Overheard at Angus: Volume V

Old.timerAn Old Timer and a Medium Timer were sitting at a table near mine the other day, and this is what I heard:

Old Timer:  Did you see those reviews for XXXXX?

Medium Timer:  Yep.  Fantastic!  

Old:  How long was the line at the box office the next morning?

Medium:  At the box office?  There was no line.

Old:  Too bad for them.

Medium:  Just because there wasn't a line doesn't mean they didn't sell tickets. There was no line . . . because it's all online.

There was nothing too revelatory in their conversation, but it did get me thinking.

It wasn't too long ago that the day after a show opened, you went by the box office on the way to work to see if people were waiting in line to be the first to buy tickets.  

Not so much anymore.  

What other things are we doing right now that will be antiquated in a few years?  What thermometers are we using to judge the temperature of our shows that will be obsolete tomorrow?

Great businessmen and great producers are the ones who can figure out the answers to these questions . . before tomorrow comes. 

Overheard at Angus: Volume IV

There I sat at a local theater watering hole, pondering my Tony picks, when I noticed a pretty high-powered agent and a pretty high powered Producer, sitting down to share a drink and some dirt.

The Producer was off to see a play.  The agent had seen it.  And . . . scene:

Producer:  Listen, I’ve gotta run.  I’m seeing XXXXX tonight.Agent:  Oh yeah?  I saw it last week.

Producer:  Any good?

Agent:  The performances are excellent.

Producer:  Oh.

Agent:  What?

Producer:  You ever been set up on a blind date?

Agent:  Sure.

Producer:  I asked you if you thought the show was any good.  You told me the the performances were excellent.

Agent:  So?

Producer:  That’s like saying someone has a good personality when I ask what they look like.

And . . . scene.

– – – – –

Only 19 days left to enter The Producer’s Perspective Tony Pool.  You could win $500!

Play today!  Click here!

Overheard at Angus: Volume III

This special edition of OAA comes courtesy of a 6 year old little lady on her way to Kids’ Night on Broadway.

6 Year Old:  Umm, how come Ariel wears rollerblades in The Little Mermaid?Broadway Vet:  Sweetie, we’ve all been asking ourselves that same question.

Oh kids and their curiosity . . .

That 6 year old was going to see Shrek last night.  I wonder what she’s asking today.

But whatever she’s asking, and whatever we’re answering, at least KNOB is starting the conversation.

Take a kid to a show.

Overheard at Angus: Volume II

There I am, enjoying my burger when I hear this from two folks discussing the biz at the bar:

Broadway Guy #1:  What are you working on these days?Broadway Guy #2:  What am I working on?  What am I NOT working on!?!Broadway Guy #1:  You’ve got a bunch of things going on?  Even in this economy?

Broadway Guy #2:  Oh sure, to succeed in this business you have to work on several things at once.  Especially in this economy.

Broadway Guy #1:  I hear you.  Wasn’t it Cy Coleman that used to say that working in the biz was like gardening . . . you have to plant a lot of seeds because you never know when they’re going to sprout.

Broadway Guy #2:  Yeah, I’ve heard that. But I think working in this business is more like juggling.  You gotta have a lot of balls in the air.

Broadway Guy #1:  Yeah.  And the person with the most balls wins.

Only at Angus, kids, only at Angus.

Speaking of balls, I’ve got a discount to Blithe Spirit for you (that segue made no sense, by the way, so don’t even try to figure it out).  Blithe is in a big Broadway house, but the best seats are on the floor so I’m telling everyone to get your tickets with this deal asap, before the good ones are gone.  You want to be as close as you can get.  Angela Lansbury has four . . . count ’em, four Tony Awards.  Blithe is a chance to see one of our most magnificent actresses live on stage.  These opportunities don’t come around often.  (Are you all starting to understand why I signed on Produce this one?)

Do you know who won five Tony Awards?  Comment below!

And email me if you want the Producer discount to Blithe.

Overheard at Angus. Vol. 1.

Today marks the debut of a new feature on TPP:  Overheard at Angus.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with Angus, it’s one of a few eateries where industry muckety-mucks mix with chorus girls and share great burgers and great gossip.

It’s also where many of the industry’s greatest minds and greatest egos try and solve some of our gigantic problems.

I’m at Angus (and its other similar locales) a lot.  Every so often, I’ll hear something worth mentioning, so I will.  No names, and frankly, I’ll be using Angus in the generic form to represent anywhere I hear an idea worth discussing, whether that’s at McDonalds, Fairway, or Chelsea Studios.

This week’s Overheard involved a pretty prominent producer and an agent sharing a drink/negotiation.  Here’s the crux of the convo:

Producer:  I don’t get it.  Why such a large advance?  Of all the shows that I’ve done, the authors have made a helluva lot more than I have over the years.  They get licensing, royalties, publishing.  What do we get?  The right to produce the show in a biz with an 80% failure rate.  Thank you for that gift!  And if we fall in that 20% and actually do recoup, any profit has to be split between the 147 other producers it takes to put on a show these days.

Agent:  Come on, don’t give me that.  You get weekly royalties and fees, too.

Producer:  Yes, which go towards running an office that helps run the show.

Agent:  You get a share of licensing, too.

Producer:  Wrong.  The show gets a piece of licensing.  Which means that the investors get it if the show hasn’t recouped, as they should.  The Producer doesn’t get anything in those cases.

 (At this point, Mr. Producer ordered another Jack and Coke.)

Agent:  So what are you saying?  You don’t think they should make that much?  These guys write the shows.  Without them, you can’t produce a thing.  You might as well go into manufacturing widgets.

Producer:  No, that’s not what I’m saying at all.  They wrote it.  And if it’s a hit, they should get rich, and they should get rich before I do. Andrew Lloyd Webber deserves every penny.  What I’m saying is . . . if the chances of me ever making any money are less than the chances afforded to the authors . . . shouldn’t they be the ones giving us an advance?

Only at Angus, kids . . . only at Angus.