater in the world.  And that means the world will be that much better of a place.

Get How To Raise Money For The Arts . . . Or For Anything first here (or get it for a friend).


Broadway Grosses w/e 10/13/2019: Leaves aren’t the only thing piling up . . .

A three-day weekend juiced overall box office figures by 17% last week bringing in $35M. A welcome boost coming off a typically quiet September.

Standouts last week included record-breaking grosses from Moulin Rouge! Hadestown, and To Kill A Mockingbird. Tina – The Tina Turner Musical began previews over the weekend and played to a full house.

You can find the rest of the figures below, courtesy of The Broadway League:

Show Name Gross  TotalAttn  %Capacity AvgPdAdm
AIN’T TOO PROUD $1,585,819.08     11,365 99.76% $139.54
ALADDIN $1,409,738.10     13,729 99.37% $102.68
AMERICAN UTOPIA $753,708.75       5,331 94.02% $141.38
BEAUTIFUL $1,061,506.50       8,259 100.62% $128.53
BEETLEJUICE $1,249,044.70     12,045 100.85% $103.70
BETRAYAL $730,993.20       6,977 84.18% $104.77
CHICAGO $770,756.78       8,434 97.62% $91.39
COME FROM AWAY $1,077,662.00       8,542 102.08% $126.16
DEAR EVAN HANSEN $1,154,890.55       7,996 101.58% $144.43
DERREN BROWN: SECRET $344,016.50       4,904 68.95% $70.15
FREESTYLE LOVE SUPREME $765,650.60       5,407 88.35% $141.60
FROZEN $1,140,768.10     13,312 98.81% $85.69
HADESTOWN $1,523,311.00       7,448 101.42% $204.53
HAMILTON $3,090,992.00     10,752 101.51% $287.48
HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD, PARTS ONE AND TWO $1,253,330.00     12,976 100.00% $96.59
LINDA VISTA $168,097.15       4,116 87.95% $40.84
MEAN GIRLS $1,067,655.30       9,768 99.67% $109.30
MOULIN ROUGE! $2,203,608.50     10,500 100.81% $209.87
OKLAHOMA! $490,176.10       4,875 93.61% $100.55
SLAVE PLAY $481,214.00       5,910 93.16% $81.42
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,183,322.55       8,658 103.37% $136.67
THE GREAT SOCIETY $394,327.00       5,243 61.83% $75.21
THE HEIGHT OF THE STORM $323,779.00       3,958 76.94% $81.80
THE INHERITANCE $354,447.50       3,170 74.91% $111.81
THE LIGHTNING THIEF $325,441.50       5,818 67.78% $55.94
THE LION KING $2,242,450.00     13,384 98.64% $167.55
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $1,154,438.40     12,490 97.27% $92.43
THE ROSE TATTOO $472,590.00       5,607 97.21% $84.29
THE SOUND INSIDE $428,406.00       5,596 70.09% $76.56
TINA $212,998.00       1,476 100.00% $144.31
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD $2,244,415.34     11,675 101.70% $192.24
TOOTSIE $962,345.60     10,135 79.08% $94.95
WAITRESS $751,433.60       7,691 92.00% $97.70
WICKED $1,839,657.00     15,099 97.99% $121.84
TOTALS $35,212,990.40   282,646 92.15% $118.94
+/- THIS WEEK LAST SEASON $1,825,171.93      

Today’s blog was guest-written by Ryan Conway, General Manager for DTE Management. Find out more here!

They locked my phone up. Twice! And I loved it.

If you follow me on Facebook, then you know last week I was a lucky attendee at the musical improv Freestyle Love Supremethe brainchild of upcoming Podcast guest, Anthony “Two-Touch” Veneziale, and his cohorts, including a real underachiever named Lin-Manuel Miranda.

As I posted, the show is one of the most uniquely authentic and exciting evenings I’ve had in a Broadway house in a long while.  Sure, it was like watching the Olympics of rap.  And sure it was funny because good improv always is.  But I never expected it to be so moving.

But this ain’t about the show.

This is about what the show forced me and the 900 other people that night to do before the show.

They made us shut off our phones and drop it in a little yellow pouch, provided by a company called Yondr, which was then locked down better than the cell phone transcripts between the US and Ukraine (heyo!).

So for the next 90 minutes.  I was phoneless.

Now, I’m not a during-a-show texter-or-checker anyway, but boy oh boy was this an odd feeling.

And once I got over the anxiety and uncomfortable feeling (partly because of the size of that pouch sticking out of my pocket) . . . I loved it.  Just loved it.

I was able to be more present than I have been at a show in a long time.  And you know what?  That made me enjoy it more.

So maybe this Yondr thing is a . . . thing.

I know, heresy coming from me . . . the guy who created “Tweet Seats” for my production of Godspell (and got some great press about it, including Rock Center).

But screens are even more abundant now than they ever were before.  And we’re addicted to them more.  And they distract us more, never mind the artists who are busting their brains and bodies to entertain us.

So maybe it is time for us to be forced to lock up our devices and free up our minds?

But what about the marketing opportunities?  What about the kids who have never known life without a cell phone?

These issues must be addressed because most shows need the marketing engines that are those things in our pockets sans pouches.  And the theater itself needs kids coming now so that we’ll have adults coming in the future.

That’s why I’ve always suggested allowing phones for specific moments . . . pre-show, curtain call (!) or special shareable moments before or after the experience.

But surely there’s a way to do both.

Locking our devices up won’t work for every show, because anything we force our customers to do adds to the friction of them making a purchase.  And most shows want to reduce that friction, not create more.

But it’s an option . . . and an option that I look forward to seeing spread throughout our community, because yeah.  I loved FSL, but I loved it more because I knew for 90 minutes, it was just me and those artists and my friends in the audience . . . and not my friends on Facebook.

UPDATE:  And then my phone was locked up a 2nd time!  Because guess who was on Jury Duty this week in Federal Court?  This guy.  And guess what they also did?  Locked up our phones!  And guess who had several hours of focus time . . . and reading time . . . and brainstorming time.  And guess who wrote on an actual pad of paper with a pen instead of on a screen?

And guess who had the most productive 3 hours he has had in a long time (before he was called for a voir dire)?

This guy.

So maybe we should have Yondr for artrepreneurs too.  Or maybe we should learn how to police ourselves to shove our phones in a drawer and turn off our email notifications on our computers and get to effin’ work.

Maybe. 🙂

– – – – –

Our conference is in just five weeks.  If you miss out . . . well, you’ll never know what could have happened with that idea, with that show, or with your passion . . . but I tell you this . . . come, and you’ll get education and motivation to go after it and now.  Click here.


Broadway Grosses w/e 10/6/2019: Gray skies are gonna clear up

There was barely a change in grosses last week as the fall season chugged along. With no new shows on the boards, overall grosses ticked up by just 1% to $30,098,714. American Utopia had a strong start with three previews grossing $395,604 at the Hudson Theatre. An average ticket of $142 put it right behind The Lion King as the sixth-highest.

You can find the rest of the figures below, courtesy of The Broadway League:

Show Name GrossGross  TotalAttn  %Capacity AvgPdAdm
AIN’T TOO PROUD $1,498,490.80         10,926 95.91% $137.15
ALADDIN $1,203,519.40           13,314 96.37% $90.40
AMERICAN UTOPIA $395,604.00             2,788 98.97% $141.90
BEAUTIFUL $905,609.60             8,064 98.25% $112.30
BEETLEJUICE $925,658.32           10,361 86.75% $89.34
BETRAYAL $688,901.25             6,116 73.79% $112.64
CHICAGO $620,207.40             7,253 83.95% $85.51
COME FROM AWAY $945,635.80             8,445 100.92% $111.98
DEAR EVAN HANSEN $991,113.59             7,686 97.64% $128.95
DERREN BROWN: SECRET $303,287.50             4,978 69.99% $60.93
FREESTYLE LOVE SUPREME $637,560.95             6,016 98.30% $105.98
FROZEN $967,974.10           11,934 88.58% $81.11
HADESTOWN $1,363,952.00             7,410 100.90% $184.07
HAMILTON $2,992,845.00           10,752 101.51% $278.35
HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD, PARTS ONE AND TWO $1,001,338.50           12,976 100.00% $77.17
LINDA VISTA $166,400.06             3,727 79.64% $44.65
MEAN GIRLS $761,531.40             8,606 87.82% $88.49
MOULIN ROUGE! $2,176,909.50           10,494 100.75% $207.44
OKLAHOMA! $411,667.96             4,333 83.20% $95.01
SLAVE PLAY $352,872.50             5,991 94.44% $58.90
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,025,261.25             8,204 97.95% $124.97
THE GREAT SOCIETY $382,784.50             5,675 66.92% $67.45
THE HEIGHT OF THE STORM $326,052.00             3,838 74.61% $84.95
THE INHERITANCE $271,487.64             4,059 76.73% $66.89
THE LIGHTNING THIEF $219,484.00             4,103 47.80% $53.49
THE LION KING $1,949,218.00           13,296 98.00% $146.60
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $926,380.80           10,488 81.68% $88.33
THE ROSE TATTOO $428,035.70             5,219 90.48% $82.01
THE SOUND INSIDE $412,475.00             5,337 66.85% $77.29
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD $2,130,636.00           11,655 101.52% $182.81
TOOTSIE $796,591.00             8,875 69.25% $89.76
WAITRESS $611,357.90             6,823 81.61% $89.60
WICKED $1,307,871.00           12,051 83.36% $108.53
TOTALS $30,098,714.42              261,793 87.10% $107.73
+/- THIS WEEK LAST SEASON -3,282,396.50      

Today’s blog was guest-written by Ryan Conway, General Manager for DTE Management. Find out more here!

Podcast Episode 197: No “Ordinary” Composer/Lyricist, Mr. Adam Gwon

One of the super fun parts about being in this biz for a bit is that you get to watch the careers of folks you admire go from someone that no one is talking about to someone that everyone is talking about.

And that someone is today’s guest, Mr. Adam Gwon, who broke through with his musical, Ordinary Days and is about to open Scotland, PA at the Roundabout Theater (which I’m proud to be helping along the way).

Adam is on everyone’s “watch list,” like a financial advisor might be watching a stock, just waiting for it to turn into the next Apple.

We sat down with only a microphone between us to talk about his status as a writer-to-watch, as well as . . .

  • How he transitioned from writing 3-minute songs to 3-hour musicals.

  • Choosing a collaborator:  The true story of the “3 blind dates” he went on before he made the choice to write Scotland, PA with Michael Mitnick.

  • How not having an answer to a question led him to create Ordinary Days.

  • Does Broadway mean you’re a success AKA what it’s like to still be “emerging” despite being produced all over the world?

  • What it’s like being a Tony Award Nominator

Enjoy the podcast, and then, go enjoy Scotland, PA, currently in previews NOW!

  • Click above to listen to this episode.
  • Listen to it on iTunes here. (And if you like the podcast, give it a great review while you’re there!)
  • Download it here.

This week’s #SongwriterOfTheWeek is Anna Jacobs and Michael R. Jackson!  Check out “I Want To Choose” from their musical TEETH at the end of this episode. If you enjoyed the outro music in this episode, go on over to for more tunes.

This week’s episode is brought to you by TERRY KNICKERBOCKER STUDIO. Terry Knickerbocker Studio offers a two-year acting conservatory, workshops, studio rentals, one-on-one coaching, beginner acting classes, and the best actor training in New York, period. While the conservatory training is based on the Meisner Technique, Terry Knickerbocker Studio offers a holistic approach to actor training with a commitment to nurturing the total actor: Mind, Body, and Soul. For more information, please visit

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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