BROADWAY MYTH DEBUNKED #3: It’s Not About The Star, It’s About This.
You know what the number one question I get asked when I’m pitching a new show to potential investors and co-producers?
“Who’s in it?”
It’s a great question . . . because a star in your show can be a great insurance policy.
But the big myth that a star guarantees success just ain’t true.
Stars sell tickets to shows upon their announcement. They generate massive amounts of awareness because the press their names generate creates millions of free advertising impressions. That alone sells tickets. If that star also has a passionate enough fan base, a show can create an instant advance. Think Hugh Jackman.
Thus, the insurance policy.
But that doesn’t mean the show is going to work.
Broadway history is filled with shows with mega-watted stars that didn’t recoup. If the show doesn’t resonate with an audience, and if the star doesn’t make sense in the role, then the audience will choose . . . well, another show, with perhaps another star. We often forget . . . our audiences have a plethora of shows . . . and stars . . . to see.
And with those big-time Hollywood stars demanding a high price for that insurance, the profits can often be slim if a show does recoup.
Not to mention the challenge of replacing them!
That’s why, as much as I love a good insurance policy, I prefer to make the show the star. It may be a more of a white-knuckle ride at the start of your show, but it can lead to much bigger benefits on the other side.
That’s why of the 10 longest-running Broadway shows of all time . . . only 1 (Chicago, which is also the only revival), opened with stars.
Make your show the star.
And then, you’ll find, the show MAKES stars.
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On my morning commute, I scoot past a giant hole…
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.