Podcast Episode 99 – VP of Live Theatricals for Universal, Chris Herzberger.

One of my favorite subjects to talk about is the “Hollywood Invasion” of the past 10 years.

Hollywood used to not want to touch us.  Now?  Every single movie studio has a theatricals division.   And television studios and music companies are following suit.

Since I love to talk about how and why we’ve gotten so popular with the west coast, I thought it was time we let someone from one of the studios talk too.

And I couldn’t be more excited that Chris Herzberger, the VP for Universal Picture Live Theatricals, is that guy!

Chris is charged with not only managing the Universal catalog for Producers like me who call up constantly looking for rights, but he also looks inside the catalog for shows they can produce themselves (like this season’s Holiday Inn).   And as you’ll hear, Universal doesn’t only look to Broadway as a sign of success.

Universal has one of the best track-records of all the studios on Broadway (WickedBilly Elliot, etc.).  Chris talks about why he believes that is, as well as .  . .

  • Why he gave up acting to pursue a producing career.
  • How he works hard at demonstrating to Broadway and its players that Universal isn’t some big “evil” corporation, but just a group of passionate people who love the theater.
  • Will TV shows inspire the next wave of Broadway shows?
  • Why he doesn’t announce the shows he is developing.
  • His “taste test” for what in the Universal catalog can be a musical and what can’t.

The studios are sticking around.  In fact, they may become even more significant players over the next ten years.

So it’s important you know how they think.  Listen in to hear one of the best reps they have explain just that.

Click here to listen.

Listen to it on iTunes here.  (And if you like the podcast, give it a great review, while you’re there!)

Download it 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.