Actors produce in Hollywood. Why not on Broadway?

Out there in the hills of Hollywood, it’s not uncommon for a movie star to take on the title of Producer, either on his or her own films or on other properties as well.

Look at the current hit Moneyball . . . starring and produced by the one and never lonely, Brad Pitt.

Look at Tom Hanks, who has come a long way since “Bosom Buddies,” and is listed on the producing team of Mamma Mia!, among others.

So why don’t we see more Broadway stars sitting on stools at Sardi’s?

The answer is pretty simple . . . in Hollywood, those Producers aren’t responsible for raising the money.

And, of course, in many cases, their Producer title is more about control over their brand, and in other cases, just something else their agents can grab for them in their negotiations.

So, I do get it.

But still . . . wouldn’t it be interesting to see Nathan Lane produce a show?  What about Bernadette?  Or Norbert Leo Butz?  These are people with great artistic taste . . . surely they could pick a hit, right?  Or add a perspective to the table that maybe hadn’t been heard before?

And surely, their name above the title would sell a few tickets.

I’m not sure how it would work out if a show used the Hollywood model . . . because honestly, I think so many Hollywoodisms are about ego instead of art.  It would obviously depend a lot on the actor and on the piece that they were presenting.

But it’s certainly something I’d like to see more of . . .


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– 16 Days to Godspell!  Read the day-by-day account of producing Godspell on Broadway here.

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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.