Tonight on the Livestream: Tony Award-winning Director, John Rando!

Big thanks to Tony Award-winning costume designer Paul Tazewell (Hamilton, Ain’t Too Proud, “Harriet”) for joining me on the livestream last week. His convo had me watching that Hamilton stream in a totally different light! I mean, did you see those cuffs on Jefferson’s coat???

If you missed my chat with Paul, go over and watch the replay and learn about Paul’s process to designing some of the most intricate costumes . . . it’s how it’s all in those details!

And tonight, we’ve got a little ol’ A-list Director switcheroo!

Bart Sher had a last-minute scheduling conflict, so we’re working on getting him rescheduled for later in the summer/early fall.

In the meantime, my good buddy JOHN RANDO from Gettin’ The Band Back Together and the Tony Award-winning Director of Urinetown, as well as the Director of the new musical, Back To The Future (expect me to ask lots of questions about that), will join us for a convo about what he’s been up to since the pandemic began.

Also, joining us on the livestream tonight is a very special guest: Michael Merritt, an emerging TheaterMaker and a nurse, who spent the apex of the pandemic on the front lines at an NYC hospital!

I’ve invited him to be our special guest tonight to talk about how the experience impacted him and how it’s affecting his future, both as a nurse and as a TheaterMaker.

Set your reminder for tonight’s episode here.

 

And look who’s joining me over the next few weeks . . .

Thursday, July 9th – Altar Boyz Reunion *****  (Added livestream this week! Note the day!)

Tuesday, July 14th – Tara Rubin (Casting Director – SIX, Sing Street, Ain’t Too Proud, Dear Evan Hansen)

Thursday, July 16th – Sammi Cannold LIVE – Quarantined in Korea!!! (Director – New York City Center’s Evita, Ragtime on Ellis Island)

Tuesday, July 21st – Steven Pasquale (Actor – American Son, Bridges of Madison County)

Tuesday, July 28th – Danny Burstein (Actor – Moulin Rouge, My Fair Lady, Fiddler on the Roof)

Tuesday, August 4th – Norm Lewis (Actor – Phantom of The Opera, Porgy and Bess, Les Miserables)

Tuesday, August 11th – John Cariani (Actor/Playwright – Something Rotten; Caroline or Change; Almost, Maine)

 

You can catch me every TUESDAY at 8pm EDT (7pm CDT/ 6pm MDT/ 5pm PDT) on my Facebook, on my Twitter, on Broadway Podcast Network’s Youtube Channel, and on Broadway on Demand.

To learn more about our guests and the organizations for which we are raising money, visit www.TheProducersPerspective.com/LIVE.

Tonight on the Livestream: Tony Award-winning Costume Designer Paul Tazewell

If you missed the livestream last week, then you missed me sitting down with the #Fearless Mandy Gonzalez. Make sure you go back and catch the replay of that episode to receive a heavy dose of inspiration and motivation from the star of Hamilton, In The Heights and more (and find out what song she’d sing if she could only sing one song every single day!).

And tonight, in honor of Hamilton premiering on Disney+ later this week, I am sitting down with Costume Designer Paul Tazewell (our 60th guest!). Paul is the Tony Award-winning designer of your favorite shows — Hamilton, In The Heights, Ain’t Too Proud, Memphis, and more! 

Costume Design is one of the things about theater-making that I know the LEAST about, so I’m excited to learn how Paul helps tell stories with his art.

Sit down with me and Paul (virtually!) tonight at 8pm EDT. To watch the episode, hit the get reminder button here.

 

And look who’s joining me over the next few weeks . . .

Tuesday, July 7th – Bartlett Sher (Director – My Fair Lady, To Kill A Mockingbird, The King & I) with special guest Michael Merritt

Thursday, July 9th – Altar Boyz Reunion

Tuesday, July 14th – Tara Rubin (Casting Director – SIX, Sing Street, Ain’t Too Proud, Dear Evan Hansen)

Tuesday, July 21st – Steven Pasquale (Actor – American Son, Bridges of Madison County)

Tuesday, July 28th – Danny Burstein (Actor – Moulin Rouge, My Fair Lady, Fiddler on the Roof)

Tuesday, August 4th – Norm Lewis (Actor – Phantom of The Opera, Porgy and Bess, Les Miserables)

Tuesday, August 11th – John Cariani (Actor/Playwright – Something Rotten; Caroline, or Change; Almost, Maine)

Tuesday, August 18th – Brian Stokes Mitchell (The Actors Fund Chairman, Actor – Shuffle Along, Women on the Verge of Nervous Breakdown, Ragtime)

 

You can catch me every TUESDAY at 8pm EDT (7pm CDT/ 6pm MDT/ 5pm PDT) on my Facebook, on my Twitter, on Broadway Podcast Network’s Youtube Channel, and on Broadway on Demand.

To learn more about our guests and the organizations for which we are raising money, visit www.TheProducersPerspective.com/LIVE.

In case you weren’t there, here’s what I said – in a picture.

The only thing I enjoy more than speaking to Theater Organizations (and I’ve had the honor of speaking to a bunch over the last few years, from The Irish Theatre Forum to The International Thespian Society), is speaking to Non-Theater Organizations.

And last September, I was asked to speak at Cre8Con in Portland – which brought together creative types from across all industries.  It’s a great conference and, if you’re in the Northwest, go check it out next year.

I did one of my favorite talks – about “serving the tennis ball” and the one thing that the most successful people I know have in common about how they got started.

I had almost forgotten about it . . . and then Cr8Con sent me the coolest thing – a graphic encapsulation of the talk.  I thought it was such a unique “gift” that I had to share it.

See if you get a clue as to what the @#$% I was talking about it from the below.

And go check out Cr8Con!

 

 

 


One of my missions is to get more people talking about the theater and the arts.  So if you want me to speak at your next event, click here.

BY THE NUMBERS: Is it the show itself or awards shows in general?

The Tony Awards telecast took some shots from the press this year, many of which I still can’t understand. I enjoyed the show, as I wrote about here, and most theatergoers I spoke to did as well, including you.

The most quantifiable piece of criticism was (on the surface) the ratings.  “Viewership 10% down,” headlines screamed.  “Will CBS drop the show?” articles asked, like teenagers gossiping about whether or not the most popular couple in school would break up.

And most came to the conclusion that if the show was, ahem, better, viewership would go up.

That’s where I disagree.

First, I’m not surprised that viewership was down.  In fact, I’d postulate that if Hamilton opened this year, the Tony Awards would have had fewer viewers than it did when Hamilton was the focal point 3 years ago.

That’s because the way people consume entertainment is different.

In 2015, when Hamilton opened, millennials especially were ditching TV screens (and the live viewing that goes with it) at an alarming rate, causing a drop of 10.6% that year.

So, while it’s easy to point to the content as the problem, ratings are no Occam’s razor . . . the simplest answer is not always the right one.

And I think there’s another reason the ratings fell . . . and it’s not the Tony Awards show that’s the issue, it’s all awards shows.

I went to the numbers and looked at the ratings for the three major Awards shows since 2010.

Here they are . . .

 Year Viewers (Millions)
Tony Awards Grammys

Oscars

2010 7.59 26.60 41.62
2011 8.39 26.55 37.90
2012 6.01 39.91 39.46
2013 7.24 28.37 40.38
2014 7.02 28.51 43.74
2015 6.46 25.30 37.26
2016 8.73 24.95 34.43
2017 6.00 26.05 32.94
2018 6.32 19.80 26.50
2019 5.47 19.90 29.60

 

And here they are in a graph, which paints the picture even more clearly:

As you can see . . . it ain’t just us.  So folks should stop pointing the finger at the production of the telecast and actually look at the ground that’s changing under our feet as we tap dance.

And those other awards shows are losing viewers at an even greater rate than we are (partly due to the many more millennials in their primary demographic).

It also just may be that awards aren’t as important to audiences anymore.  Or that the audiences know that these telecasts are more about marketing than anything.  Or that some of them (I’m talking to you, Hollywood) don’t represent the diverse field of the medium.  Or they are so filled with scandal (you again, Hollywood) that people are turning them off.

Or maybe our viewers are watching, just later, on their own schedule, instead of live.

Or maybe, just maybe, people want instant information (duh) and want to find out who won, but just want to see it in their social media feed later, rather than sit through three hours of commercials and stuff.

The way people view TV and movies has shifted and will continue to do so.  So, of course, the number of viewers of our awards show is going to go down.

Luckily for us, as compared to our sister industries, a screen is not where our primary content is consumed.  🙂

That’s why while viewership of the Tonys may be 10% down, our attendance in our actual theaters (where it really matters) is 10% up.

– – – – – –

What will Broadway look like next season?  Get my predictions and forecast for next year in next week’s blog.  Sign up here to make sure you don’t miss it.

Episode 157 – Tony Award Winning Director, Rebecca Taichman

Rebecca Taichman won a Tony Award for directing on Broadway . . . for a show she conjured up in grad school.

Through years of determination, steadfastness, ego-checking, and intense collaboration, she took her wisp of an idea . . . and forged it into a Broadway play called Indecent.

She’s the equivalent of a theatrical entrepreneur.  Instead of just toiling away in the regionals forever and ever, she made her own @#$% happen.

And then the universe thanked her with a Tony.

Tune in to hear what kept her going through those years, as well as:

  • How being objective about her performing and writing is one of the reasons she’s a success.
  • What question she asks herself about a play before she signs on to direct it.
  • Straddling the line between wanting to direct great plays while trying to make a living.
  • What it’s like on her first day of rehearsal.
  • The difference between being a woman director yesterday . . . and today.  Has it changed?

And lot’s more.

So listen in to Rebecca’s inspiring story that says yes, an idea you have in a university library can make it to Broadway.

Click here for the link to my podcast with Rebecca!

Listen to it on iTunes here. (And if you like the podcast, give it a great review, while you’re there!)

Download it here.

Ken Davenport
Ken Davenport

Tony Award-Winning Broadway Producer

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

Never miss a post or podcast again. Subscribe to the blog and stay in the know.

The TheaterMakers Studio Free Trial
The TheaterMakers Studio
Featured Product
Be A Broadway Star
Featured Book
Broadway Investing 101
All Upcoming Events

august, 2020

15augAll Day16The Inner Circle Weekend August

17aug8:00 pm9:00 pmTMS Coaching Call with Eric C. Webb

18aug8:00 pm8:30 pmThe Producer's Perspective LIVE!

19aug4:00 pm6:00 pmAugust Producer Pitch Night (Virtual)

25aug8:00 pm8:30 pmThe Producer's Perspective LIVE!

Featured Webinar
Path to Production Webinar
Advertisement
X