Who will be the 2009 Producer of the Year? You tell me! Vote now.

Last year I started an annual tradition of choosing a Producer of the Year.  The first winner was the late Gerry Schoenfeld.

This year, I’m changing up how the winner is chosen.

For the past two weeks, I’ve been talking to General Managers, Publicists, Agents and other Prefer-To-Remain-Anonymous-Insiders, to come up with a list of nominees (not surprising, but many of these nominees are also on this year’s “50 Most Powerful People on Broadway”).

And now you’re going to choose the winner.

The list of nominees, as chosen by my select group of experts, is below.  I asked each expert to write a blurb supporting their choice, which also follows.

Take a look, and when you’re ready, click on the link below them to cast your vote.

 1.  Sonia Friedman

Sonia Friedman, producer, norman conquests

“The classy Ms. Friedman has been on a tear lately, and she gets my nod for being courageous enough to produce The Norman Conquests trilogy.  In a world where people want their news in less than 140 characters and their videos in YouTube clips, she actually got people to sit through three plays   . . . in one day!”


2.  Rocco Landesman


“Rocco is the only nominee on my list who gets the nom for not producing anymore.  As the new Chairman of the NEA, Rocco is now in a position to do more for the profit and non-profit theater on a national and international level than anyone else . . . ever.”


 3.  Kevin McCollum

“In addition to Producing West Side, an oft member of the million-dollar-club, Kevin forged new ground by finding a way to make a limited run of a holiday musical work (White Christmas), and by going back to Off-Broadway with Avenue Q.”



 4.  Jeffrey Richards

JeffreyRichards, Hair, Tony Award, Producer

“Jeffrey had seven shows open in 2009.  And he’s still got a couple of weeks left!  The sheer volume of his work qualifies him a nomination, but the real story of the year was his bailout of Hair, which recouped and snatched a Tony.  If only the government’s bailout worked as well as Jeffrey’s.”

 5.  Jordan Roth

Jordan Roth, young, jujamcyn

“When Rocco Landesman jumped on a metroliner to DC, he left an open chair for Jordan Roth, who is sitting in it quite nicely.  At his young age, he’s got decades to go in this biz.  Expect great things.  But more importantly, expect new things.”

A big thank you to my pundits for their wise choices.

And now on to the voting!

To vote for Producer of the Year, click on this link.

Make sure you cast your vote by Sunday, December 27th at 8 PM.

The 2009 Producer of the Year will be announced on the blog on Monday, December 28th.

Good luck to the nominees and let the voting begin!


P.S.  You can only vote once . . . so for those producers on this list who just tried to put their assistant on voting over and over again, nice try.  😉

Believe it or not, this guy gave me my start.

Since I started blogging, the world has lost some serious heavyweights:  Gerry Schoenfeld, Paul Newman, etc.

Yesterday, we lost the guy who was probably most influential on my career . . . John Hughes.

I know, it seems nuts to say that if it wasn’t for an 80s teen-movie maker I wouldn’t be here, but in a way, it’s true.  I consider myself part of what I call “The VCR Generation”.  I was a part of the first set of teens that were able to watch our favorite movies over and over and over, in the comfort of our own living room.

And I did.  I watched Breakfast Club, 16 Candles, Ferris Bueller and everything else John did over and over and over . . . with a 6 pack of Coke and a bag of Jiffy Pop popcorn, shaken over a gas stove.

Years later and pop . . . just like the kernels in that bag of aluminum foil . . . out comes the idea for The Awesome 80s Prom!

I never met him.  Not many people did late in his life.  He became a bit of a loner, a lot like Ally Sheedy in The Breakfast Club.  But he’ll always be like Ferris to me. And now it’s my time to say, “Danke schoen.”

Impacts on generations can sometimes come from the most unlikely of places.  While getting drunk on New Coke and stuffing my face with buttery and slightly charred Jiffy Pop, I never would have imagined that those movies would move me to actually make a show about them!

And someday, you’ll have an impact on someone you’ve never met, just like John had on me.

That’ll be cool when it happens, won’t it?

The Producer Of The Year Is . . .

The 2008 and first annual Producer’s Perspective Producer of the Year Award is given to . . . Mr. Gerry Schoenfeld.

Why Gerry?

Because he controlled the most theaters on Broadway?

Because he controlled the largest ticketing service and biggest audience database on Broadway?

Because he deserves a lifetime achievement award in addition to our “Best Of” award?


But what put Mr. S. over the top to get the props from The Producer’s Perspective was his 2008 production of . . . Passing Strange.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the show, but Gerry was. And he was certainly smart enough to know that getting Passing Strange to crossover to the mainstream was going to be one of the greatest producing challenges of the last 10 years.

But that didn’t stop him.

He found a show he was passionate about and put all the resources at his disposal behind it.

And that’s what producing is all about.

The only thing that did stop Gerry was his untimely passing.  He’s probably sitting in a big theater somewhere right now (and he probably already got the Big Guy to name that theater after him).  But wherever he is, I hope they have an RSS feed so he can read this:  thank you, Gerry.

Who will be The Producer of The Year in ’09?  Bob BoyettJeffrey Richards? John Gore at Broadway Across America?

They are all great guys and great producers.  But you know who I’m rooting for?


Win the new iPhone! Play the Producer’s Perspective Tony Pool!

All right, let’s see who’s got game!  It’s time to pick your winners for The Producer’s Perspective Tony Pool.

I’ve picked prizes that I think are essential for all Producers out there:

GRAND PRIZE – The new iPhone!

Unfortunately, I wish I had a handle on when it was coming out, but I don’t.  Rumors are swirling that it’ll be announced before the Tonys (June 9th), but whenever it comes out, the winner (and me!!!) will get one!

1st PRIZE – $50 Dinner at Angus, where all the Tony Award winners (and losers) hang out.

2nd Prize – Pick any 2 books from my recommended books on my blog, plus a 4 pack of Red Bull.

A few rules:

– Only one entry per person.

– All questions are weighted the same. It’s just like an 8th grade
exam. The person with the highest percentage of correct answers wins!

– Only one winner per prize.  There is a tie-breaker.

– Polls close on June 15th at 12:01 AM.

– IMPORTANT:  Only Producer’s Perspective email subscribers are eligible.  You MUST
subscribe to the feed via the feedburner email box to the left in order to win.  Make sure you sign up today!

– Employees of Davenport Theatrical and Gerry Schoenfeld are ineligible (There’s no real reason to make Gerry ineligible, other than that it makes me feel like I have just a thimble’s amount of power to say he can’t play with us)

– If Gerry Schoenfeld doesn’t like that last rule or any rule (or the color of my shirt, for that matter), I reserve the right to strike it faster than they struck the Glory Days set.

Happy voting!