The “Will It Recoup” Winner!

In case you haven’t noticed, summer is already winding down.  And that means the tourists are starting to head out of town, a few shows will be closing, and . . . it also means that it’s time to announce the winner of the first ever Broadway Fantasy Investment Game!

Back in freezing February, we looked at 9 limited run revivals and tried to determine which one(s) would make its money back.
Here are the final results of what did and didn’t make money this Spring, based on what has been announced in the press, what hasn’t been announced in the press, and a few inside sources:
33 Variations – NO
Impressionism – NO
Blithe Spirit – YES
God of Carnage – YES
Exit The King – NO
Irena’s Vow – NO
Reasons to be Pretty – NO
Mary Stuart – NO
Norman Conquests – NO

So who won?

Well, we had FIVE people pick the winners/losers perfectly.  Yep, this one came down to a tie breaker.

And the winner of the brand new iPhone 3S (which is awesome, by the way), is . . .

TOM LOMBARDI!

Congrats, Tom.  Your gift certificate will be in your inbox shortly!

A big shout out to the other four readers who would have made a bundle this Spring:  Michael Height, Ari, Dave Beef (something tells me that’s not his real name) and Megan.  You guys have got the goods.

And for the rest of you, don’t beat yourself up.  A huge majority picked at least one of the recoupers, and that’s pretty dang good.

In fact, if you were among the over 25% that thought that God of Carnage would recoup its investment, you’d be sitting pretty, because that investment would have paid for some of your other losers and then some.

Congrats, Tom!

Tony Nominations are Tomorrow. My picks for the big ones.

May Madness begins on Tuesday morning at 8:30 AM with the announcement of this year’s Tony nominations.

There are a few places to watch this year so tune in to either:
  • CBS’s The Early Show (which promises to show “some” of the categories).
  • NY1.  This is Roma Torre’s favorite time of year.
  • In the middle of Times Square on the JumboTron (someone please go and tweet a pic to me)
Below are my predictions (plus a few ‘type bytes’) on the nominations in the two big money categories (Best Musical and Best Play), enumerated in order of my confidence:
BEST MUSICAL
 
1.  Billy Elliot
Billy had us at hello.  Billy was a shoe-in for a nom (and a possible win) when it was first announced that the show was happening, and he won’t disappoint.
2.  Next To Normal
N2N is the Passing Strange of 2009 – the gutsy, artistic, “non-commercial” choice, that took a strange but courageous path to Broadway.  Nominators (and voters who like to look really smart) love these types of shows.
3.  9 to 5
Many shows like to open late in the season, in order to use the Tonys as free publicity at a time when they need the boost.  Unfortunately, if you’re not reviewed well, those reviews are fresh in the nominators minds when they head to the Edison cafe to pick the nominees.  That’s what happened to 9 to 5.  Nevertheless, Dolly’s charm beats Ben Brantley’s any day of the week, so expect a nom.
4.  Title of Show 
The fourth spot is the tough choice.  It’s the wild card.  You’ve got TOS, Rock of Ages, 13, Story of My Life, Tale of 2 Cities, and the big one . . . that twenty million dollar monster known as Shrek.

I think Shrek and Dreamworks will get Disney-fied (3 out of 6 Disney shows have not been nominated for Best Musical:  Aida, Tarzan and Little Mermaid).  And as much as I’m pulling for what I call a “Marisa Tomei” for 13 (Marisa shocked the world when she was nominated, and then won an Oscar for My Cousin Vinny), I think the fourth spot is a cage match between the scrappy and you-tubey Title of Show and the jukeboxy, and surprisingly well-reviewed shock of the year . . . Rock of Ages.

When it comes down to it, the insidery nominators will choose a show about their own industry that tells the story of how hard it can be to put on a show, over a show that just wants you to rock . . . hard.
BEST PLAY
1.  God of Carnage
This year has made a lot of people sick to their stomach. God of Carnage is this season’s Pepto.  Comedy is back, and that makes Carnage a cinch to lead the category.
2.  Reasons to be Pretty
Neil Labute made his debut on Broadway and he’ll make his debut in this category as well.  The real question is whether this solid play can compete in this market and stay around until the ceremony?
3.  Dividing The Estate
 
This transfer from Primary Stages had an all too short 10 week run on Broadway.  A possible extension was in the works, but the theater was booked (with the even shorter run of Story of My Life).  Hartford Stage did its part to keep the play in the minds of the nominators.  There’s a strong emotional movement ‘a foot’ to give Mr. Foote the Tony Award that eluded him (he passed away in March of this year at 92, which was too short of a run as well, if you ask me), and that will help secure the 3rd spot.
4.  The American Plan
The fourth Play spot is a tricky one with two major contenders:  Plan and Irena’s Vow.  While the subject matter and pure emotion of Vow is much more gripping than Plan, expect the nominators to give this spot to Mr. Greenberg, whom they know and love, rather than the Hollywood outsider, Dan Gordon.  Personally, I’d like to give Gordon kudos for taking a break from Hollywood and giving the stage a shot (If only more writers would do that).  Tovah will get a nom to make up for it.
Do you agree?  Disagree?  Have your own picks for tomorrow’s nominations?  Comment away!
Read tomorrow’s blog (or watch one of the viewing options mentioned above) to see how I did.
And make sure you continue to read throughout this awards season.  Our annual ‘Producer’s Perspective Tony Pool’ is coming up (prizes, prizes, PRIZES), and of course, I’ll be tweeting from The Tonys as the awards are given out.
So stay Tw-uned.

The results are in! Here is what YOU think will RECOUP this season!

Ok, my Virtual Broadway Investors, the contest is now officially closed!  (Insert trumpets sounding the start of the race here).

The winner of the iPhone will be announced on September 1st (or earlier if we have the recoupment results . . . or later if we don’t!).

Until then, let’s see how you voted!

There were 9 shows on our list . . . and the majority of you think only TWO will recoup (which is consistent with the somewhat industry standard stat of 1 out of 5 shows recoup).

What were those two shows?  Here’s the rundown of the shows and the results!

THE WILL IT RECOUP SURVEY RESULTS

1.  Will 33 Variations recoup?

53.5% YES
46.5% NO

2.  Will Impressionism recoup?

30.1% YES
69.9% NO

3.  Will Blithe Spirit recoup?

80.2% YES
19.8% NO

4.  Will God of Carnage recoup?

36.2% YES
63.8% NO

5.  Will Exit the King recoup?

45.3% YES
54.7% NO

6.  Will Irena’s Vow recoup?

26.1% YES
73.9% NO

7.  Will Reasons to be Pretty recoup?

33.1% YES
66.9% NO

8.  Will Mary Stuart recoup?

29.8% YES
70.2% NO

9.  Will The Norman Conquests recoup?

23.7% YES
76.3% NO

 

Well, there you have it.  Blithe and 33 Variations are the ones you’d put your money on.  And I know a bunch of people that put their actual money in one of them!  🙂

Keep watching here for updates as the season goes on.  And good luck to you . . . and even better luck to the actual investors in all of the shows.  Here’s to ALL 9 shows recouping!

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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