Podcast Episode 172 – Broadway Star and Artrepreneur, Sierra Boggess

In my podcast with Broadway Star Danny Burstein, I remarked how I had been remiss in asking Actors to appear on the podcast.  Why had I overlooked these artists?

Well, in so many cases, Actors are one of the last ingredients added to the making of a play or musical (whether or not that’s a good thing will be the subject of a blog in the coming month).  So I was looking for people that were involved in earlier stages.

And that was a @#$% up.

So one of my goals in 2019 was to include more of these super-important Theater Makers on this series . . . and I’m happy to announce that we’re off to an awesome start because this week’s podcast is with none other than Broadway star, Sierra Boggess (who is also the first ActRESS we’ve had on the show).

If you haven’t seen Sierra perform, then, well, you’ve missed out on seeing someone do exactly what they are supposed to be doing with their life.  Her way with a song, a lyric, or just an introduction is as entertaining, uplifting or as heartbreaking as she wants . . . and she makes it all seem so easy.

It’s no wonder why Disney tapped her for The Little Mermaid and why she bounced back and forth between mega-musicals by Cameron Mackintosh, Andrew Lloyd Webber and more.

Hear Sierra talk about all that, as well as …

  • The big risk she took to get the role of Ariel and what put her over the edge in the room.
  • How she stays positive when the business disappoints her, through no fault of her own.
  • Her style of working with writers on new musicals and how that has changed over the years.  (And she’s currently in Atlanta on a pre-Broadway tryout of Ever After!)
  • Why she created “Light Lessons” for artists and everyone.  (Click here to check them out. I’ve got a set on my desk.)
  • Marketing for Performers:  What’s important, necessary . . . and what isn’t.

Enjoy the podcast and don’t forget to subscribe!

Click here for my podcast with Sierra!

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

Download it here.

My 5 Friday Finds: Killin’ it, Zippin’ it and Colorin’ it.


  1. Zip it up.

Weeks ago I was looking for a CFO.  I found one on ZipRecruiter.  So I gotta give ’em a shout.

  1. What’s the next one of these?

To Kill A Mockingbird is killing it at the box office.  This week it became the highest grossing single-week play in Broadway history with a tally of over $1.7mm.  Super props to Superstar Producer Scott Rudin for wrestling these rights to the ground.  Can you believe the estate almost pulled their permission?  I bet those lawyers are thanking their luck 1-2% underlying rights royalty that they let it happen.

Now how many other Authors of classic family novels do you think are being approached now that these box office numbers have come in?

  1. Speaking of hiring . . .

I like to hire entrepreneurs.  One of my questions during my interview process is, “Have you ever run your own business?”  Well, my marketing director has a kick-ass niche coloring book company.  She makes custom books based on whatever subject you want.  My favorite?  “Dress The Drag Queen”.

  1. The Notebook is coming to Broadway . . . and it’s NOT this one.

Waaay back in 2009, I wrote a blog about an actress who had defied the odds and snagged the rights for a musical version of The Notebook.  I even went to see it and spoke to Nicholas Sparks myself.  Well, The Notebook is finally coming to Broadway . . . but with an entirely new team including Ingrid Michaelson.  See here.

  1. I feel “Medium” about it.

It took a few years, but Medium.com is making more of a name for itself now, even though it’s struggling to make more money. Founded by the founder of Twitter (which is also struggling), it mixes pro and amateur publishers together in an online magazine.  I think it’s pretty nifty to read what real people think, and I’ll actually be publishing an article there soon myself.  It’s worth signing on and getting articles in your inbox that you actually want to read.

Enjoy your weekend, and I hope you find a top five worth writing about.

Broadway’s Top 5 Moments in 2018

I know, it’s 2019 already.  But you all know I like to do things a little bit differently, so while everyone else was publishing away their listicles about their favorite moments on Broadway in 2018 over the last few weeks, I laid in the weeds.

And now you haven’t seen one in a while, so hopefully you’re jonesin’ for another.

Well, here are my Top 5 Broadway Moments of the past 12 months, in no particular order.

  1.  A Super Superstar

The live telecast of JCS couldn’t have been better if JCS had directed it himself.  Perfectly timed for its Easter airing, it pushed the art (and ratings) of the tele-musical to another level, ensuring that we’ll continue to get them for the foreseeable future.  Oh, and even if you didn’t like the telecast, I bet you found yourself saying, “Damn, I forgot how good this musical really is.”  (We lost Craig Zadan, one of the masterminds behind the production, in what was one of the worst moments in 2018. To hear his podcast with producing partner, Neil Meron, click here.)

  1. Yep, they really did that.

The fact that the totally original Broadway Musical The Prom was given a spot on NBC’s Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Day Parade was reason to celebrate all by itself . . . and then the executives let the two love interests kiss.  Spoiler alert: they were both girls, in what was the Parade’s first same-sex kiss.  And this wasn’t during prime time.  This was during FAMILY prime time.  Good for NBC for staring the social media backlash in the face and letting love win.

  1. Look what’s grossing $1mm+?  MANY plays.

The million dollar club used to be reserved for a select few touristy musicals . . .  and every Disney show.  Now, here ‘s a crop of plays demanding top dollar.  The Ferryman (at over 3 hours), Network, Lifespan of a Fact, To Kill A Mockingbird . . . and of course Harry Potter (but that doesn’t really count) . . .  are all grossin’ like musicals.  Perhaps these high flyers will mean that plays will actually start getting more theaters again, after a few years of medium-sized musicals pushing them out of playhouses.

  1. The Band’s Visit Doesn’t Win One Tony . . . It Wins 10.We all knew TBV was going to win the big prize.  But it just kept racking ’em up, award after award after award, proving once again that voters vote their ‘art’ and that there’s no such thing as a road vote.  It’s why this show won too (which also is a fave moment of mine – duh).
  1. It’s still VERY “Popular”.

Sure, sure, there’s a lot of talk about Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen, deservedly so.  But there’s so much chatter about the new kids on the Broadway blocks that we tend to forget that Wicked has been running and raking it in for 15+ years now.  NBC didn’t forget when they gave it a huge publicity push with a 15th anniversary televised concert that reunited Idina and Kristen (only first names needed).  It was a wicked reminder that we’ve got a massive mega-hit in our backyard that could run longer than many of the newbies.  And wait until THAT movie comes out.

What was your favorite moment of 2018?  Share it below!

– – – – –

Have you set your New Year’s Resolution yet?  Or maybe you did but you’ve already fallen off track?

Join me next Tuesday, January 8th at 7 PM for a one hour webinar, “How To Set New Year’s Resolutions You Stick With And Actually Accomplish.”  It’s guaranteed to help you achieve exactly what you want to achieve.  Join us here.

Broadway Grosses w/e 12/30/2018: A Smashing (New) Year!

As predicted, last year’s records were used to fuel Time Square’s confetti cannons, as each one was blown to smithereens! From Disney to British plays to American Plays, box office records were smashed and shouted from the rooftops.  All this totaled to an astonishing $57M week, which was a 15% increase over the week last year.

Among the notable records was Hamilton, crossing the $4M mark and Harry Potter grossing $2.5M, the highest for any play in Broadway history.  Life after The Boss is OK after all….

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

Show Name GrossGross TotalAttn %Capacity AvgPdAdm
ALADDIN $2,584,549.00 15,545 100.01% $166.26
AMERICAN SON $706,992.20 5,847 94.43% $120.92
ANASTASIA $1,339,777.20 10,157 98.74% $131.91
BEAUTIFUL $1,018,891.20 8,734 94.59% $116.66
CHICAGO $1,247,276.97 9,737 100.17% $128.10
CHOIR BOY $258,753.50 4,428 86.89% $58.44
COME FROM AWAY $1,675,276.50 9,613 102.11% $174.27
DEAR EVAN HANSEN $1,932,472.00 7,997 101.59% $241.65
FROZEN $2,624,495.00 13,449 99.83% $195.14
HAMILTON $4,041,493.00 10,766 101.87% $375.39
HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD, PARTS ONE AND TWO $2,525,850.00 12,976 100.00% $194.66
HEAD OVER HEELS $383,200.00 6,396 73.80% $59.91
KING KONG $1,847,782.02 14,878 95.12% $124.20
KINKY BOOTS $1,332,384.95 11,566 90.25% $115.20
MEAN GIRLS $1,994,386.00 9,901 101.03% $201.43
MY FAIR LADY $1,549,407.00 8,494 99.32% $182.41
NETWORK $1,367,012.84 8,201 101.00% $166.69
ONCE ON THIS ISLAND $757,809.70 5,742 103.13% $131.98
PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL $1,266,709.20 8,925 95.52% $141.93
SCHOOL OF ROCK $1,757,095.50 13,824 100.85% $127.10
SUMMER $1,094,723.00 10,343 78.18% $105.84
THE BAND’S VISIT $1,045,860.30 8,907 95.25% $117.42
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,926,329.00 9,839 104.41% $195.79
THE CHER SHOW $1,373,614.00 9,957 90.19% $137.95
THE FERRYMAN $1,037,447.40 7,885 96.72% $131.57
THE ILLUSIONISTS – MAGIC OF THE HOLIDAYS $2,978,348.70 21,950 83.75% $135.69
THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT $1,062,802.80 8,665 95.89% $122.65
THE LION KING $3,696,974.00 15,267 100.02% $242.15
THE NEW ONE $464,061.00 5,655 65.88% $82.06
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $2,091,530.26 14,289 98.92% $146.37
THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG $623,414.00 6,650 97.34% $93.75
THE PROM $936,581.60 8,876 94.38% $105.52
THE WAVERLY GALLERY $462,999.50 6,189 87.38% $74.81
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD $1,701,683.59 11,672 101.67% $145.79
TORCH SONG $244,596.00 3,309 70.71% $73.92
TRUE WEST $278,726.90 2,906 98.18% $95.91
WAITRESS $1,000,718.20 8,527 90.66% $117.36
WICKED $3,411,819.00 17,334 100.00% $196.83
TOTALS $57,807,272.33 378,910 92.73% $141.59
+/- THIS WEEK LAST SEASON +$7,53,159.98      


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

Broadway Grosses w/e 12/23/2018: The Holiday Wind Up

The penultimate week of the year typically bears gifts and this year did not disappoint.  Despite many shows choosing to play seven performances this week (and nine in the following week), grosses inched up about $1M to a total of $41M.  The average paid ticket price for all shows was a healthy $134.

Expect next week’s gross to break more records as Broadway wraps up another banner year.

Happy holidays, everyone!

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

Show Name GrossGross TotalAttn %Capacity AvgPdAdm
ALADDIN $1,752,473.40 13,585 98.33% $129.00
AMERICAN SON $555,073.76 4,635 74.85% $119.76
ANASTASIA $854,240.60 7,886 86.24% $108.32
BEAUTIFUL $596,233.00 5,443 66.31% $109.54
CELEBRITY AUTOBIOGRAPHY $65,859.00 1,384 84.49% $47.59
CHICAGO $624,418.81 6,109 80.81% $102.21
CHOIR BOY $172,471.00 4,187 82.16% $41.19
COME FROM AWAY $1,068,405.70 7,471 102.03% $143.01
DEAR EVAN HANSEN $1,642,987.55 7,991 101.51% $205.60
FROZEN $2,109,577.00 13,317 98.85% $158.41
HAMILTON $3,612,858.00 10,755 101.77% $335.92
HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD, PARTS ONE AND TWO $2,228,592.00 12,976 100.00% $171.75
HEAD OVER HEELS $206,949.25 3,656 47.46% $56.61
KING KONG $1,114,273.75 11,075 79.65% $100.61
KINKY BOOTS $669,673.05 6 673 66.94% $100.36
MEAN GIRLS $1,589,811.20 9 846 100.47% $161.47
MY FAIR LADY $1,106,045.00 7,261 84.90% $152.33
NETWORK $1,211,044.35 8,081 99.52% $149.86
ONCE ON THIS ISLAND $534,169.80 5,519 99.12% $96.79
PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL $1,011,053.80 7,992 85.53% $126.51
SCHOOL OF ROCK $988,509.70 9,567 78.52% $103.32
SUMMER $492,604.00 5,761 55.99% $85.51
THE BAND’S VISIT $731,625.84 6,843 82.33% $106.92
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,365,850.50 8,672 103.53% $157.50
THE CHER SHOW $1,122,055.40 8,793 79.65% $127.61
THE FERRYMAN $791,861.20 6,160 75.56% $128.55
THE ILLUSIONISTS – MAGIC OF THE HOLIDAYS $1,439,258.20 13,425 91.07% $107.21
THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT $839,865.50 6,787 84,50% $123,75
THE LION KING $2,761,271.00 13,560 99,94% $203,63
THE NEW ONE $323,354.54 4,530 52.77% $71.38
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $1,345,228.54 12,305 95.83% $109.32
THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG $380,378.14 5,286 77.37% $71.96
THE PROM $583,380.70 6,363 76.11% $91.68
THE WAVERLY GALLERY $363,740.00 5,174 82.18% $70.30
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD $1,586,946.02 11,644 101.43% $136.29
TORCH SONG $217,970.00 2,992 63.93% $72.85
WAITRESS $547,519.00 5,350 73.14% $102.34
WICKED $2,264,992.00 15,340 99.56% $147.65
TOTALS $41,012,369.65 308,489 83.56% $119.71
+/- THIS WEEK LAST SEASON +$5,216,156.35      

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

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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