The World Premiere of The Neil Diamond Musical will be . . .

It was almost a year ago to the day.
We were about to announce that our Neil Diamond Musical that has been in development for a few years, would have its world premiere in Boston in 2020.

And then, it became clear to us, and to the rest of the world, that this pandemic wasn’t going to cooperate with anyone’s plans.

So we’ve been waiting.  And waiting.  And . . .

Now . . . finally . . . I’m thrilled to announce that the show with a book by four-time Academy Award nominee Anthony McCarten will have its world premiere in Boston at the Colonial Emerson Theater (where I grew up going to shows), in July of 2022.

Oh.   And the title!  Well, it’s called . . . A Beautiful Noise.

You can see the exact dates and sign up to get exclusive access to tickets here.  (And in the spirit of the season, look around and see if you can find a little Easter Egg hidden on the site, just for you.)

You’ll hear a lot more from me about the show in the coming months.  We’ve all been so starved for theater, I plan on sharing a lot.  🙂  So follow me here to see photos and videos along the way.

But right now, all that we wanted to do was put our Sweet Caroline of a flag in the Beantown ground and say. . . we’re coming . . . we’re coming to America Boston!  And THEN America!

See more here.

The new reality TV show about producing . . . that I’m producing!

That’s it.  I’ve had enough of people telling me I should . . .

1 – Produce television

2 – Produce a reality television show about producing a Broadway show.

So, during the pandemic, I started pitching TV networks like crazy.  And wouldn’t you know it, Netflix bought it!

The show follows the days and nights and late nights of three Broadway Producers (yes, I’m one of them) starting as we get Broadway up and running again.  Think a live version of William Goldman’s The Season . . . but about the most important season EVER – the first season back for Broadway after the pandemic!

They won’t let me say any more than this right now but stay tuned, because I’ll spill more soon.  (I’m just glad that today, I can finally leak this!)

If you want to read the official announcement from Netflix, including WHO THE OTHER TWO PRODUCERS ARE, click here.  (Guess first!)

OH, and we still don’t have a title, so if you want to suggest one, click here.

 

Podcast Episode #225: What do the recent Actors Equity Protocols mean for Broadway Producers like me?

ESTIMATED LISTENING TIME OF THIS PODCAST EPISODE:  12 MINUTES

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DESCRIPTION

A lot has happened since I posted this blog about my perspective on the recently announced Actors Equity protocols.

I expected a lot of responses.

What I did not expect was some of the biggest actors in our biz to post a petition asking for an open dialogue with their union about why those protocols appeared so strict.  (See here for more on that).

If you want to hear my perspective on how those protocols will affect Broadway Producers like me and the return of the theater, click here.

And then, tune in to my clubhouse event with Tim Hughes (who started this petition) as well as Sammi Cannold and more!  We’ll be talking all about the return, what’s taking so long, and taking your questions and comments as well.

Lincoln Center Theater gets streaming permission. Could this be the beginning of a trend?

News broke yesterday that Lincoln Center Theater got permission from the 147 unions involved in their previous productions to STREAM their shows to audiences.

Read the article here.

This is big, I tell you, BIG.

Because it’s the first time that a theater gets to act like a (new) television network.

It’s just like Peacock, the new streaming channel from NBC.  Lincoln Center is the network.  Their shows are like NBC’s previous shows.

Make sense?

Of course it does. It’s a no brainer for Lincoln Center, and EVER THEATER AROUND THE WORLD.

  1.  It keeps our audiences engaged, which means they’ll be more likely to come back in the future.
  2.  It provides PASSIVE INCOME to our TheaterMakers . . . and we all know how important that is NOW, don’t we?

So I love it.

I don’t love that permission was granted for the pandemic only, but I’ll take what I can get.

Because I believe it’s just a matter of time before everything is captured and available for future viewing.

Because it just makes sense.  And it could make a lot MORE than cents for everyone involved.

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That’s it! No more surveys about THIS!

Usually, I love a survey.

I’m a big-time tester when it comes to understanding what our audience wants.

I survey theatergoers about all sorts of things.  I ask if they think a book or movie would make a good musical.  I ask what they thought of Act II. I ask whether a logo makes them want to learn more about a show.  (Side note about this last one.  Note that I didn’t say “whether a logo makes them want to buy a ticket.  Because logos don’t do that – so stop stressing.  But good ones can make people lean in and want to learn more.)

I even got this write-up in the New York Times years ago for being the first Broadway Producer to incorporate dial testing for a developing show. (Shocker – some of the old guard didn’t like this approach.)

So what am I so peeved about a certain type of survey that has been circulating every month or so?

Because it’s a survey in a vacuum.

The offending survey . . . you know the one . . . asks audience members IF they feel comfortable returning to the theater NOW and if they are not comfortable WHEN they will feel comfortable?  (By the way, I’ll admit – even I’ve asked this question every so often . . . so I’m blog-spanking myself here as well.)

I’m sure it does NOT surprise you to hear that a majority of the people in the country are NOT comfortable returning to the theater right now.  And they are not excited about returning anytime soon.

Of course they aren’t!  Because the majority of big theaters aren’t open yet.  Because it’s not safe to open them yet!

We, as human beings, live in the now.  It’s hard for us to imagine in the future feeling a different way than the way we feel right now.  If we are anxious and worried . . . it’s hard to imagine that going away, no matter what someone says (especially if it’s an online survey!) . . .

So these surveys are not realistic attitude-checks on when theatergoers will return.

You want to get a more accurate assessment?  Survey ONLY the vaccinated people.  Ask them how comfortable they are to return.  Something tells me you’ll get a different response.

It’s like . . . well . . . when all those surveys in the fall announced a high percentage of hesitancy for the vaccine.  When the vaccine wasn’t approved yet!  Now?  Websites are crashing under high demand, vaccine sites are overrun when excess supply rumors abound, and more.

Unfortunately, we’re not going to be able to rely on surveys to ease our concern here.  Because everything is changing so fast . . . and it’s literally life and death. We have to give in to the fact that it’s going to be a white-knuckle ride as we get Broadway back up and running.  Will the audience come?  Will they come quickly?

My feeling?

Get them vaccinated.  Put proper protocols in place.  And entertain them like they’ve never been entertained before.

And look out, Telecharge and Ticketmaster, because your websites just might crash under high demand too.


 The Nutshell Technique Workshop for TheaterMakers is Tomorrow, Wednesday, March 10th at 7 PM – 9 PM EST (Live “Nutshelling” from 9-9:30) Sign up here.

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