October 8, 2021: What TheaterMakers Are Talking About This Week

Here’s what TheaterMakers were talking about this week . . .

 

1 – Broadway Extends Vax Requirement

Even though it may not come as a surprise, our new normal is here to stay. . . at least for right now. The Broadway League has extended its mask and vaccination requirements through the end of 2021. Stay up to date with Broadway’s vaccine requirements below. 

Read more: www.playbill.com 

2 – IATSE Updates

Thankfully, negotiations are back on after a monumental strike authorization vote from IATSE members. Looking forward to a resolution that satisfies both sides and keeps our sister industry working. Stay up to date with the latest union decisions below. 

Read more: www.deadline.com 

3 – Dana H / Is This a Room? Downtown Hits

Almost everything about the current Broadway season is brand new, including the operation inside the Lyceum Theater. Take a look at what it takes to bring two Broadway debuts – Dana H and Is This A Room – to the same theater. . . at the same time. 

Read more: www.nytimes.com  

4 – Diana on Netflix Before Broadway

It’s not news that I’m a major supporter of more streamed theater. I believe the modern day version of a pre-Broadway concept album (basically what Andrew Lloyd Webber did with Jesus Christ Superstar) is a streaming production. Read why the team behind Diana chose to debut on Netflix before Broadway. And then ask yourself, “Would you stream your show before Broadway?”. Let me know why or why not.

Read more: www.hollywoodreporter.com  

5 – TedxBroadway 2022 

I can’t believe it’s been 11 years since the first TedxBroadway. And super kudos to my co-founders Jim McCarthy and Damian Bazadona on their announcement that the next conference will be in March 2022. . . in person and virtually! Get ready to tune in from wherever you are to celebrate and discuss the return of live theater and ask ourselves, “What’s the best Broadway can be?” 

Read more: www.playbill.com 

 

Fun on a Friday: 

The first trailer for the VERY FIRST revival of Funny Girl has just dropped, featuring Beanie Feldstein in the iconic title role. Hello, Gorgeous indeed! 

Watch the video here:

 

 

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July 23, 2021: What TheaterMakers Are Talking About This Week

Here’s what TheaterMakers were talking about this week . . .

1 – Actors’ Equity Launches Open Access Initiative

Actors’ Equity Association launched its Open Access initiative this week, effective immediately. The goal of Open Access is to create a more accessible path to membership for actors and stage managers. The program extends eligibility to anyone who can show they have worked professionally in the industry, regardless of the organization’s Equity status. Bravo, AEA! Now let’s keep breaking down those barriers.

Read more: www.playbill.com

2 – Pass Over Announces COVID Restrictions

As we begin to fully understand what our return to live performance will look like, the first shows to return will lead the way. I applaud the courageous Producers of Pass Over on Broadway, who are not only the first play to open on Broadway, but they are the first to set protocols before things are really back to normal.  And they, like Bruce Springsteen, are requiring vaccinations from its adult theatergoers. Read below for more, including some masking requirements.

Read more: www.broadwaynews.com

3 – Historic Cherry Lane Theater Sold

After almost a century of mentoring some of the most recognized writers in American Theater, the historic Cherry Lane Theatre has been sold. The Lucille Lortel Theater Foundation has obtained ownership of the theater, and will announce future plans shortly.

Read more: www.broadwaynews.com

4 – Hollywood Unions Finalize COVID-Precautions

Figuring out our ‘new normal’ is happening one day at a time and across Every. Single. Industry. And this week it happened in Hollywood as film unions announce that studios will now be able to require productions to be fully vaccinated. Do you see this happening in the theater as well?

Read more: www.nytimes.com

5 – NYC Culture Is Leading the Reopening

In case there’s anyone out there who still needs proof that New York is BACK . . . look no further than the unlimited cultural activities opening up as we speak. And I can’t wait to get back out there with you. Check out everything the city has to offer below.

Read more: www.nytimes.com

Fun on a Friday:

Watch the first clip from Netflix’s Vivo, featuring the song “Keep the Beat” by Lin-Manuel Miranda. *will imbed in WP*

Watch the video here:

 

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July 16, 2021: What TheaterMakers Are Talking About This Week

Here’s what TheaterMakers were talking about this week . . .

 

1 – Remembering Broadway Wig Designer Paul Huntley

Legendary stage and screen wig designer Paul Huntley passed away last week. I had the pleasure of working with Paul on Thoroughly Modern Millie – my first Broadway show as a Company Manager. His other credits include Sweeney Todd, Hairspray, and Cats. 

We lost a genius. Read more about Paul’s career below.

Read more: www.playbill.com 

2 – Emmy Nominations

The 2021 Emmy nominations were announced this week, which included several theatermakers getting some well-deserved recognition for their work on screen! A special congrats to MJ Rodriguez, who made history this week as the first trans woman to be nominated in the leading actress category. Find the full list of nominees below. 

Read more: www.broadway.com 

3 – Dana H + Is This a Room

When I first moved to NYC, Commercial Off-Broadway was in a crisis. Producers kept thinking of out-of-the-black-box ideas that could help restore commercial Off-Broadway to what it was before and beyond. Now, our solution for Off-Broadway is being used on Broadway, as Dana H and Is This A Room have announced their runs will SHARE the Lyceum theater this fall. More details about the productions below. 

Read more: www.broadwaynews.com  

4 – ALW Arts Activism

Andrew Lloyd Webber has been making major headlines this last year . . . and not just for his adaptation of Cinderella, which premiered last month. His shift to arts activist has taken the West End by storm, creating dozens of conversations about the arts rebuilding in a post-pandemic world. Read more below about how the composer turned arts activist has voiced his opinions on theater’s reopening on the West End.

Read more: www.nytimes.com  

5 – LMM and Philanthropy

Most people would say “art imitates life”. But for Lin-Manuel Miranda, they are one in the same. And I don’t know about you, but I can see that sentiment in everything Lin creates. Read more about the Miranda Family Fund grants and how art and philanthropy work their way into Lin’s daily life and work. 

Read more: www.apnews.com  

 

Fun on a Friday: 

Go behind the scenes of the music of Girls5Eva, featuring Broadway favorites Renee Elise Goldsberry and Sara Bareilles

 

Watch the video here:

 

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What Movie Companies Did That Streaming Companies Should Do.

In the early 2000s, I talked my way into a meeting with one of the most powerful people in Hollywood.

It was my first, big “studio” meeting. And right on brand, the meeting started an hour after its scheduled start time.

We discussed the differences between the business models of theater and film. How Hollywood owned scripts instead of licensed them. How producers in Hollywood became hired guns after they proved themselves.  

And despite all that, how a Broadway show could make MORE money than a hit movie or even a hit franchise.

(Yep, it’s true. See here to read how Wicked will make more money than Jurassic Park or ET, and see here to read how The Lion King will make more than Star Wars.)

That’s why the next thing I said to this mogul was . . .

“You know, you should have a theater department at your studio. A team to comb through your catalogs for the best adaptions.  Develop some yourself.  Market some to others. There is more gold in your mine. You need a team to dig it out.”

(Yep, I’m sure I was angling for a job – since none of my shows had hit yet.)

“Nah.  That’s not what we do.  It’s still not big enough for us.”

Flash forward almost 20 years later . . . and that studio has a theater department.

As does EVERY other major Hollywood studio.

We’re at the same moment in entertainment history that we were those 20 years ago . . . except I’m not sitting down with big ol’ Hollywood studios this time.

I’m talking to the new, upstart, streaming sites out there.

Yep, Netflix, Apple and yeah, if any of them, Amazon . . . you should have a theater department.  

You’ve already optioned some of our content. Disney with Hamilton. Apple with Come from Away. Netflix with Diana, American Son, and more.  

And you should have someone keeping an eye on what you should get next.  

But you should also have a team mining all that original content for dramatization.  

The streaming sites are in the midst of an original content war. And that war has produced so much original programming, plenty of which is ripe for a stage adaptation.

And yeah, as you can see from those articles above, it only takes one to outgross everything else you’ve done.  

So get ahead of your competitors and start a theatrical division today.

And if you need some recommendations on who to run your theater team for you, let me know.  (And no, I’m not talking about me.)

May 21, 2021: What TheaterMakers Are Talking About This Week

Here’s what TheaterMakers were talking about this week . . .

 

1 – Diana on Broadway moves up its opening night by one month

Originally announced to return on December 1, 2021, Diana will now be returning to Broadway on November 2, 2021, one month prior to the show’s Netflix premiere.

Read  more: BroadwayNews.com

 

2 – New Bill Seeks to Shake Up Broadway Ticketing Business

March Hershberg from Forbes writes about the new bill that has been introduced in the NY Senate that could kill “variable pricing” on Broadway. Read for more, but I wonder what they’ll have to say about airlines or hotels as well. Think it’ll pass?

Read more: Forbes.com

 

3 – The Golden Ratio

Stephen Langston shares his theory about “the golden ratio”, a Greek formula that could be responsible for hit musicals such as Les Mis, Miss Saigon, Phantom, Cats, and more. 

Read more: Phys.org

 

4 – Dear Evan Hansen Movie Trailer has been released!

The Dear Evan Hansen movie, starring Ben Platt who won a Tony for this role on Broadway, will premiere on September 24th, 2021. Head to the link below to watch the trailer. 

Read more: Playbill.com

 

5 – The Drama Book Shop to reopen on June 10, 2021

The Drama Book Shop is reopening this summer thanks to Broadway’s Lin Manuel Miranda, Thomas Kail, Jeffery Seller, and James L. Nederlander, the NYC theatre institution will be back up and running soon enough. 

Read more: Playbill.com

 

Fun on a Friday:

Something tells us that you need this video on this Friday. It’s cats watching CATS!

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