Composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim, 89, wrote of their collaboration in his 2011 book, Look, I Made a Hat:Continue Reading
EXCLUSIVE: In competitive Tony Awards contests, can producers who vote for their own shows have an outsized impact? Apparently.
I obtained a list of voters in the 2017-18 season — which I’m told is largely current — and cross-referenced it with names above the title of this year’s Best Musical nominees.
I counted 17 Tootsie producers and co-producers who were eligible to vote, 16 on Ain’t Too Proud, 12 on Hadestown and nine on The Prom. With just 831 voters, those margins aren’t negligible. Continue Reading
EXCLUSIVE: A promising Broadway courtroom drama appears to be closing out of town.
Scott Rudin and the University of the South have agreed in principle to settle the University’s lawsuit alleging that Rudin’s production company failed to pay royalties on his Glass Menagerie revival starring Joe Mantello and Sally Field. Lawyers for both sides filed papers in Federal Court in Tennessee disclosing the tentative deal yesterday, exactly a year after the play began previews at the Belasco Theatre.
EXCLUSIVE: The producers of Rebecca aren’t giving up on their four-and-a-half-year campaign to force their former press agent to pay for the musical’s collapse.
Rebecca Broadway Limited Partnership, led by Ben Sprecher and Louise Forlenza, requested a New York judge throw out last month’s $85,000 jury award for wrongful interference against publicist Marc Thibodeau. Sprecher and Forlenza originally sought at least $10.6 million. Their lawyer, Erik Groothuis, said in a court filing that the jury picked $85,000 “from thin air.”
UPDATE: Producer Ben Sprecher’s 11-year quest to bring Rebecca the Musical to Broadway is over. Last year, he lost the rights to produce the show and now must repay his investors $5.5 million, his lawyer said in opening statements in the civil trial against his former press agent, Marc Thibodeau.
Sprecher, his partner, Louise Forlenza, and their lawyer, Erik Groothuis, all declined further comment. An email to licensor VBW International wasn’t returned.
EXCLUSIVE: Andre Bishop, Lincoln Center Theater’s longtime leader, earned pay and benefits of $911,670 in 2014, one of the richest compensation packages at a U.S. nonprofit theater.
Among the components listed in the organization’s latest tax return, Bishop’s salary increased by $99,000, or 16 percent, from a year earlier to $719,621. The return valued his benefits, including retirement and other deferred pay, at $192,049. His compensation more than doubled in nine years as the budget was little changed.
Tony Award contenders often say it’s an honor to be nominated. For Bright Star, like any struggling nominee, it’s an expensive honor.
Instead of potentially folding after ten slow weeks, Joey Parnes, the lead producer of the original Steve Martin and Edie Brickell musical, is betting on the marketing muscle of its five nominations. The production will borrow money to run at least through the Tonys on June 12, he said, as well as to advertise the nominations and stage a number on the CBS telecast. The last expense typically runs in the six figures.
“It’s not a secret that we’ve been having less-than-robust grosses,” Parnes said earlier in the week. “To say we’re an underdog is an understatement.”
UPDATE to include Hamilton accord: As the cast of Hamilton looks forward to a portion of profits from the blockbuster, The Book of Mormon has paid its workshop actors about $3 million to-date for helping to develop that Broadway smash.
The estimate of royalties is based on financial results for Mormon obtained from the office of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman via a Freedom of Information Law request. (Royalties include only the Broadway production, as data from the London production and two national tours weren’t made available.) Chris Boneau, a Mormon spokesman, declined to comment. One Mormon actor who spoke on condition of anonymity said he’s been paid $20,000 to $40,000 a year in royalties.
A musical without musicians is an untested concept on Broadway. Janet B. Rosen, the freshman lead producer of In Transit, a long-gestating a cappella romantic comedy circling Broadway, says she’s undaunted.
In Transit employs the subway as a setting and plot line and is arranged by Deke Sharon, the arranger and music director of the a cappella movies Pitch Perfect and Pitch Perfect 2 (worldwide gross $400 million). A national a cappella tour he oversees, Vocalosity, appears to be selling well. And Kristen Anderson-Lopez — who wrote In Transit with Sara Wordsworth, James Allen-Ford and Russ Kaplan — co-wrote Disney’s Frozen ($1.3 billion). “We are ready to take it to Broadway,” Rosen, who holds the rights to In Transit, told Broadway Journal last night at a concert presentation at Feinstein’s/54 Below. She said it would be Broadway’s first a cappella musical. “A cappella is huge right now.”