1/3 of the musicals currently running on Broadway . . .

. . . are based on a pre-existing musical catalog or are known as a so-called jukebox musical.


1 out of 3.


I know you’ve probably thought about this before, but I just couldn’t help mentioning it.  It’s quite a trend, don’t you think?

So why is this?

Is it because the music and the artist behind it provides a pre-existing brand that is makes it easier to market?


Is it also because putting a musical together when the score is already written is a heck of a lot faster than writing a musical from scratch?

Why yes, I think that’s part of it as well.

And what about the fact that two of the most successful musicals of the last ten years are jukebox musicals?

Easier and faster . . . and more profitable.

Unfortunately, all these things mean that we’re going to see more of these jukebox musicals in the future, whether we like or not.

Want to do something about it?

We just have to come up with other ways to make original things easier, faster and more profitable.

And if we don’t, I think we’ll need a third Tony category soon enough:  Original, revival and jukebox.

– – – – –


– Play “Will It Recoup?”  You can win a Kindle!  Click here and enter today!

– Need a writing partner?  Come to our Collaborator Speed Date!  RSVP today!

– Enter this Sunday’s Giveaway!  Win 2 tickets to see Priscilla Queen of the Desert!  Click here!

Tick, Tock! Have you submitted your show yet?

It’s hard to believe that this Winter will ever be over, but some sure signs that warmer weather is to come are the upcoming deadlines for the city’s big theater festivals.

Since there is nothing worse than finishing a project and discovering that you just missed a deadline, I thought I’d do a quick summary of some big fests’ upcoming drop-dead dates.

New York Musical Theatre Festival

The musical theatre festival in New York is accepting submissions through March 1st.  That gives you a full couple of weeks to finish up your opus, or, in true [title of show] fashion, start writing one now.  Click here for more details on how to submit.

Midtown International Theatre Festival

You’ve got until Feb. 21st to get your script into the growing in popularity Midtown Fest.  Check out how to submit here.

New York International Fringe Festival

Ok, the deadline for the Fringe is . . . today.  So click here to see how you can hustle your script to them and still be considered.

National Alliance for Musical Theatre

Note to self – do this blog earlier next year.  Why?  Looks like I missed telling you about the deadline for NAMT’s Festival for New Musicals altogether.  Although Member Theaters and Festival Alums can still get in.  Click here to see if you qualify.

Alright, you’ve got a couple of options, so get movin’.  The Festival circuit is a great way to get exposure for your show and reduce the cost of self-producing.

Oh, and here’s a little festival tip . . . even if you have missed a deadline, call up the fest and see if you can slide your script in anyway.  If it has been a light year for submissions, you may find yourself getting a pass for being tardy.

And you can always blame it on me.

Good luck, everyone!

– – – – –


– Play “Will It Recoup?”  You can win a Kindle!  Click here and enter today!

– Need a writing partner?  Come to our Collaborator Speed Date!  RSVP today!

– Enter this Sunday’s Giveaway!  Win 2 tickets to see Priscilla Queen of the Desert!  Click here!


Need someone to write with? Come to our Collaborator Speed Date!

Unless you’re some kind of writing triple-threat wunderkind that can pull off book, music & lyrics, if you want to write musicals, you’re going to need a partner . . . or two . . . or six.

But where do you find them?

I’ve gotten a bunch of emails lately that have said something like, “Help! I have so many ideas that I want to see on the stage, but I can’t write (insert music, lyrics, or book here).  How do I find someone to write with?”

Well, we’ve decided to help!

On Tuesday, March 1st, from 7 PM – 9 PM, we’re going to hold our very first Collaborator Speed Date!

We’re inviting all librettists, composers, and lyricists to come to our studio, and mix-it-up with other librettists, composers and lyricists.  We’ll provide the snacks.  You provide the creativity.

Maybe you’ve never written with anyone before.  Or maybe you’ve written with a partner for a long time and want to meet someone different.

Maybe you have a fully fleshed-out score. Or maybe you just have an idea you want to bounce off some people to see who else is passionate about it.

Wherever you are in your concept or your career, come to the Collaborator Speed Date.  Meet other people just like you.  And then make something great.

Here are the details:

Collaborator Speed Date
Tuesday, March 1st, 7 PM – 9 PM
Davenport Studio
250 West 49th St.  #302

To RSVP, email jane@davenporttheatrical.com and let her know whether you are a Composer, Lyricist or Bookwriter (no other folks at this Speed Date – we’re talking about one for Producers and Directors in the future – but this one is just for the writers).

RSVP today!

See you there!

– – – – –


– – – – –

Enter to win this Sunday’s Giveaway: 2 tickets to see Pippin star Ben Vereen! Click here!

Today’s blog is my . . . 1000th post!

Now here’s a blog I will admit I never thought I’d write!

When I started blogging three years ago, I didn’t give a thought as to where it would take me.  But take me it has . . . to great debates, to great conversations, and to meeting great people who are passionate about the theater from all over the world.

And I certainly didn’t give a thought as to how many posts I would write.

But here I am, 1000 posts later . . . and I have you to thank for it.   I’ll see you at 2000 . . . which is another three years from now.

Wow.  Let’s just think about that for a second.  Where will the theater be in three years?  What shows will still be running?  Who will be the new hotshot writer?  And most importantly . . . how much will tickets cost???

I’d love to hear your predictions.  Comment below on where you think the theater will be three years from now.

And we’ll put the predictions in a little blog-like time capsule and dig it up in 2014.

See you then!  And thanks again for helping me hit 1000!

– – – – –

The LA Seminar is SOLD OUT!

But the social still have some room!  If you’re in LA and you love the theater, come to the social TOMORROW NIGHT!  Click here for more details.

The next NYC seminar is on March 19th. Save $55 if you register by 1/31/11.

– – – – –

Enter to win FREE tickets to Driving Miss Daisy in this week’s giveaway!  Click here!

Serials are killers.

First of all, a little back story . . .

I don’t really watch television anymore.  I’ve missed out on so many great shows over the years, that I’m catching up, series by series, and watching at my own pace.

Translation?  I just started Season 3 of 24.

If you’re a 24 fan (and I have to admit, I’m semi-obsessed, having changed my ringtone to the CTU ringtone, and I’ve be known to greet callers with, “This is Bauer”), then you know that each episode ends on a super-duper sometimes melodramatic cliffhanger.

The goal of the cliffhangers are twofold:

  • Get you to tune in next week (or in my case, just play the next episode on my Netflix/Wii Play Instantly).
  • Get you to talk about it “at the water cooler” the next morning.

Great television “serials” can do just that.

So why can’t we do serials in the theater?

I’ve seen several mini-attempts over the years, mostly Off-Broadway, or Off-Off-Broadway.  There have been a few different live soap operas, and there’s even a live Sex-and-the-City-ish serial sitcom running right now that’s been getting a bit of buzz, called Naked In A Fishbowl.

The reasons why the serial has never stuck are pretty obvious:

  • It’s hard enough getting people off their couches and in an uncomfortable theater seat once a month, never mind every week.
  • Our tickets are much more expensive than Free TV or even Netflix/Will Play Instantly, so serial theatergoing would become an expensive habit.
  • Rehearsal costs of a new show every week would eat away at any potential profit in a theater with a fixed number of seats.
  • If an audience member misses one episode, you are never getting them back.

All of these reasons, and a zillion more, are why they don’t work in the theater (Even the ladies in Fishbowl are taping each episode, so they’ve obviously got their sights set on another medium).

Then again, I would’ve bet that a 12-hour staged adaptation of a Dostoyevsky novel wouldn’t work either, and somehow Demons sold out all of their performances.

There’s an audience for everything, but whether it is sustainable is another story.

And we’ve yet to see that story succeed in the theater.

And yes, that’s a challenge.

Ken Davenport
Ken Davenport

Tony Award-Winning Broadway Producer

I'm on a mission to help 5000 shows get produced by 2025.

Never miss a post or podcast again. Subscribe to the blog and stay in the know.

Free Production Team Database
The TheaterMakers Studio
Featured Product
Be A Broadway Star
Featured Book
Broadway Investing 101
All Upcoming Events

july, 2020

15jul4:00 pm6:00 pmJuly Producer Pitch Night (Virtual)

20jul8:00 pm9:00 pmTMS Coaching Call with Eric C. Webb

Featured Webinar
Path to Production Webinar