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Bright Ideas

TEDxBroadway Young Professionals Program

As some of you know, I'm one of the organizers and the onstage host of TEDxBroadway.We're expecting another sold-out version of this event on February 24, 2014, and to make sure that we're getting not only today's important decision-makers but also the decision-makers of the future, we have created a program that allows young professionals who work in any of the industries related to or based in the Broadway ecosystem to attend for free. There isn't a hard and...

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News

Diane Paulus at TEDxBroadway 2014: From “The Donkey Show” to Tony-Winnin’ “Pippin”

Diane Paulus likes to take theatrical risks. Like with The Donkey Show, a disco adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream she co-produced off-Broadway, which ran from 1999-2005, or her very first production, a rock 'n' roll version of The Tempest. And she’s done it again, this time scoring a Tony Award for Best Director for the current Broadway revival of Pippin, which features a woman in the part of Leading Player (a role originated by Ben Vereen) and the...

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News

Dollars Matter, But So Does Attendance

Broadway had a great Thanksgiving weekend, breaking the all-time revenue record as people poured in from out of town to celebrate the long weekend with a show.The record that wasn't broken, however, was the attendance record, which was actually 4% off the all-time record this year.It's a good moment to ask the question: Does that matter?Isn't it dollars, not tickets, that count?Yes, and no. Yes, because it's true that you take dollars to the bank, not ticket sales numbers.But...

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News

The Sound of Audience

Last Thursday night, 18.5 million people watched The Sound of Music performed live on television.Last season, 11.5 million people saw any show on Broadway.Quibble about the performances. Quibble about the production. Say (correctly) that the two experiences are not the same. Say (correctly) that you can’t monetize a TV viewing the same way you can monetize a theater visit.But here’s what it comes down to.When the only way to experience the product is in the building, you’re not losing...

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Innovation

Broadway Should Encourage Risk Tolerance of Innovative Shows

If you missed it, last week the producers of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark announced that the show is closing on Broadway and moving to Las Vegas.I've heard talk from all the way back when the show opened that a Las Vegas production was in the cards, but the goal presumably was to run two versions of the show, not to move it. I think the Vegas show makes a lot of sense and will be extremely popular. Vegas...

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Bright Ideas

“Jagged Little Pill” Musical Combines Fresh With Familiar

I predict that this actually occurs. If the American Idiot formula can be replicated, the base material is there. If you haven't seen American Idiot, it weaves a story from an existing album with just a smidgen of dialogue and no new or even much modified music. Some so-called jukebox musicals are merely a vehicle for performing some popular songs on stage without the nuisance of having to have the actual creators of those songs present. Others, like American...

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News

Broadway Shows Add Thursday Matinees to Meet Audience Needs

If you're going to have a matinee during the week, Thursday certainly seems like a better choice than Wednesday. I don't have any actual information to back this up, but I'm guessing that the Wednesday matinee tradition was established for a good reason. It just might be that no one remembers what that reason was. Or maybe they do. I should ask Ken Davenport.Thursday has really come up in the world. Formerly just another roadblock to the weekend, Thursday...

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News

New Musical Tells Story of Jesus Through Britney Spears Songs. Good Idea!?

It's the story of Jesus told entirely through the unchanged lyrics of Britney Spears songs.This will attract an audience, and here's why: I can explain it to you in the 15 words I used in the previous sentence, and it gives a lot of people something they can anchor their decision on. For some, it will be Britney Spears; for others, the story of Christ; and for a still large group, both.Familiar mixed with unfamiliar in potentially interesting ways...

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News

The Lion King to Hit $1 Billion, Disney Delivers For Audiences

'The Lion King' Poised to Become Broadway’s First Musical to Bank $1 Billion.I just want to post so we can talk in billions! That doesn’t happen a lot in live entertainment, so congratulations to Tom Schumacher and the rest of the Disney gang. Things like this don’t happen easily or automatically or because of the automatic imprimatur of the Disney brand. They happen because the organization involved is delivering for audiences in special way. Well done.

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Brilliant

Look Out for “Government Shutdown: The Musical!”

Dirty Underwear, The Musical? Banksy Brings Broadway to Brooklyn.This is hysterical, and deserves to be a comment meme. Why not start right now in the comments right here? I'll go first: Government Shutdown: The Musical!

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