Tonight on the Livestream: The Tony Award Winning Lea Salonga

I remember watching Lea Salonga shred the stage as the star of Miss Saigon in 1991, when I was 18 years old. I had never seen a performance like that.  I was blown away.

And then I realized, she was only 18 too.  And, well . . . is there a phrase for doubly-blown away?

Lea has been performing professionally since she was a wee one in the Philippines, and she has continued to have one of the most successful careers in all of the theater since her Tony Award-winning days as Kim in Saigon.

And that is what defines a true success.  Many actors can find one role that they can do better than others.  But few actors can find a decades long career in this business, as they change, adapt, and excel time after time with role after different role.

On my livestream, TONIGHT AT 8, Lea and I talked about all the different roles she has played, from Kim to Erzulie in my Once to this Island, to Mrs. Lovett and Eponine, to Helen in Fun Home.

Oh, and she admits to . . . playing video games.

Listen in to hear her story, her tips on acting, getting through this pandemic . . . and even how to beat Final Fantasy.

You can join me and Lea TONIGHT, Tuesday, September 28th at 8 PM ET LIVE on my Facebook, on my Twitter, or on Broadway Podcast Network’s Youtube Channel!

Set a reminder here!
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You can catch me every TUESDAY at 8pm EDT (7pm CDT/ 6pm MDT/ 5pm PDT).

Next week . . .

I’ll give you a hint: she has a book launching the same day as our live chat!

To learn more about our guests and to support The Actors Fund, visit

[The Streaming Stage] Event #1: Wine Tasting with “Mean Girl”, Kate Rockwell

Earlier this week, I announced that I was about to jump in head first into the Live Streaming Event Market.  
Some of you emailed and said, “Ken you’ve been doing this since Daddy Long Legs? And what about your 70+ episodes of your livestream? Aren’t you already in it?”
I guess I didn’t realize I was.
But this is different.
This is the Online Theater market. Yep, that’s right, it’s theater, but it’s online. It’s its own unique art form. A little Broadway. A little Twitch. And all about you.
So I’ve started to roll out events, and like everything I do, I’ll let you know about ’em first, right here on this blog. And all you have to do is keep watching this space and I’ll keep you informed. (You can also sign up here – which is what will be the FIRST email list dedicated to Online Theater events only.) And the cool thing about these Streaming Stage events I’m producing is that you are helping to support the all the TheaterMakers working on them, and at a time when it’s the only Theater they can make!
And now I’m proud to announce the first event! And tell you the story behind it.  (And yes, as you guessed from the headline of this blog, we’re going to keep count of these events, and see how many I do!)
I’ve known Broadway star Kate Rockwell for years. I’ve been a fan of hers since she was on the Grease reality show, “You’re The One That I Want.” I’ve seen her in Bring it On, Rock of Ages, Mean Girls (I mean, that Karen!) and everything else she’s done. And I’ve also had the pleasure of getting to hang with her outside the theater as well, and am honored to call her a friend. (Truth is, like most of the people in my life – Kate and her also cool husband Spencer, were friends with my very friendly wife first – and I got the friendship through association.)
Every time I hang with Kate (including on my livestream), I have a blast. She’s funny. She’s smart. And get this . . . she’s an effin’ wine expert. She’s WSET-certified, and spent years working in the wine industry (before she was the Broadway star we all know and love.)
When I found this out, I hired her to do VIRTUAL wine tasting event for my investors and for members of my TheaterMakersStudio. I had so much fun . . . and I don’t even drink! And when it was over, several of the folks online said, “Do you do this for parties?” Come to find out yeah, she does! (I told you she was smart.) In fact, she has her own brand called, “The Broadway Wino”!
So we’re throwing one of those Virtual Wine Tasting Private Parties and you are invited.
It’s on Saturday, October 17th at 7 PM. In the hour-long event, Kate will take your wine tasting to the next level, talk some Broadway, and expect a special surprise guest to show up as well!
It’s $15. Or you can get a package that includes the 2 bottles of wine Kate will be tasting for $65. (Oh, and here’s the cool thing about virtual events. You only have to pay once for your whole family. So yeah, if you and your partner, spouse, kids over 21 that are living at home with you because we’re in a pandemic, all want to join? It’s only $15.
You can get your ticket here.
See you there!

Have the rights to something right now (including subsidiary)? You MUST read this.

There’s a lot going on right now.
These days, most TheaterMakers I talk to, from Producers to Writers to Theater Companies, are scrambling like a quarterback with a 350-pound linebacker in their face. We’re all trying to figure out how to get to next week, never mind next year.
And because we’re busier than ever (anyone else feel like they are on a stationary bike pedaling like crazy but still stuck in the same spot), there’s something I fear is getting lost in the COVID-19 shuffle. (Please, for the love of Pete – no one create a TikTok dance called The COVID-19 Shuffle.)
What are TheaterMakers not thinking about?
Everyone’s rights . . . to everything.
See, the theater has shut down. There’s nothing we can do about it. But if you are a Producer, or Writer or Theater Company or any kind of TheaterMaker and you have the rights to something? That rights clock is still ticking. Tick, tock, tick, tock. (That was a clock reference, not another Chinese-run-social-media-company reference.)
Need some examples?
Subsidiary Rights
Producers, you spent a lot of time and money producing a show on Broadway or Off Broadway. That show closed. There’s a 80% chance you did NOT make your investors’ money back. You hope to scrape something back for those investors over the number of years they earn a percentage of the author’s income from stock and amateur productions, high school productions, etc.
The problem?
For 12-24 months of that time, there may be NO theater produced.
You lost 12-18 months of income (as of now). And there’s an 80% chance that income is reducing a loss, not making anyone profit. And you lost it through no fault of your own.
(This example also applies to Theater Companies out there who have commissioned a piece and earned a share of subsidiary rights for a certain number of years.)
To the Producers, Writers, Actors, etc, who have optioned a piece of intellectual property to adapt it into a play or musical. You have a limited period of time to reach certain benchmarks, including production per your agreement.
But you can’t get a production. You can’t even get in a room for a workshop or a reading.
You’ve lost 12-18 months of development. Through no fault of your own.
And in the Option case, that 12-18 months (as of now!) could be your entire option period! So at the end of this dark period on Broadway (and beyond), you could lose your rights and your investment to date.
And there are more. If you have the rights to anything, you are losing value with each passing day.
What do you do?
It’s simple. Contact the reps for the rights holder or the rights holder themselves. Explain the situation (which should take about 30 seconds before they cut you off and say, “I get it.”). Issue an amendment to your contract. (I suggest suspending and extending the contract for the period of time from the day Broadway shut down to the day the first show goes back.) And rest easier knowing that you will pick it back up, where you left off, not 12-18 months behind.
If, for some bizarre reason, the rights holder or representative doesn’t “get it” and puts up a fight? Well, that’s not someone I’d want to work with again. Ever. And I’d probably drop the project and let them seek other opportunities right now (“Good luck!”).
Because this is a “duh” deal. And right now, we all need to work together to make common-sense arrangements for these uncommon times.
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If you want more tips like this on making theater in the new world from people much smarter than me, you must attend this.

Tonight on the Livestream: The Tony Nominated Will Swenson (Hair, Les Miz and more)

“What about Will Swenson?”

These are the words I’ve heard spoken at just about every single casting meeting I’ve been to, when you’re looking for a leading man that can do . . . well . . . anything.  He can play the good guy (Hair).  He can play the bad guy (Les Miz).  He can make you laugh (Disaster).

He’s also just a terrific guy that you want in your rehearsal room.

The next thing that’s said at these casting meetings by the Casing Director is, “He’s not available.”  Cuz the guy is always working, whether that’s on stage or on film or on the small screen.

So, when we were coming up with great guest ideas for you for my livestream, I said, “What about Will Swenson?”

And guess what?  He was available!  🙂

You can join me and Will TONIGHT, Tuesday, September 22nd at 8 PM ET LIVE on my Facebook, on my Twitter, or on Broadway Podcast Network’s Youtube Channel and find out what he’s been up to this pandemic, the two readings we recently did together, and MORE.

Set a reminder here!
 – – – – –

You can catch me every TUESDAY at 8pm EDT (7pm CDT/ 6pm MDT/ 5pm PDT).

Next week . . . Lea Salonga (Once On This Island, Les Miserable, Miss Saigon)!

To learn more about our guests and to support The Actors Fund, visit

Tonight on the Livestream: The Olivier (and More) Award winning Author of The Inheritance, Matthew Lopez

Let’s just cut straight to it:

My guest on tonight’s livestream wrote a play called “The best American play of the century.”

That’s right, Matthew sat down to write “The Great American Play,” and actually did it.

If that isn’t enough to get you to tune in, well, I don’t know what else I can say.

Except that The Inheritance won the Olivier Award, the Drama Desk, Evening Standard, Outer Critics and just about every other award out there for plays. Except for The Tony, that is . . . and that’s only because the Tonys never happened! (But they will soon enough and guess who is a favorite?)

Tonight we’re going to find out how this rollercoaster of a year has affected Matthew Lopez, what he’s working on next, and what advice he has to emerging writers who have ideas for 8-hour, 2-part dramas.

You can watch TONIGHT, Tuesday, September 14th at 8 PM ET on my Facebook, on my Twitter, or on Broadway Podcast Network’s Youtube Channel.

Set a reminder here!
And next week, it’s Will Swenson (Waitress, Les Miserables, Hair)!

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You can catch me every TUESDAY at 8pm EDT (7pm CDT/ 6pm MDT/ 5pm PDT).

To learn more about our guests and to support The Actors Fund, 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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