The Sunday Giveaway: 2 Tickets to The Off-Broadway Co-Pro of The Shaggs

What I love about the theater is that even competitors can find a way to work together.

In the wake of the financial crisis, several non-profit theaters around the country got creative about how they could continue to produce new works despite a challenging fundraising environment.  Rather than shortening their seasons, many took a lesson from The Godfather and made it their own—by not only keeping their enemies closer, but actually making them their friends.

And thus, the co-production was born, as two (or more) non-profits shared in development costs, production costs, etc.  And everyone, audience included, got to reap the benefits.

This idea was so successful, that even now that we’re climbing out of the financial worm hole we’ve been in for 2+ years, the concept continues.

There’s an example of a co-production happening right now Off-Broadway, featuring the Wonder Twin powers of two of NY’s heavyweight non-profits, Playwights Horizons and New York Theatre Workshop.

The show?  The Shaggs by Joy Gregory, Gunnar Madsen and John Langs.

The Shaggs is a new musical based on a true story about a male Mama Rose, trying to turn his 3 talentless daughters into Rock & Rock icons, whether they like it or not.

And we’ve got tickets!

Here’s how you can win two tickets to The Shaggs:

Comment below, and tell me . . . in one sentence, why you should get the tickets.  For example, “I should win the two tickets to The Shaggs because I actually believed The Rapture was going to happen and now I need something to get me out of my depression.”


Comment away and I’ll pick a winner.  Good luck!

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– Come to our Tony Awards Party!  Click here for more info and to get your ticket now!

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Special Saturday Post: A seminar summary.

Our seminar schedule has been all over the map recently, so I wanted to spell it out clearly for you (and for me, frankly, so I know what I'm talking about, and where I'm talking about it!).

So here's the scoop on the upcoming seminars in New York City and other locations:

Get Your Show Off The Ground – New York City

Saturday, June 25th                 
Saturday, September 17th
Saturday, November 19th

Time:  2 – 6PM
Location:  Davenport Studio

Book it!  

Get Your Show Off The Ground – Minneapolis

Sunday, May 15th 

Time:  1 – 3PM
Location:  The Guthrie

Book it!  

Get Your Show Off The Ground – London

Sunday, June 6th

Time:  7 – 10PM
Location:  TBD

Book it!  

Broadway Investing 101 – New York City

Tuesday, May 3rd
Tuesday, May 31st
Tuesday, June 28th
Tuesday, July 26th
Tuesday, August 30th

Time:  6:30 – 8PM
Location:   Davenport Studio

Book it!

Broadway Investing 101 – Minneapolis

Sunday, May 15th

Time:  6:30 – 8PM
Location:  The Guthrie

Book it!


To learn more about the seminars, and to book your spot, click here!

Can't make a seminar?  I offer consulting services both in person and on the phone, both to individuals and groups.  Click here.

1/3 of the musicals currently running on Broadway . . .

. . . are based on a pre-existing musical catalog or are known as a so-called jukebox musical.


1 out of 3.


I know you’ve probably thought about this before, but I just couldn’t help mentioning it.  It’s quite a trend, don’t you think?

So why is this?

Is it because the music and the artist behind it provides a pre-existing brand that is makes it easier to market?


Is it also because putting a musical together when the score is already written is a heck of a lot faster than writing a musical from scratch?

Why yes, I think that’s part of it as well.

And what about the fact that two of the most successful musicals of the last ten years are jukebox musicals?

Easier and faster . . . and more profitable.

Unfortunately, all these things mean that we’re going to see more of these jukebox musicals in the future, whether we like or not.

Want to do something about it?

We just have to come up with other ways to make original things easier, faster and more profitable.

And if we don’t, I think we’ll need a third Tony category soon enough:  Original, revival and jukebox.

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– Play “Will It Recoup?”  You can win a Kindle!  Click here and enter today!

– Need a writing partner?  Come to our Collaborator Speed Date!  RSVP today!

– Enter this Sunday’s Giveaway!  Win 2 tickets to see Priscilla Queen of the Desert!  Click here!

What will tomorrow’s audience want from their theater?

Yesterday, we chatted about how difficult it is to get the multitasking generation to the theater because they can lay on their couch and channel surf, web surf and Wii surf, all at the same time.

That got me thinking . . .

There have been a number of theories tossed around lately about how the current crop of musicals on Broadway have a certain sound or are from popular musical catalogs, because the current theater-going demographic (folks 40+) is the first group of theater-lovers who grew up on rock and roll.

Simply put, the traditional sound of musicals has changed, because the traditional audience has changed.

Well, in the 1980s, another entertainment game-changer hit the stores:  the personal computer and the video game.

According to my calculations, that puts us about 10 years away from the next group of 40 year olds who grew up on something that their parents didn’t; a something that had a major impact on their lives, and their entertainment.

So . . . if Rock and Roll had such an effect on our product . . .  can you imagine the effect that the computer will have on our product?  Or the video game?

Or, I guess what I’m saying is . . . our audience is about to turn upside down pretty dang soon.  The computer is the car of the last 30 years.  And that’s going to have a ripple effect and change what people want from their theater.

If you’re a writer, get ready to adapt and expand, because our audience is going to want so much more if we expect them to turn off and sit still for two hours.

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Update:  I wrote the above blog two days before this article about the “Theater of the Arcade” appeared in the NY Times.  Read it here.  Interesting stuff on its way.

Sing. Sing a “long.” Make it simple . . .

No, this isn’t a post about a Carpenters jukebox musical (although I did inquire about the rights to that catalog about 10 years ago).

This is a post about another property I went after, but was denied . . . because the film company had their own plans.

This Thursday, the ‘Grease Movie Sing-A-Long’ opens at the Loews Village 7 in New York City and all over the country. (Full disclosure, when I was inspired to try and do a Grease sing-a-long, I went after the rights to Grease 2.  Why 2?  Well, I never thought I’d get the rights to the original, and, I mean, come on . . .. can you imagine a sing-a-long to “We’re Gonna Boooooooowl tonight!”)?

If you’re not sure what a sing-a-long is, well, it’s exactly what it sounds like.  The movie plays, along with karaoke-like lyrics (“Summer lovin’, had me a blast!”), and the audience is encouraged to sing along with the film score.  In addition, audiences are encouraged to dress up, slick their hair and more.  Hopefully, a Rocky Horror element emerges as well, and props and choreography are incorporated (Hand jive, anyone?).  Sing-a-long movies started with The Sound of Music way back in 2000 (and I believe the craze started in Europe).

It has taken a decade, but Grease, and its 4 chords, 3 jokes, and billions of fans, looks to be the biggest one yet (“Summer Nights” is one of the most requested karaoke songs of all time).

The New York Times wrote a piece about the sing-a-long, which included some very insightful comments from Adam Goodman, president of the Paramount Film Group, which apply to what we do as well.  Adam said, “The goal is to create a true event.  How do you get groups of young people going to the movies and having a great time?”

The author of the article continues with Adam’s query.

The key term is “young.”  Older movie goers may still prefer to sit in silence, but younger audiences, the ones studios work hardest to motivate off the sofa – are increasingly programmed to interact and multitask.  Sitting quietly in a theater starts to feel like a bore when you can watch the DVD at home while texting a friend, playing a video game and posting witty comments on Facebook.

Creating unique events are essential for anyone producing entertainment in today’s market, especially if you are trying to get young people off the couch, and off their phones, and their Facebooks, and whatever else they are on these days.

But what do today’s multitasking generation’s habits mean for tomorrow’s market?

Whoa . . . that’s heavy.  I need a night to think about it.  Tune in tomorrow.

In the meantime, here’s a little cerebral palette cleanser.  And while you’re watching it, sing along . . . and maybe Paramount will hear us.

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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