It’s a Christmas miracle! An Off-Broadway show recouped.

Sound the bells.  Light the lights.  An Off-Broadway show is in the black!

Last week, Tribes, the Off-Broadway show by Nina Raine which has been running for only nine months at The Barrow Street Theatre downtown, announced that it recouped its entire capitalization.

And they said it couldn’t be done.

Normally this kind of news is something I would just tweet, but an Off-Broadway show recouping is as rare as a Broadway play without Hollywood stars, so I had to give it the full post attention it deserves.

How rare is this kind of announcement?

Well, by my rough count, there have only been 6-7 Off-Broadway shows that have recouped their investment in the last . . . oh . . . 15 years!  (I’m proud to say that three of those suckers are mine – but even those were several years ago now – Altar Boyz opened in 2005 – and it’s much, much harder now than it was then!).

Three cheers for the super smart Producers at the helm of this terrific drama . . . Scott Morfee, Jean Doumanian and Tom Wirtshafter.  Congrats, guys, on a job amazingly done.  And of course, congrats to Ms. Raine and Director David Cromer and the cast.  For without the artists creating something that audiences want to see, there’s nothing to recoup in the first place.

We should all spend some time studying this show to see what it takes to recoup a show Off-Broadway in the 2010s.  Because it ain’t easy.  Let’s hope Tribes has broken the streak and that there are many more to follow.

Because Off-Broadway is too important of a training ground for actors, directors and yes, Producers, for it to not have a chance at financial success.



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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.