Why The Grease Sing-along Instead Of The Tony Awards.

Over the past few weeks, there has been a lot of chatter about what CBS might air on Tony Sunday instead of the actual, aborted, Tonys.

I heard about Best Ofs, Tributes, and a whole host of other ideas (including some with some pretty big celebrity hosts).

And at the end of the play, CBS chose Grease.

Ok, ok, I’m not giving them full credit.

They chose a Grease sing-along.

A wop baba loo bop a wop BS.

This was a hard one for us Broadway avids to take.   The Tonys is our Super Bowl, our Masters, our Christmas, and Hannukah rolled into one for some!

And now that night will consist of four chords and three jokes.

Now listen – I actually love me some Grease.  Those four chords and three jokes are some of the most brilliant around when you calculate how many people this show/movie/classic has kept smiling over the past 50+ years (not to mention how much money it has made).

So, I apologize for knocking it.  It’s just I love the Tonys that much.

What happened to all those other ideas?  The Best Ofs and so on?

What happened is what usually happened . . . someone added up the cost of a revised “Tonys” (as well as the time and logistics involved in making it) and compared it to the cost of showing Grease.  Guess what won?

See, it’s not so easy to just pull old Tony Awards footage out of a vault and show it . . . like you can pull an old movie out of a vault and show it.  The Tony Awards telecasts weren’t set up for replays.  And it’s just too expensive to do it.  So our sister-in-show-biz, the movie industry, has a leg up on us here.

But hopefully, this will teach us that we need a mechanism in place for situations like this (as I wrote about here), and our lack of flexibility with what we can do with our content is causing us to lose the battle.

We’ll win the war.  Because nothing replaces live.

And in the meantime, on Sunday, June 7th, I’ll just watch Netflix instead.

– – – – –

If you want something to stream, check out Daddy Long Legs on BroadwayHD.  You can get it for free for 30 days now with the code DLLBHD.

 

 

I Discovered The Secret of Happiness. It’s a Virtual Reunion of Daddy Long Legs!

In 2015, we streamed Daddy Long Legs LIVE to the world, and it became the very first Broadway or Off-Broadway show to take our performance virtual.

We were seen by over 150k people in 135 countries around the world.  And when all the press articles started appearing on our efforts, and when our box office went up, and when our two stars started getting recognized on the street, we knew we were on to something with this streaming thing.

And now, 5 years later, streamin’ is the only thing we have.

Since my out-of-the-box-thinking and super courageous artists on Daddy Long Legs were so instrumental in ushering in the idea of theater-to-stream, I couldn’t think of a better group to reunite online during these cray-cray times.

So, on Thursday, May 21st, I’m hosting a Daddy Long Legs Reunion on my daily livestream series, The Producer’s Perspective LIVE!, to raise money and awareness for The Actors Fund.

And look who’s gonna be there!

Megan McGinnis (Jerusha Abbott), Adam Halpin (Jervis Pendleton), John Caird (Book & Director), Paul Gordon (Music & Lyrics), and Michael Jackowitz (Producer).

Tune in to my Facebook page on Thursday, May 21st at 8pm EDT / 7pm CDT / 6pm MDT / 5pm PDT.

And if you’re like me and are now feeling super nostalgic for Daddy Long Legs, or you haven’t seen it yet (gasp), you can see it FREE on BroadwayHD. They’re running a free trial to all of you who want to see in before the reunion.  (My advice . . . watch it RIGHT before!)  Daddy has become one of the most popular titles on BroadwayHD, and when you watch it, you’ll see why.

To replay Daddy Long Legs: click here and use this code: DLLBHD

To listen to the tear-jerkin’ recording, click here to get it on Spotify, here on Amazon, or here on Apple Music.

I look forward to seeing you on the livestream on May 21st at 8pm EDT!

 

 

P.S. Don’t have Facebook? No problem. We’re also streaming to Broadway Podcast Network’s Youtube Channel.

P.P.S. Tune in tonight at 8pm EDT. I’ll be sitting down with Ashley Park to talk about Mean Girls, KPOP, Sunday In The Park…, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and more! Join the conversation here.

[REMINDER] The Cast of Godspell reunites TONIGHT at 8 PM!

Hey all!

Don’t forget, we’ve scheduled a very special Easter surprise for all of you tonight!

The company of my Broadway production of Godspell will be reuniting tonight!  We’re talking . . .

Nick BlaemireChristopher GattelliDaniel GoldsteinMorgan JamesEric Michael KropTelly LeungCorey MachJulia MattisonHunter ParrishAnna Maria Perez de TagleGeorge SalazarWallace Smith, and a few surprise guests as well! 

Bring your questions and be prepared to hear about everyone’s favorite (and funny) memories from the show.

To tune in, click the link here. We are going LIVE at 8pm EDT but you can set your reminder NOW to be alerted as soon as we go LIVE.

Make an event of this livestream with your friends and family . . . invite them to enjoy in the #Godspell2020Reunion and share the link with them!

We’re also raising money for The Actors Fund. If you can share a few dollars, we’d love for you to donate to this organization. If not, please consider raising awareness.

He would have written the greatest play about this.

Yesterday, the COVID-19 crisis got very personal for every one of us in the theater industry, as it claimed the life of one of our greatest playwrights and greatest gentlemen, Terrence McNally.

From Frankie and Johnny to Ragtime to Master Class to Anastasia to The Visit and so many more, Terrence was one of our most prolific writers, and something tells me that had this @#$%ing virus not got in his way, he would have had plenty more in him at his young age of 81.

Love Valour Compassion was my first McNally experience, which I saw in my early 20s on Broadway, and as I wrote about here, was one of the first times I audibly gasped when watching a play over something that a character said, not did.  Terrence could wield words like a weapon, and then use them to tuck you in at night just a few scenes later.

And then, still-pinch-me, I got to work with him.

The first time was as the Associate Company Manager on that marvelous original company of Ragtime.  I filled his house seat orders.  Got him a coffee every so often.  Yet he treated me like I had been working in the business as long as he had.

Then, with his incredibly passionate Producer and Husband, Tom Kirdahy, I produced It’s Only A Play on Broadway, which has been one of the most successful shows I’ve done.  It was a love letter to the theater.  And one of the reasons why it worked, was because Terrence @#$%ing loved the theater so much.  I mean, he wrote movies, tv, opera, etc. and could have kept writing in any one of those mediums . . . but he kept coming back to us.  It’s why I jumped on board as a Producer on Mothers and Sons, The Visit and that latest revival of Frankie and Johnny.  

And he was always there to inspire and encourage others.  He was one of my very first podcast guests (#4 to be exact) . . . and after he saw Gettin’ The Band Back Together, he sent me an email compliment that I tacked to my bulletin board, where it remains to this day.

Terrence didn’t just write great plays.  He helped shape society with the plays he wrote.  I’m so thankful he gave us the work he did, and angry that he was taken from just too soon.

But I know what he’d want for all of the TheaterMakers who are heartbroken today is for us to take all of that emotion we are feeling and put it into our work.

God, I’m sure you know this, but if you ever need someone else to write your story again, you’ve got the best with you now.

Introducing The Producer’s Perspective LIVE! Starting TONIGHT at 8 PM

Last weekend, when I realized I wouldn’t be seeing a lot of my friends, acquaintances (or “virtually” anyone) in-person for quite some time, I started reaching out via FaceTime, Zoom and Text just to check-in and see how they were doing.

Well, they showed me.

In the first few moments of our chit-chat, they had me laughing, they had me learning (sharing their tips of how they were getting through this), and they had me inspired to do something to help anyone out there who need the same medicine that I inadvertently did!

That’s when I thought . . . more people need to hear from these amazing folks.

So that’s what we’re doing.

Inspired by my podcast and the little pick-me-ups I described above, tonight we start TheProducersPerspectiveLIVE!

Every night at 8 PM EDT, we’ll have a superstar TheaterMaker join us for a brief chat about how they are doing, what they are doing, and what tips they are for you on getting through, and eventually, getting back to what we all love to do . . . make theater.

And yes, that’s right . . . no recorded edited episodes here.  These will be LIVE and ON VIDEO, streaming live on Facebook.

And just look at who has already shot their hand up and said YES, I’ll do it!

Stephen Schwartz – Tuesday, March 24th
Sierra Boggess – Wednesday, March 25th
Alex Brightman – Thursday, March 26th

Rick Miramontez – Friday, March 27th
Stephen Flaherty – Saturday, March 28th
Pam MacKinnon – Sunday, March 29th

Steven Sater – Monday March 30th
Jennifer Tepper – Tuesday, March 31st
Alan Cumming – Wednesday, April 1st
Leigh Silverman – Thursday, April 2nd
Sergio Trujillo – Friday, April 3rd
Jeanine Tesori – Saturday, April 4th
Anthony Veneziale

David Henry Hwang
Andrew Lippa
Lonny Price
Kevin McCollum
Zalmen Mlotek
Ryan Scott Oliver
Damian Bazadona
Drew Hodges
David Rockwell
Jack Tantleff
Al Nocciolino
John Caird
Des McAnuff
Stephen Byrd
James Lapine

It’ll be every night, 7 days a week.  And you can see the schedule for the series here.

I’ll kick it off tonight to talk a little more about it, take some questions (and honestly, test the technology before I get a big star online).

Tune in to my Facebook page TONIGHT, Monday March 23rd, at 8pm ET (7pm CT / 6pm MT / 5pm PT) to hear more about it AND get an update on what will be joining us.  And to find the most up-to-date schedule and list of guests, visit this page: www.TheProducersPerspective.com/Live.

See you tonight . . . and every night!  And don’t forget, the schedule is here!

 

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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