What I did this weekend.

Here’s what I did:

I wasn’t at the beach.

I wasn’t at the park.

I was at work all weekend long.

No, no, no . . . don’t start playing a violin for me.  I’m not looking for you to throw me a pity party.

Because it was one of the best weekends I’ve had in a long time.

I spent the weekend making calls to some of the hundreds of people that have responded to the PeopleOfGodspell post.

Look, I knew there were people out there that loved theater, but nothing prepared me for some of the conversations I had with the wide variety of people that expressed interest in the offer.

– I spoke to a man who met John-Michael Tebelak a few years before he died, and was so inspired by him and by Godspell that he had gone on to perform in and direct over 20 productions of the show.

– I spoke to a man who was an Arabic language expert in the Air Force and had a masters in theater.

– I spoke to a songwriting couple from Los Angeles who said Stephen Schwartz was their hero.

– I spoke to a Broadway wardrobe supervisor, a Broadway stage manager, another stage manager, a Broadway actor, and more . . . and we talked about how back in the old days, staff members of shows got involved in the business end more often because the economics were so different.

– I spoke to a patent attorney, a trademark attorney, a securities attorney, and a few other attorneys, many of whom called themselves “theater dorks.”

– I spoke to a woman whose dad passed away recently and is looking forward to getting back to seeing shows again soon.

– I spoke to a guy in my home state of Massachusetts who commiserated with me after the Patriots lost to the Jets in the NFL’s Week 2.

So many people from all over the country with one thing in common: a passion for the theater.

Can you think of a better way to spend a weekend?

If I haven’t gotten to you yet, I’m sorry, and I will soon enough.  It’s just hard for me to get off the phone sometimes, despite my assistant screaming at me and threatening to smack me with the long call list.

But I’m getting there.

And having a blast in the process.

The 1st ever Crowd-Funded Broadway musical. And it’s got your name on it. (UPDATED 2019)

Yes, it’s true.  We’re doing it.

But before I go into the details, here’s the backstory.

The world of financing projects of all shapes and sizes has been changing at an alarming rate over the last decade.

Thanks to entrepreneurs like Guillaume Colboc and Benjamin Pommeraud, as well as my bloggin’ hero Seth Godin and his book Tribes, the guys at Kickstarter.org and, of course, the King of Crowd-Funding himself, Barack Obama, a new era in bringing people with a common vision together has been born.

We’ve even talked about it on this blog on several occasions . . . and we’ve even wondered, “Can we apply this to Broadway?”

Well, guess what?  We can.  It just took a few extra lawyers and a few extra hours to figure out a new way of doing things.  (I even had to pass a Series 63 Exam to become a Securities Agent!)

So, it is with great pleasure that I officially announce to all of you first, that my upcoming Broadway revival of Godspell will be the first-ever Crowd-Funded, or as I like to call it, “Community-Funded,” Broadway musical.

To be honest, I’ve had this idea for several years, but I was just waiting for the right show.  And Godspell is the perfect show for this concept.  As Stephen Schwartz said to me, “Godspell is essentially about a community of people coming together.”  It just makes sense to bring together the largest community of Producers ever to mount this historic 40th Anniversary production.

As you know, investing in a Broadway musical is something that is usually only available to a select group of people at very high investment thresholds.

But everywhere I go, I meet people who I know would love the opportunity to invest in a Broadway musical and become Broadway Producers themselves, despite the obvious risks, if they only knew how, and if only the entry point was more affordable.

Godspell is for all those people.

Traditionally, the price of one investing unit in a Broadway show has been as high as $10,000, $25,000 or even $100,000.

One unit in Godspell is only $100.  (FYI, there is a minimum purchase of 10 units per investor)

Now, in the subject of this post I said this show had your name on it.  Here’s how:

Each investor
in Godspell shall receive a limited liability company interest in The Godspell, LLC,
per our Offering Circular as qualified with the Securities and Exchange
Commission of the United States.*

In addition, every single investor, no matter how much he or she invests, will have his or her name listed on a poster outside of our Broadway theater.

Yep, you’re going to get billing.

And every single investor will also have their name listed on a new website created exclusively for this community, PeopleofGodspell.com, as well as his or her photo, hometown, a quote, and links to their Facebook and Twitter profiles. 

What do you think?  Fun, right?

There may even be opportunities for opening night performance and gala tickets, complimentary tickets to previews, invitations to private cast functions and more.

If you’re interested in joining me and the other members of the community in this incredibly unique and historic production, visit www.PeopleOfGodspell.com today or click here.  Please note, this is a limited offer because there is only a finite quantity of units available.  If you are interested, I encourage you to contact me through the link above as soon as possible.  I’ve announced it publicly here on my blog first, so that my readers could have the first opportunity to participate . . . after all, our conversations helped inspire it.

Click here to learn more about joining the community.  And maybe I’ll see you on opening night!

Oh, and yes, every investor gets one of the buttons in this photograph.

Join The People of Godspell today.  It’s the first-ever Community Produced Broadway Musical.

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UPDATE:  This offering closed back in 2011.  Want to learn more about Broadway InvestingClick here to get the only book published on the subject, and learn it works, how to pick “winners,” how to avoid “losers,” and how to get started.

The Tony Awards beat me to this blog.

The theme of this year’s Tony Awards opening number was the current overwhelming number of songs on Broadway stages from the popular musical canon.

Well, dangit, that’s what I was going to say!

But it’s more than just this year’s crop.  While leaving American Idiot a few weeks ago, I walked through Times Square and looked at all the marquees.  Connections to popular music are all over the Great White Way in one way or another.

Let’s look at all the book musicals (in alpha order) currently playing on Broadway and connect the popular dots:

A Little Night Music

Stephen Sondheim is not considered a “popular” composer, but ALNM features his only major pop hit “Send In The Clowns,” of the over 800 songs he has written.  It won a Grammy for ‘Song of the Year’ in 1976.

American Idiot

Composed by punk-rock super-group, Green Day, the album of the same title also won a Grammy for ‘Best Rock Album.’

Billy Elliot

Composed by rock superstar (and sometimes Rush Limbaugh supporter), Elton John, who has more Grammys than a retirement home.

Chicago

What do I have to say about this composing team?  How about this:  two words repeated.  “New York, New York.”  That popular enough for you?

Come Fly Away

Speaking of NY, NY, Come Fly Away is all pop tunes sung by pop legend, Frankie S.

Everyday Rapture

This bio musical uses pop tunes to tell some of its story.

Fela!

Fela Kuti’s tunes may not have been featured on morning radio in this country, but in his homeland, his pioneering sounds were all the popular rage.

Hair

The astrological tune, “The Age of Aquarius,” held the #1 spot on the charts for 6 weeks and is listed as the 57th Greatest Song of All Time according to Billboard.

In The Heights

I got nothing on this one, except for the obvious influence of pop music of the time on the score.  So far, that’s 8 out of 9 with a direct connection to the pop world.

Jersey Boys

A bio-musical about one of the most popular guy-groups ever, who sold more than 175 million records.

La Cage aux Folles

Not only did “I Am What I Am” rank on the charts, but Herman had a hit with “Hello Dolly” in 1964 when the Louis Armstrong recording knocked The Beatles out of the #1 spot!

Mamma Mia!

The gold-record standard of the jukebox musical still has ’em dancing in the aisles and grossed almost $800 million last week, almost 9 years after its opening.

Mary Poppins

The Sherman Bros have should get an award for having so many awards. Oscars, Grammys, Golden Globes, and more.  Their supercalifragilisticexpialidocious songs have been sung by the masses for years.

Memphis

David Bryan, the composer of Memphis is the keyboard player for a little known band called Bon Jovi.

Million Dollar Quartet

Some of the greatest classic rock tunes, and classic rock characters, are featured in this jukey musical.

Next to Normal

Outside of his musical theater work, Composer Tom Kitt is the founder of The Tom Kitt band, and his work on American Idiot led him to be hired by Green Day to provide arrangements for their latest album, 21st Century Breakdown.

Promises, Promises

Promises Composer Burt Bacharach has written 70 Top 40 hits in his lifetime, including “I Say A Little Prayer For You” and “A House Is Not A Home” which were both integrated into this revival.

Rock of Ages

Mamma Mia but with 80s tunes.

South Pacific

How many covers of songs can a composer/lyricist have?  R&H’s tunes were all over the place in their day, and are still used in pop culture today.

The Addams Family

Like In the Heights, there’s no real strong connection to the pop world here.  That makes 18 out of 20 with direct connections to the pop music world.

The Lion King

Another one by Sir Elton.

The Phantom of The Opera

Andrew Lloyd Webber is like a modern day R&H when it comes to his theater songs becoming standards.  Streisand, Manilow, and Mathis are just a few of the folks that have covered and scored hits with “Memory” alone.

West Side Story

Leonard Bernstein was successful in the popular idiom in another way . . . the classic way.  He grabbed a couple of handfuls of Grammys in his day, including one for Lifetime Achievement.  He wrote for the movies, for shows, for choruses, and more.  His stuff was everywhere.

Wicked

What Andrew Lloyd Webber is to the UK is what Stephen Schwartz is to America.  He is our most popular successful composer, with Grammys and Academy Awards and more, oh my.  “Day by Day” was a Top 40 hit, and he has even written songs for Five For Fighting.

There you have it.  24 musicals on Broadway and 22 of them with direct connections to the world of popular music.  Some looser than others, I’ll admit. And some are chicken-egg questions (Did their pop success come from the theater work or vice-versa?).

But my point is not that you need to be a successful pop artist to be a successful Broadway composer.  In many of the cases above, the Broadway success came first.

What I am saying is that the overwhelming lack of degrees of separation between successful Broadway composers and the world of pop music suggest that there may be a characteristic that binds the two.

And that characteristic is melody.

So if you’re a composer looking to get a show up on Broadway, you might want to make sure your songs have some similar characteristics to what’s on the radio.  I can’t tell you how many demos I listen to (or stop listening to) where the composers seem to be after some sort of intelligentsia award, instead of just writing a song that people might enjoy hearing in their car, or while cleaning their room, or while they are finishing a blog at 2:08 AM (Lady Gag
a is on in the background on my Sirius radio).

I’m not saying that theater songs have to be Britney-like trite or super-simplistic (God knows Green Day isn’t trite, and Elton’s stuff is some of the richest musical and lyrical material you’ll ever listen to).

But they’ve all got melody and hooks and songs that people like to sing along to.

And that will put you at the top of charts and the Tony Awards.

An announcement about my next project.

Last Friday I announced the end of a five year run one of my shows.

So this Friday I thought it only fitting to announce my next show.

As written about in today’s Variety, I am prepping to mount the first ever Broadway revival of Godspell.

Why would I want to produce Godspell?

Why would I NOT want to produce Godspell?

G’Spell is one of the most beloved musicals on the planet, by one of the most “popular” musical theater composers on the planet, and is the type of unique theatrical experience that audiences crave, and then talk about.

Oh, and, my Mom tells me that it was during a production of the Stephen Schwartz/John-Michael Tebelak musical that I first “kicked.”  I mean, if that wasn’t a sign that I was meant for a career in the theater, I don’t know what was.

And the last reason I wanted to produce this show, and produce it now?

Well, with Altar Boyz closing (only 37 shows left !), I didn’t want to fall out of favor with the Big Guy upstairs.  I figured this could score me a few extra points.

Keep your eye on the blog for future Godspell updates.

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Watch the Blog on Monday for photos and more from yesterday’s social!

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