Podcast Episode 10 – Damian Bazadona

 

It wasn’t too long ago that the most buzzed phrase around the biz was “The future of advertising is online.”  Broadway (and the rest of the world) got swept up in the digital marketing revolution so fast that our head is still spinning.

(I can remember exactly where I was when I first heard about an “AdWord.”  And, just like some of my older peers can talk about the days when Broadway tickets were only a dollar, I can talk about the days when AdWords were only a nickel!)

It has been a whirlwind for sure, and while our industry will always lag behind so many other industries in our adoption of new technology (primarily because our audience is older and doesn’t adopt it as fast as, say, the music audience), one guy has been making sure that we not only stay relevant, but that we’re also pushing into new digital frontiers.

And that guy’s name is Damian Bazadona.

Damian is the founder and man-in-charge of Situation Interactive, arguably Broadway’s first online agency, and he’s my guest on the podcast this week!  And why sure, you should listen to this podcast if you want a lesson in how “tech” can help theater expand its audience (and how it can help your show), but what I love about Damian is that he’s the industry’s top digital mind . . . yet his ideas, his initiatives, his campaigns are so rooted in classic,  ol’ school marketing.  It’s like this . . . Michelangelo and da Vinci were both classic painters.  They just used different brushes.  Damian uses a digital brush to paint some of the coolest marketing campaigns around (including for the Super Bowl).  But he’s a marketer first and foremost.

Listen in to hear . . .

  • What Damian has in common with Al Gore.
  • How he got more Twitter followers for a Broadway musical than a major brand and major celebrities.
  • Where he was and what he did to boost If/Then sales when John Travolta butchered Idina’s name of the Oscars.
  • Why Broadway should give away 15% of its inventory every year to kids who can’t afford it, and why it wouldn’t cost us a penny.

If that last bullet point doesn’t get you listening, then I don’t know what will.

But the other reason you should listen to him is that as you can see by the picture in this blog, Damian is a young gun.  And he loves Broadway.  So we’ll be listening to him for a loooooong time.  Might as well start now.

Enjoy!

Listen to it above.

Listen to it on iTunes here.  (And give me a rating, while you’re there!)

Download it here.

To read the transcript, click here.

Podcast Episode 9 – Jordan Roth

 

You probably think you know what theater owners do.

It’s in their moniker – they just own theaters, right?  So all they do is sit atop their perch and decide what shows to let occupy their landmarked buildings and then have lunch at Sardi’s as the rent rolls in.

Right?

I guess they could do that.  But none of the theater owners I know do.  With great power comes great responsibility.  Theater owners are the curators of Broadway.  They are the protectors of the tradition.  They guarantee all of our futures.

And Jordan Roth, President of Jujamcyn Theaters, takes that responsibility seriously.

If you think you know what theater owners do, then you’ve got to listen to today’s podcast with Jordan, the youngest of the theater owners (or as I refer to him, “the first theater owner with a Facebook page”).  Jordan’s reign will be long, and as evidenced by everything he’s already done, it’s going to be historic.  Listen in to hear . . .

  • Jordan’s “three bucket challenge” if you want a show in one of his theaters (which seems to be working well, since four of the five Jujamcyn theaters host Tony Award winners for Best Musical).
  • How coming out affected his choice of a career.
  • How his first show as a Producer, the interactive The Donkey Show, still stays with him in everything he does.
  • His simple solution for one of Broadway’s greatest challenges – the lines at the bathroom.

It’s always a treat to get an audience with a theater owner, and I’m so thankful that Jordan sat down with me so you can share in that experience.  But as you’ll hear, Jordan cares more about the audience than anything.  And that’s why I know we’re in very good hands.

Listen in . . .

Click the link above.

Listen to it on iTunes here.  (And give me a rating, while you’re there!)

Download it here.

To read the transcript, click here.

Podcast Episode 8 – Hal Luftig

 

Yes, my blog and subsequent podcast is called The Producer’s Perspective.

And yes, as crazy as it sounds, I haven’t had a Broadway Producer on the podcast!

Until now!

And how fitting that our first Producer on the podcast is the first Producer I worked for as a Broadway Company Manager . . . none other than Hal Luftig, who has already been to the podium twice to collect Best Musical Tony Awards for Thoroughly Modern Millie (the one I worked on) and Kinky Boots (which I’m a Producer on).

But Hal has seen all sides of the business, having worked his way up from working in an Off Broadway Theater, and subsequently producing Off Broadway shows, until he started producing big Broadway ones.

And now he’s going to tell you all his secrets, including . . .

  • What he believes modern Producers need to know to succeed.
  • How Audra McDonald is helping him cross something off his bucket list.
  • The wise words his therapist of a husband has told him that keeps him going through the tough times.
  • The secret to campaigning for a Best Musical Tony Award.

You’re gonna learn a lot from this podcast . . . and if you’re like me, you’re also gonna be super inspired.

Enjoy Hal!  (And don’t forget to subscribe, because next week I speak to one of the most powerful people in the biz . . . a theater owner.  Which one?  Tune in to find out!)

Listen to it on iTunes here.  (And give me a rating, while you’re there!)

Download it here.

To read the transcript, click here.

Podcast Episode 7 – Todd Haimes

 

Everyone on the commercial side of the industry thinks the non-profits have it so easy.  They can take donations, stars will work for scale, and so on.  I had a feeling there was another side to this story, which is why for Episode #7, I went to the King of all Non-Profits, Mr. Todd Haimes, the Artistic Director of arguably one of the most powerful non-profit theaters in the world, the Roundabout Theatre Company.

How did the Roundabout become one of the most powerful non-profit theaters in the world?

Two words.

Todd Haimes.

It was under Todd’s leadership that the theater emerged from bankruptcy, acquired three (!) Broadway houses, and expanded its mission to produce classic musicals which eventually yielded productions like Cabaret with Alan Cumming.

So how did this all happen?  You’ll find out on this week’s podcast, where Todd tells me . . .

  • Why he’s an Artistic Director that doesn’t direct.
  • The three seminal moments that made Roundabout what it is today.
  • How Roundabout almost went bust . . . more than once, and how his gut turned it around.
  • Why never having a “master plan” was the best plan anyone could ever make.
  • Why he hates premium pricing.

After listening to this podcast, you’ll not only realize how challenging it is running a non-pro in this city, but you’ll also realize how lucky the Roundabout is . . . and how lucky the theater is . . . to have Todd in charge.

Click the link above to listen.

Click here to listen and subscribe on iTunes.

Download it here.

Click here for the transcript.

Podcast Episode 6 – Michael Riedel

If you don’t know Michael Riedel and his twice weekly gossip column in the NY Post, well, you’re going to be hooked now.  Every Wednesday and Friday, the entire biz scoops up the Post just to read his scoopy column, where he breaks news, busts chops, and builds careers . . . all in a couple hundred words or less.

But there’s a lot about Michael that you may not know, which is why I sat down with the writer for Episode 6 of my podcast.  And over a 45 minute chat, Michael talked about:

  • Why he never wanted to be a reviewer.
  • What it was like having Arthur Miller work for him.
  • Where he gets his gossip.

And more!

Click the link above to listen,  listen to it on iTunes here (And give me a rating, while you’re there!), read the transcript here, or download it here.

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