Fun on a Friday: A cartoon actor that is oh so real.

Here are a few laughs for all of you out there, especially those of you that have been an actor at any point in your career and tried to explain it to a family member.

Even I remember having conversations like this with some of my extended family back when I was looking to tread the boards.  Exact quote from a cousin: “Ken, you’re an actor, right?  You should do one of those soap operas.”  My response: “Oh my gosh, how I could I be so stupid? I’m going to go sign up on Monday and be on a soap opera!”

Watch, enjoy, then go “Do Phantom!

 


A student’s private parts end up on the Billboard charts.

Here’s something that couldn’t have happened 10 years ago.

Thanks to the democratization of production and distribution, a self-produced cast album from a student-run theatre group at the University of Michigan made it oh-so-close to the top of the Billboard Cast Album Charts.

Yep, tucked between the original London cast recording of The Phantom of the Opera at #10 and Rock of Ages at #12 was Me and My Dick.

Oh, right, ahhh . . . this is probably where I should say that the subject matter of this student production might not be suitable for all ages (I can probably confirm right now that there will never be a Theatreworks tour of this show).

Regardless of the cheekiness of the humor in the show, you have to give HUGE props (yes, that was a Johnson Joke) to Team StarKid who produced MAMD (as well as their previous hit, A Very Potter Musical, which has racked up millions . . . yep, millions . . . of views on YouTube).  Clearly these guys know how to develop a creative idea that spreads like creamy peanut butter on a slice of Wonder Bread (sorry about that, I’m writing this right before lunch).

And they’ve monetized their idea as well!  The MAMD recording is available on iTunes.

The Billboard article about the charting MAMD says that the creators are waiting to hear if the show will be accepted into this summer’s NY Fringe Festival.

Ahhh, guys?  I’d bet my left and right you-know-whats that you get in.  And that you sell out.

Whether you’ll open at The Palace next season on Broadway?  Well, that’s another story.

Now, before I go sink my teeth into a peanut butter and fluff sandwich (or “fluffernutter” if you’re ol’ school), let’s all ponder what Lord Lloyd Webber said when he saw that right behind Phantom on the Cast Album Charts was a semi-profane student production.  Can you imagine?  “Me and my whaaaat?”  (It’s funnier if you say it with a British accent).

How are you getting your show noticed by people like Lord Lloyd Webber?

In the 21st century, you can make a cast album yourself.  You can make your own videos.  You can do your own press.

In the 21st century . . . you have the tools to do it all by yourself.  (and no, that was not a Johnson Joke).

You just need the desire.

The Phantom sent me an email. Ooooh, creepy.

I signed up to receive email alerts from Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber some time ago. If you’ve never checked out Webbie’s website, you should.  The guy video blogs, emails, and more.  He’s got to be the most social networking-savvy Knight there is.

He’s definitely the most social networking-savvy Tony Award-winning musical theater composer there is.

The irony is . . . he doesn’t need to be.

Or does he?

We all know Phantom II is gearing up, and we all know our industry’s success rate for sequels. So perhaps Sir Andrew knows that he’s got to take advantage of every viral aspect he can, if he’s going to get this chandelier to fly.

Well, so far so good.

Earlier this week, I got this email from The Masked One directly:

Ladies and Gentlemen,

At 11 O’Clock on the eighth day of October 2009, I will be making an announcement of global importance.

Should my commands be ignored, a disaster beyond your imagination will occur.

Amor Numquam Moritur.

Your Obedient Servant,

The Phantom

Ok, a little cheesy, yes.  But definitely fun. And for the real phantom phans, definitely cool.

But that’s not it . . .

Today, I got a follow-up email from the Love Never Dies site offering me a chance to be one of the few people who could witness this announcement live in London.

Oh, and did I tell you that The Phantom tweets?

That’s a lot of buzz-building e-activity around a show that’s had a pretty enviable brand for the last twenty years.  And all their e-efforts are working.  Sir Andy got me to visit this website to watch their trailer.  And after watching the vid, for the first time since hearing about this sequel, I got excited about it.

You know the coolest part about their use of this technology?

When the original Phantom first opened on Broadway . . . it didn’t even have a website.  Think on that for a moment!

You’ve come a long way, Phantom baby.  It’s nice to see your Master keeps up with the times.

The Video Game follow up.

Who knew I had so many readers who were also gamers!  I got a ton of emails regarding my video game post, so I wanted to post a few quick follow ups based on a bunch of great thoughts from all of you.

  • Many of you mentioned that there were video game versions of Lion King, Aladdin, etc.  ‘Tis true, of course, but remember, these weren’t based on musicals.  They were based on movies that then became video games and then became musicals.  Could this be one of the (million) reasons that the Disney shows trounce others at the BO?  We all know that the brands are powerful before they come in to town, and this is certainly one of the elements of building that brand.
  • I agreed with so many of you who said the best shot we have at penetrating this market is in some sort of karaoke/video game.  BG commented about an “Broadway Hero” game instead of “Guitar Hero”.  I likey.
  • Looks like Lord Lloyd Webber may have beat us to the bunch of that one.  Braden and Paul sent links to this article about upcoming games on Cats and Phantom where you have to sing for your roles.  I would have preferred an action based Phantom game, but whatev.
  • Here’s a link from Gil to info on a homemade Les Miz game.  Unfortunately, it, like the Disney movies, was not inspired from the musical.  It’s a tribute to the book.  But hey, any branding of the title helps, right?
  • One reader has this thought . . . why not a musical based on a video game?  Super Mario Brothers The Musical anyone?
  • And finally, here’s a link if you want to download the Altar Boyz game I told you about, built by former employee and reader Matthew Smith.  Sinners, beware . . .

Thanks to everyone for all the cool comments.  And a reminder to the rest of you that the comments section on each entry is the place to be.  I’m lucky enough to have some smart readers so check out what people are saying and post your own.

Now, why do I have a strong desire to power up my X-Box for the first time in 6 months?

Who is in line at the TKTS booth? We found out!

Did you ever wonder who is standing in line for hours waiting for that half-price (or 40%, 30% or 20%-off ticket)?  Did you ever wonder where they were from (and how that
compared with the overall Broadway audience)?  And what shows those
peeps wanted to see?

We did!

Every show I’ve worked on has had a “booth strategy”, even if that
strategy is not to go there.

Well, as I often say, you can’t have a
strategy without statistics (actually, that’s not true . . . you CAN
have a strategy without statistics . . . but that strategy usually
sucks.)

So we sent out a team of PPers to take a survey of 500 of those bargain
hunters, and here are the questions we asked and the
exclusive results:

PRODUCER’S PERSPECTIVE TKTS SURVEY RESULTS

1.  Are you male or female?

42.4% male
57.6% female

2.  Where are you from?

80% from outside the tri-state area
16% from the tri-state area

3.  Do you want to see a Broadway show, an Off-Broadway show or does it matter?

77.2% preferred Broadway
3% preferred Off-Broadway
15.8% had no preference

4.  Do you want to see a play or a musical or either?

8.60% preferred a play
79.80% preferred a musical
10.40% had no preference

5.  When you got in line today, did you know exactly what show you
wanted to see or did you wait to get in line to make your decision?

60.80% knew what show they wanted to see
39.20% didn’t know what show they wanted to see

6.  Have you ever paid full price for a Broadway show?

65.60% have paid full price for Bway
34.20% have never paid full price for Bway

7.  What show do you want to see?

The following were the top five shows requested in order of popularity.
1. Chicago    
2. Phantom  
3. Mamma Mia  
4. Mary Poppins 
5. Avenue Q

Were the results what you thought they would be?  How did they differ?

And the most important question of all, what can you do with these results to strengthen your strategy?  The old rule about taking surveys and doing focus groups is not to do them, unless you’re prepared to do something with the results.

The most exciting stat to me?  Almost 4 out of every 10 people in line
haven’t made up their mind on what show they want to see when they get on line.  Now, if
you’ll excuse me, I have to go come up with some ideas on how to
increase my booth presence.

Special thanks to my assistants, Amanda, Krysta and LA for collecting the data.

– – – – –

THIS IS YOUR LAST DAY to enter the Broadway Fantasy Virtual Investment Game, WILL IT RECOUP?

PLAY TODAY!  WIN AN iPHONE!  CLICK HERE!

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must match.

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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