Can we Moneyball Broadway?

One of the most popular flicks of the last several weeks has been the Brad Pitt produced, Moneyball, based on the book of the same name.

Simply put, Moneyball is about statistics . . . and how the Oakland A’s used complex mathematical formulas to find some of the most undervalued players on the baseball market, in order to put together a team that could challenge the best teams, for 25% of the payroll costs.

Despite a bunch of the old baseball guard rejecting the theory, the A’s were so successful that the principles in Moneyball are now used by a bunch of ball clubs across the MLB.

Think we could do it for Broadway?

It’s not as easy, because we just don’t get up to bat as much.  Ball players play over 100 games a season, get up to a bat a few times a game at least, and play year after year.  They have a long-term past behavior that can help predict future results.

It’s not as easy for plays and musicals . . . but maybe . . .

Could we analyze which theaters recoup more shows?  Which writers?  Which actors?  What about the time of year?  Musicals versus plays?  Is there a budgetary sweet spot that gives you an edge?

I’m not sure we could ever get something as effective at sabermetrics, but there are no doubt a whole bunch of numbers that could help determine what degree of risk you were taking with a show.

Would statistical analysis be the only thing I’d use to make a decision to produce or invest in a show?


Don’t get me wrong.  I’m a huge believer in numbers, and I’d be the first one that would support the research of some of my questions above.  But in the business of Broadway, as in sports and the like, the numbers come second . . . and your gut comes first.


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– 10 Days to Godspell!  Read the day-by-day account of producing Godspell on Broadway here.

– Win 2 tickets to see The Blue Flower at Second Stage Off Broadway!  Click here!




The Sunday Giveaway: 2 Tickets to Lombardi on Broadway.

If there was a Tony Award for the show this season that brought the most new audience members to the theater, it would be Lombardi.

I can’t tell you how many times people said to me last Fall, “Ken, are they really doing a play about football on Broadway?”

My answer?  “No, they are doing a play about a great man . . . who just happened to coach football.”

Lombardi, like the Green Bay Packers themselves, surprised everyone by making it through the winter and well beyond as plays by Mamet and Guare closed around it.  Their breakaway success was partly due to the fantastic job the Producers did in partnering with the NFL.  It’s a success story that Lombardi himself would be proud of.

The show is closing on May 22nd, but we’ve got 2 free tickets for you to see this show before the 4th quarter buzzer goes off.

And here’s how you win!

Sports and Broadway have not always gone together, but could Lombardi be the beginning of a new trend?  The Producers of Lombardi are already sheparding a new play about Magic Johnson and Larry Bird to Broadway in 2012.  What sports hero is next?

What sports figure(s) do you want to see a play about?  They can be real or fictional (i.e. Rocky – which was rumored at one point).

Comment below (email subcribers click here) and I’ll pick a winner from your ideas!

Good luck!