Broadway Grosses w/e 8/17/2019: Heat Gotcha Down

The following are the Broadway grosses for the week ending August 11, 2019. The Broadway grosses are courtesy of The Broadway League.

Three Reasons Why College Basketball Is Better Than Pro and What That Has to Do with Theater

Warning:  Sports metaphor ahead.  Proceed at your own risk.

If you’ve ever watched basketball, you know that at times, college ball can be a heck of a lot more fun to watch than the pros.  What does that have to do with us and why is a Broadway Producer talking about basketball on a Monday morning?

Stay with me, non-sports fans.

Here are three reasons why watching college basketball is better than watching pro:

1. It’s more about teamwork.

Pro b-ball is about those big star players.  With a shorter shot clock and only “man-to-man” defense allowed, the most popular play is, “Get the ball to INSERT NAME OF SUPERSTAR HERE and let him shoot.”

College hoops, on the other hand, is much more collaborative.  That ball whips around the perimeter looking for the open man or woman, and no one cares who scores . . . as long as the team wins.

2. It’s where the next Superstars are.

When you watch college b-ball, you’re getting to see the next big stars before they become big stars.  Can you imagine seeing Michael Jordan play in college?  Or Stephen Curry?  I mean, not only is it exciting while you’re watching, but later, when they’ve made it to the Hall of Fame, you can say that enviable phrase, “I saw INSERT NAME OF SUPERSTAR HERE before they were INSERT NAME OF SUPERSTAR HERE.”  You can almost see the wonder on other folks’ faces, can’t you?

3. It’s about passion, not a paycheck.

College players aren’t paid for what they do.  Sure, sure, there’s a lot on the three-point line for their future, but they’re on that court because they love basketball, not because they have a 5 year $10M contract and a sneaker deal.  They play because of their passion of the game . . . and, of course, because they dream of playing on bigger courts and in front of bigger crowds.  And that dream makes them run a bit faster and sweat a little more in the hopes that it will come true, and soon.  They also know that pro coaches, scouts, and owners are watching their every dribble.

So what does that have to do with us?

Seeing a show in a theater festival is like watching college basketball.

🙂

Think about it . . .

Festivals aren’t about stars.  It’s where the next big stars are cutting their teeth.  And God knows, they aren’t there because they’re being paid a ton of $ to do it.

They just love it.

And just like college fans have their rabid fans, these hard-sweatin’ “players” need a lot of cheering and support.

So go see a show at a festival.  Yes, we have one . . . it’s called Rave Theater Festival, there are over 20 shows in it, it’s on RIGHT NOW and it runs through August 25th.  (See a list of shows you can see THIS WEEK below – and note TWO shows have already sold out – so get tix quick.)

But if you can’t make it to our festival, go check out a show at another festival.  Or in any Off-Off-Broadway or Off-Broadway theater.

Because if you care about the future of the theater (and since you read this blog, I’d bet cash you do), I’ve seen it.  And it’s in the small theaters with passionate people doing it for the purpose of making something that people like you can see.

Oh, and here’s a bonus reason why college basketball is better than the pros . . .

4.  It’s cheaper.

No explanation needed.  🙂


This weeks’ schedule for Rave is:

MONDAY:

Stormy Weather

The Perfect Fit

The Tycoons!

Young Pilgrims

TUESDAY:

Back

Big Shot

Ni Mi Madre

Sweet Lorraine

WEDNESDAY:

911 Gnomes: A Christmas Emergency

Big Shot

Fancy Maids

Just Laugh

The Erroneous Moby Dick

Young Pilgrims

THURSDAY:

911 Gnomes: A Christmas Emergency

Oceanborn

Stormy Weather

Training Wheels

FRIDAY:

911 Gnomes: A Christmas Emergency

Back

Noirtown

Rose’s War

The Tycoons!

SATURDAY:

911 Gnomes: A Christmas Emergency

Fancy Maids

Ni Mi Madre

Noirtown

Oceanborn

Sweet Lorraine

The Erroneous Moby Dick

Training Wheels

Waiting for Johnny Depp

SUNDAY:

911 Gnomes: A Christmas Emergency

Back

Doppelganger

Girls on Tap

Rose’s War

The Perfect Fit

Training Wheels

Waiting for Johnny Depp

Young Pilgrims

FOR THE FULL SCHEDULE AND THE FOLLOWING WEEK’S SCHEDULE CLICK HERE.

My 5 Friday Finds: Percentages Mean Nothing No More.

Happy long weekend for some of you, and enjoy these five finds from the week on Broadway and beyond:

  1. TKTS lists actual prices instead of just percentages.

blogged about this when it was announced, but it went into ‘play’ this week. The TKTS booth, which added 40%, 30% and 20% to its discounts years ago, now will just list actual prices. So no longer will a $100 ticket at 50% off look like the same price as a $50 ticket at 50% off.  This could be one of the biggest changes to the strategy of how Producers price at the booth, as well as how Producers price their full price (it’s common that we often price full price tickets thinking how much we’ll get at half-price) since the opening of the booth itself. (In other TKTS news, the Brooklyn location closed recently due to . . . what else . . . low sales.)

  1. Wicked in concert but on TV.

In another sign of Broadway’s growing footprint on pop culture, NBC agreed to air a special Wicked concert (shot at The Marquis Theater) to air on 10/29 featuring Idina Menzel, Kristen Chenoweth, and superstars such as Ariana Grande (future Elphaba anyone?).

  1. Originals, originals, everywhere.

Netflix started off as a way for you to “rent” movies without going to the local Blockbuster. Now, they invest heavily in originals. Amazon started off as a way for you to buy books, then movies and TV shows . . . now they make ’em. And now Audible (an Amazon company) is on the same strategy train. They recently announced that they’re going to give away original programming with a monthly subscription. What does this say? Content is still king . . . and the success of any business, big or small, is making @#$%. So go out and make something today.

  1. The Measure App on the iPhone.

If you updated your iPhone recently, you probably have seen the new Measure app . . . which is a digital tape measure. Amazing, right? Not if you make tape measures. Seriously. A company like Stanley Tools will see a reduction in sales because of this app. Just like that, something that has probably been a foundational form of revenue will slip away slowly. It’s a great reminder that all businesses can be disrupted . . . so keep innovating.

  1. King Kong starts previews.

The biggest and most expensive musical since Spider-Man starts previews TONIGHT. You know what?  I can’t wait to see it. Whenever you build someone that’s the “biggest,” people are going to want to go.

Wishing you all a great weekend, and hoping it includes lots of theater.

In case you haven’t noticed…

…I’m baaaaaack!

Almost a year ago, I dropped my blogs to just one (or so) a week, and then a few months later, the podcast went to once a month.

Well, I couldn’t stay away.  I missed it. And frankly, your emails asking for more content got to me.  So, I rejiggered some of my schedule (and also just finished a very cool time management book to help me figure out how to find time for everything I want to do and more) and I’m back!

Blogs will appear every single weekday, Monday through Friday.

And there will be a method to the blogness.  Here’s what the content schedule is going to look like:

  • Mondays will always be a podcast.
  • Tuesdays will always be a commentary on the previous week’s Broadway grosses (unless there’s a holiday delay).
  • Wednesdays and Thursdays will be general content about producing, marketing and the sort.
  • Fridays will always be focused on the art of writing/developing/creating stuff for the theater.

And FYI, we’ve also got some new and very exciting plans in store for TheProducersPerspective (and our sister site, TheProducersPerspectivePRO.com) including a whole new look, so stick around.  Or better yet, subscribe so you don’t miss a thing.

And now, there are TWO different ways to subscribe:

  1. Click here to subscribe and get all the blogs emailed to you the day they come out (at 8 PM – curtain time!).
  2. Click here to subscribe to get one email per week that recaps the entire week of content, so you can pick and choose what you want to read.

Just like at Burger King, you can have my blog your way . . . so pick one of those ways to subscribe, and saddle up.  Because as you know, I’m predicting that the coming year is going to be the best that Broadway has ever seen . . . which means I’m going to have a lot to talk about.  Not to mention that I’ve got Once On This Island and maybe even another show (!) coming to Broadway in the next 12 months.

Oh, and thanks for the encouragement to generate more content, guys.  I believe that writers shouldn’t write for themselves.  Writers should write for their audiences.  So you asked for it . . . here comes more blogs!

Subscribe today for a daily dose of TheProducersPerspective.com

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I had never done anything like this before. Until I did.

This blog is a bit of a departure from my normal subject matter.

But since what I’m about to tell you I did is a bit of a departure from what I usually do, I figure it’s ok.

You see, a few years ago, I had an idea.

Now, that’s not really breaking news.  I come up with a lot of ideas, many of which I talk about here, and most of which are theater related.  From my idea for an interactive show set at a Prom in the 1980s (The Awesome 80s Prom) to a musical about a Catholic boy band (Altar Boyzto a show about a group of 40 year olds who reassemble their high school garage band (Gettin’ The Band back Together) . . . and even a Broadway board game, I’ve come up with a bunch.

In fact, my Great-Grandfather, who was a Ziegfeld wanna-be Producer, Publicist, and Author, used to say that all entrepreneurs are “Idea Engineers.”  (He had a business card that said that and everything.)

But this specific idea . . . well, it wasn’t for the stage at all.

It was an idea for a TV show.

It came to me when I was watching Reno 911.  You know that show, right?  It’s an improv based Cops mockumentary, and it’s hysterical.  And because I am such a fan of improv based entertainment, they had me at Episode 1.

And one night, after binge-watching like 16 episodes in a row, I needed a break from belly-laughing so I flipped the channel over to HBO to catch a 2:00 AM episode of a show called Cathouse, a documentary/reality show about folks that work in a real live brothel.

You see where I’m going with this, don’t you?

It took me about 2 seconds of watching the characters on Cathouse to think . . . “What would it be like, if these two shows, Reno 911 and Cathouse, had a baby?”

“It could be called . . . The Bunny Hole, and it would be a mockumentary in the style of Reno 911 about a struggling brothel in Pahrump, Nevada.”  (Where you-know-what is legal.)

But I had never produced a TV show before.  I did produce a documentary a few years ago.  But a TV show?  Where would I even begin?

Since I had never done anything like it before, I convinced myself it was impossible.

But the idea just kept popping up.  Usually when I was out with friends and we were tossing around crazy ideas.  They always responded positively and I kept thinking that I should do something with it.

“But Ken, you don’t know how to make a pilot.  Stick to what you know.  That’s enough.  And hey – it’s not like you’ve produced Hamilton yet anyway.”

I listened to my limiting belief and stuffed the idea deep underneath my blanket of insecurity . . . where it sat for years.  Literally years.

And then, for some reason, one day, a couple of years ago, I finally just said . . .

“What the @#$% am I waiting for?  So you’ve never made a TV pilot before.  So what?  It’s a pilot.  It’s not brain surgery.  No one is going to live or die by what you do.  Just start . . . and see what happens.”

So I did.

I started by calling some of the funniest people I know (including many who were involved with those first few shows I mentioned above, including original cast members in The Prom and Altar Boyz), pitching them the idea, and getting them in a room.  That was Step 1.

Then we met again.  That was Step 2.

And then we met again.  And we improvised.  Step 3, 4, 5 . . .

And after awhile we had characters, and a backstory about this struggling brothel.  And we were ready to shoot.

But where?

So I went to Pahrump, Nevada (I thought shooting on location was key to the real-feel of it all) and scouted a house.  Step 6.

Then I raised a little money.  Step 7.

Then I rented the house.  Step 8.

Then I hired a crew.  Step 9.

Then we all went to Pahrump.  Step 10.

And for seven days we shot about 70 hours of footage.  Step 11.

And after many, many more small steps . . . the next thing you knew, I had a pilot!

Bam.  And in that moment, I had done what I said I couldn’t do.  And like most things, once you get into the doing of it, it’s never as hard as you imagined it would be in your mind. 

The small steps continued with entering that pilot into film festivals, and wouldn’t you know, we were selected for a whole bunch and won awards at three of them!

Can you believe it?

After that, we took that pilot and we chopped it up into an 11 episode web series (which is all the digital entertainment rage these days) and . . . insert trumpet sounds here . . . we just released it this morning.

Why am I telling you all this?

Well, duh, of course, I want you to watch it, like it, and tell all your friends to watch it.  These things are all about the number of views.  So thanks for that in advance.

But the most important reason I’m telling you this story is . . .

I know . . . for a fact . . . and I’d bet money on this . . . that every single one of you reading this has had an idea of something you’ve wanted to do that you haven’t done before.  Maybe you’ve got an idea for a play, or a musical, or a TV show, or an app, restaurant, or new fangled fitness routine.  But you’ve stopped yourself from doing it, simply because you haven’t done it before.

Unless your idea is actually brain surgery, I suggest you just start doing it . . . small step by small step.  And before you know it, it’ll be done.  And you won’t be able to say you haven’t done it before.

And the thing is . . . you never, ever, know what may happen when you execute your idea.

But I can guarantee what will happen to that idea if you don’t do it.

NOTHING.

Will our show, The Bunny Hole, make it to network or Netflix or beyond?  Who knows.  That’s not why we made it.  We made it because we liked the idea and we wanted to get it done.  And we did.  And hopefully, the journey will continue.  But even if it doesn’t, I’ll just go on to the next idea, and the next idea, and the next idea until one does break through.  And even then I’ll probably keep doing stuff.

Because it’s the making stuff that is the important part.  Not the “making it.”

Before I give you the link, I should tell you . . . it does take place at a brothel, so the material is a bit of a departure from my usual fare.  So be ready for that.  (Mom – that means you – you might want to steer clear of this one.)

I do hope you’ll watch.

But you know what would be even cooler?  I hope even more that you’ll take one of those ideas that you’ve been kicking around for awhile.  You know, that really good idea that you’ve had, and have been talking to your friends about.  I just hope you take one of those ideas . . . and just do it.

Watch my new web series, The Bunny Hole, here.

 

P.S.  After you watch, if you want to learn more about my step-by-step process of getting stuff I’ve never done before actually done, click here.

– – – – –

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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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