Is it ok if these guys stop by your house tonight?

Tonight, at 7 PM Eastern Time The Doo Wop Project, a guy group featuring stars of Motown and Jersey Boys, who sing tight harmonies and have even tighter dance moves . . . are performing LIVE!

That’s right!

This ain’t no zoom concert of Brady Bunch video boxes.  The guys will be together at Shubert Studios (under strict covid-19 protocols of course), bringing you the best cure for this pandemic besides a vaccine . . . joy.

And you can see them strut their stuff from your couch by clicking here.

I’m even offering a “dancing” guarantee.  If these guys don’t get your moving your head and boppin’ along, you can ask for your $25 back.

(Oh, and check out the VIP options that give you a chance to watch tech!)

Hope you’ll join us.  I’ve been waiting for ’em all week.

Click here to get a ticket for TONIGHT at 7 PM Eastern!

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P.S.  Watch this space tomorrow for the announcement of our NEXT virtual event!  Or sign up here!

When will Broadway come back? And two more burning questions . . . and answers! [UPDATED]

I must hear this question ten times a day.
 
“So when will Broadway come back?”
 
And then there are the two follow-ups.
 
“What will the box office look like when it does?”
 
“What does all this mean for our Artists and the Audience?”
 
These are not good questions. They are great questions.
 
And I hear them from the press. From my investors. From college students.
 
I hear them from people who don’t even go to the theater!
 
“When will Broadway come back?”
“When will the theater come back?”
 
“When will I be able to perform in a show/invest in a show/SEE A SHOW again?”
 
These questions are on everyone’s mind.
 
And the ten times I hear these questions a day . . . are on top of the ten times I ask myself the same questions! 
That’s why it’s about time I answered them. And answered them with more specifics, more predictions, and more, no holds barred “this is what I believe and this is how we make it better” takeaways.
 
But not here.
 
See, it’s hard for me to write these answers.
 
First, the answers are going to be longer than my average 200-or-so blogged words.
 
Second, I need more visuals.
 
Third, some of the things I say may get me into a bit of trouble.
 
That’s why I’m going to answer these questions in a three-part private video series. One video for each of these questions:
 
Video 1: When will Broadway come back?
Video 2: What will the box office look like when it does?
Video 3: What does that mean for our Artists and Audiences?
 
In these videos you’ll hear me talk about . . .
  • My predictions for when Broadway will come back (and when it should come back)
  • The type of recovery our box office will have (which has changed in the last few weeks)
  • How Broadway’s return affects theater around the rest of the country world, including wherever you live.
  • The stimulus package the theater will need for a successful opening . . . and why we can’t count on the government to give it to us.
  • And some other subjects that I’m still researching.
The first video drops next Wednesday, October 14th. To get it, you have to sign up here. Because this discussion isn’t for everybody. This is only for the folks who care about those three questions . . . and their answers.
 
If that’s you, click here.
 
And let’s get into it . . . so we can figure out how to get out of it.
 
Get my private thoughts on the theater’s return here.
 
UPDATED AS OFD 10/11/20:  It was recently announced that refunds and exchanges were now allowed through May 30, 2020.  But no return date was announced.  Will Broadway return then?  Or will it return later?  Or sooner????  Could it suprise us with an early recovery?  Find out here.

Is Diana the Musical the first domino in the straight-to-streaming market?

Is Diana the first domino in the straight-to-streaming market?
 
 
And you thought Princess Diana’s actual story was dramatic?
 
In one of the biggest stories to hit the Covid-infused airwaves of late, the Producers of the new Broadway musical Diana announced they’d be doing a performance in the next few weeks . . . for no audience . . . but a ton of cameras.
 
That’s right, Diana is going to Netflix. It will premiere on the streaming network before Diana’s (currently scheduled) May 25th, 2021 Broadway opening.
 
A lot of people have been floating the idea of shooting a show as we wait out the pandemic. After all, the sets are sitting right there in the theaters . . . and the actors are sitting right there at home.
 
It makes sense why Netflix wanted this specific show. Diana is a big brand and a documentary – two things Netflix audiences love. And, Netflix makes decisions on data. I’m sure they know how many people will watch the musical based on how many people have devoured other Diana content on their site. (Ahhh, digital stats – aren’t they great?)
 
Now, the question is . . . will other shows follow? Which ones? And will it happen during the pandemic? Or when Broadway comes back? And will Diana sell more tickets because of this stream?
 
So many questions . . . because it’s such an exciting idea.
 
What’s awesome to me is that Broadway is a business that does NOT like to take risks. But as I mentioned in this blog, now is not a time for a “We can’t” about anything.
 
And major kudos to the Producers and Creative Team and all the unions involved for going for it.
 
Because first, a whole bunch of people are going to get paid. And right now, our artists, musicians, stagehands and everyone needs the work.
 
And second, once one show does something like this, a whole host of others will follow.
 
Yep, a new model just got made. And it’s a good one.
Because it will raise the awareness for a new title before the show arrives on Broadway, which is the hardest thing for any new show to do.  It’s like releasing a cast album before the show opens.  (Waitress did this successfully in recent years, and of course, Jesus Christ Superstar was the first and best example of making a brand before Broadway.)
That’s right, I think streaming is the new cast album.
 
And I’ll predict it right now . . . regardless of how the Broadway show performs (and I’m hearing great things) . . . it will do better on Broadway, on tour, and for the rest of its licensing life, because they made this deal.
 
Now . . . what show will Netflix go after next?
 
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We posted a survey about streaming on Monday . . . did you see it? Click here to ask your question about this emerging model for Broadway or for your show!
 

Your questions about going virtual, streaming, and putting shows online.

My first gig as a Company Manager was the 1st National Tour of Jekyll & Hyde in 1999. I was a rookie, and I made a lot of mistakes.
 
The biggest mistake I made was not answering questions before someone asked.
 
I would get asked about housing in an upcoming city, opening night tickets, and much more.
 
And often, I got frustrated and thought, “I’m so busy trying to get us to the next city. I’ll get those answers to everyone when I have them!”
 
Then I realized something . . . if these questions were coming up over and over, then they were important to my company. And it was my job to get them answers, even if I didn’t think they needed them!
 
Because if I wasn’t providing the proper information to my company then I wasn’t doing the best job. (Company Managers, Producers, Directors, and leaders of all types need to “read the minds” of the people they lead.)
 
After getting some great feedback from a mentor, I established a principle:
 
If I received the same question 2x then I had to provide the answer immediately . . . because if I got the same question 3x, I failed.
 
Well, I’ve gotten about 300 questions about Broadway shows, Off Broadway shows, high school shows, community theater shows, and ALL types of shows going virtual in the past 3 months. And with greater frequency in the last 3 weeks!
 
That means I haven’t provided you with enough answers.
 
So, I failed you. I started this blog to help with issues like this, so I fall on my sword and say only this . .
 
I’m going to get you the answers now. Whether I have them or not, or if I have to go to some more experts to help.
 
But here’s where you can help. I want to make sure I answer your TOP questions about streaming, going virtual, online readings, on demand, virtual concerts, and more. Are your questions technical, artistic, how to charge money . . . what?
 
If you are even thinking about going virtual with a show of yours or curious about how it’s done and have questions . . . click here to answer this ONE question survey about your biggest question.
 
Give me these 10 seconds, and I promise to give you a @#$% ton of information.
 
Because that’s my job.
 
Click here to take the survey and get the answers you want.

The Top 6 Most Important Skills A Producer Must Have. Part II

Did you enjoy your intermission?
 
Yesterday, I gave you Act I of this two-parter with 3 of the 6 top skills Broadway Producers must have now . . . and forever.
 
To give you a recap, that trio of traits is:
 
1. Imagination
2. Optimism
3. Objectivity
 
Now, we resume this e-performance with Act II and three more mad skillz you need to produce on Broadway:
 
4. Thick-skinness
 
Here’s a fact. If you put something out in the world, someone will throw tomatoes at you. Robert Kennedy once said, “One-fifth of the people are against everything all the time.” That’s right, 20% of the audience that sees your show won’t like it or YOU . . . no matter what you do.
 
So you best have the skin of a politician to brave the critics, audiences, and even some of your peers! Especially after your first big success. One Hollywood and Broadway A-list superstar once told me, “When you achieve something great, you can bet money that people will try to bring you down.”
 
Don’t let it surprise you. And don’t let it bother you.
 
5. Collaborative
 
I often say that creating a new musical is like trying to get fifteen people to paint the Mona Lisa. Someone wants this shade of color. Another wants this texture of brush stroke. And what about the frame? And maybe she should frown?
 
Creating a musical or a play is one of the most collaborative processes on the planet. So you better be good at it AND you best be good at facilitating it. Because when people fight, as the Producer, you’ll need to suss it out. Because you’ve got the most at risk if the show doesn’t turn out the best it can be. (And rest assured, your team will fight, even on successful shows. And sometimes even MORE on successful shows! Read this book for an example of that!)
 
6. The Action-ator
 
Like Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator, all Broadway Producers need to be relentless in their pursuit.
 
They need to take action, and massive amounts of it, every day, to get their show up the Broadway hill.
 
They can’t wait for someone else to pick up the ball. Because no one will. No one cares as much. It’s up to you. Become The Action-ator and you’ll get to where you want to go, without even knowing how you got there.
 
 
I started this post thinking it was for TheaterMakers who wanted to be Producers. And somewhere during that intermission, I realized that these traits are essential for ALL TheaterMakers. So whether you’re a Producer, Playwright, Director or Actor, infuse your work with these six traits: Imagination, Optimism, Objectivity, Thick-skinness, Collaboration and Action-Taking, and you’ll get through this strange period we’re in and ANY strange period we’re ever in.
 
Need some examples of the action I take to get me and my projects going? Click here for 19 daily actionable tasks that help me get my shows off the ground.
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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