Dreaming About The Future Of Streaming (thanks to Hamilton).

Oh, if all of my shows could be like Hamilton.

Sure, sure, I’d like the Pulitzer and the Tonys and the billion bucks.

But what I’m talking about now is the giant treasure they had tucked in a vault . . . that they pulled out in the midst of this pandemic.

Yep, I’m talking about the movie they released on Disney+ last week that increased downloads of the D+ app by 74%!

And what I’m dreaming about and proposing for Broadway’s future is that every single play and musical on Broadway films performances of their original cast in the week after opening (just like we record a cast album at about the same time).

And we tuck that sucker away in a vault.

Sounds easy, and I bet you’re nodding your head right now in agreement.

But it’s not that easy.

It’s expensive.

See, Hamilton could afford it. Not only did they have cash to burn, but they also knew there would be a market for their product in the future. (Little did they know what role the movie would play in keeping their brand and Broadway’s brand alive.)

Most plays and musicals do NOT have cash to burn when they open. In fact, most new shows are losing money when they open and therefore can’t afford to invest in a risky insurance policy like spending millions on a shoot.

Never mind that the shoot would have had to be planned months before. (We could try to build this cost into the capitalization, but that might increase the budget by 10-20%, and it’s not like raising previous budgets were a piece of cake.)

So what to do?

In order to capture all of the new shows for posterity and for future revenue opportunities for everyone, including the actors, musicians, and stagehands, we must lower the costs of the capture themselves.

I mean, I’m kicking myself for not having ALL of my shows in a vault right now. I could roll them out and everyone involved would get a check.

But it was too pricey to record Spring Awakening, Once on This Island, Gettin’ the Band Back Together, etc. (And I know that for a fact because I budgeted them all.)

We must reinvent this model in how the labor is paid for video capture (especially since a capture doesn’t require any additional work on behalf of the labor) and then give the labor MORE if/when the capture is distributed.

Think about it this way . . .

It costs a few hundred thousand dollars to record a cast album. And the cast/musicians have to spend a day in a studio, on their day off, recording it. It’s a lot of work. (And most cast albums aren’t making any money, btw).

It can cost 10x as much to capture a show on video. And the labor is paid more than they get for a cast album. . . even though no additional work is required.  For video shoots, the show could be recorded during a regularly scheduled performance (or several).  (If any additional work was required for the shoot – additional rehearsals, etc, then the labor should be paid).

If we lower the cost of capture (please note that I’m saying lower, not eliminate), then every show could put their product in a vault. And then, if the show is a hit and Disney+ or Netflix comes around, then EVERYONE gets paid.

Or give the Producer the option . . . pay the Hamilton model, or pay the bonus-back-end model.

We’re going to need a lot of new models post-pandemic. This is one that could provide an all-important revenue stream for everyone in the future.

Call it COVID-insurance.

And I just kicked myself again for not having it.

– – – –

Want to hear more about streaming from people who know more about it than me?  Sign up now for our 3 part video series about the 3 subjects most on your mind, including streaming . . . featuring the heads of BroadwayWorld and BroadayOnDemand.  See here.

Know what tonight is?

It’s the Altar Boyz reunion!

It has been 15 (!) years since my first musical opened Off Broadway, and tonight we’re reuniting the original cast and creative team on my Facebook live at 8 PM Eastern!

Tune in and you’ll see:

Scott Porter, Matthew

Tyler Maynard, Mark

Andy Karl, Luke

Ryan Duncan, Juan

David Josefsberg, Abraham

Kevin Kern (“Wonder-study” #1)

Daniel Torres (“Wonder-study” #2)

and

Gary Adler and Michael Patrick Walker, Composers & Lyricists

Kevin Del Aguila, Bookwriter

Marc Kessler, Co-Conceiver

Robyn Goodman, Producer

Stafford Arima, Director

Christopher Gattelli, Choreographer

Lynne Shankel, Music Director & Co-Orchestrator

and funny lady Susan Blackwell is hosting!

And in addition to some crazy stories from the Boyz, we’re also going to release a BRAND NEW ALTAR BOYZ VIDEO!

Click here to get the reminder and join us! Be sure to tune in on my Facebook, on my Twitter, on Broadway Podcast Network’s Youtube Channel, or on Broadway on Demand.

See you then.

 

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.

NEW Altar Boyz Video and Our Reunion: Take II

Ok, boyz and girls. Now we’re really getting the band back together!

Thank you for your patience as we rescheduled our previously announced Altar Boyz reunion – but we’re now set for July 9th at 8 PM!

And because you’ve been so patient, we’ve added some extra surprises.

We recruited self-proclaimed Altarholic and Broadway star-herself, SUSAN BLACKWELL, to host!  You know Susan from the original cast of [title of show], Now Here This, a whole bunch of TV, the incredible podcast The Spark Fileand lots more. (Watch her on our livestream and you’ll see how much fun she is on these things.)

AND . . . we’ve gathered about 40 of our Boyz from all of our different casts . . . New York, National Tours, and more . . . to record a special version of a signature ABz tune. Watch below!

And then make sure you set a reminder to tune in to our livestream on July 9th at 8 PM to see original cast members including:

Scott Porter, Matthew

Tyler Maynard, Mark

Andy Karl, Luke

Ryan Duncan, Juan

David Josefsberg, Abraham

Kevin Kern (“Wonder-study” #1)

Daniel Torres (“Wonder-study” #2)

As well as:

Gary Adler and Michael Patrick Walker, Composers & Lyricists

Kevin Del Aguila, Bookwriter

Marc Kessler, Co-Conceiver

Robyn Goodman, Producer

Stafford Arima, Director

Christopher Gattelli, Choreographer

Lynne Shankel, Music Director & Co-Orchestrator

 

And you can count on at least one surprise guest, if not more . . . and maybe even another SONG???

So if you’re an Altarholic, tune in on Thursday, July 9th to The Producer’s Perspective LIVE! at 8 PM and hear all about how the show was developed, how we found that cast and much more.  And the Boyz will even take some questions!

Oh, and the more you donate to The Actors Fund, the juicier the stories get.

 

WATCH THE NEW ALTAR BOYZ VIDEO BELOW!

 

 

Click here to get a reminder for the Altar Boyz reunion on Thursday, July 9th at 8pm EDT / 7pm CDT / 6pm MDT / 5pm PDT.

And if you need an Altar fix now, listen to the cast recording: on Spotify, on Amazon, and on Apple Music.

 

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.

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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