Tada! Introducing The Davenport Theatre!
They say the American Dream is to own a house.
Well, I’ve had the same dream for a while. But as you know, on Broadway and Off Broadway, we define house just a little differently.
A house = a theater.
And somebody should pinch me, because my American Dream just came true. That’s right! Woo-hoo! I’ve got a theater!
I’m thrilled to announce the opening of The Davenport Theatre, located smack dab in the middle of the theater district, at 354 West 45th St. And get this, there are actually two theaters in the building: one freshly renovated 150 seat theater (a size desperately needed in the area), and the other a 60 seat black box . . . that’s about to undergo a massive reno to expand to a 99 seater, for all those Equity Showcases out there.
And I know, I know, it looks like I tossed my own name on the marquee, but that’s not exactly true. First, we don’t have a marquee. Second, the only thing that makes me more proud than actually having a theater, is being able to name that sucker after my great-grandfather, Delbert Essex Davenport.
I’ve never really talked about Del (as he was called), but if you’ve ever been in my office, you’ve seen his photo staring at you from the bookshelf in front of my desk. Delbert was a Producer, a Publicist, an Author, a Lyricist and just about everything else you can imagine back in the days of Ziegfeld (he was born in 1882 and passed away in 1966). His biggest hit was a musical called Little Mary Mack from Hackensack that tried out in Philadelphia and had music by . . . get this . . . Sigmund Romberg. He wrote and published his own books (he set up a printing press in his basement – this was long before the days of Kindle), founded a newsletter called The American Ambition Association, and was known for his publicity stunts for his shows (including dropping flyers out of planes).
And he was one of the inspirations for my career.
My mother gave me his scrapbook when I was in college. And I remember being in awe of his business cards, the photos of him with Follies girls, and the published sheet music sold for songs like “Oh, You Girl!” that sold for a nickel. In fact, the name of his company when he was coming up was Davenport Theatrical Enterprises, which is what I called mine.
And now, after 50 plus years, Del is alive and kicking in midtown . . . at the Davenport Theatre! (I’m seriously hoping for his ghost to show up – now that would get some press! See, I told you he inspired me.)
Who knows, maybe I’ll revive Little Mary Mack from Hackensack and do it in the space (concert version, anyone?).
We’ve got lots of fun stuff planned for the theater, and of course, both spaces are open for rental for your productions, readings and events. I am proud to say that our very first tenant is going to be the funny-every-time Forbidden Broadway! But if you’re looking for space for your Off Broadway show, click here and get in touch, and hopefully we can help you out. Make sure you sign up so you can get an invite to our upcoming open house! And if you want to get a sneak peak at the stage, come to our song writing contest performance this Thursday night!
And now, somebody please pinch me because I’m still a bit shocked that this came true.
Ouch. Damn it, Ghost of Del. I didn’t mean that literally.
(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below! Email Subscribers, click here then scroll down to say what’s on your mind!)
-Win two tickets to Pageant. Click here to enter and win.
– Attend the Davenport Songwriting Contest on 1/30. Click here to read about the finalists and to get your tickets.
– Need money for your show? Learn how to raise it at my next How To Raise Money Seminar. Guaranteed. Coming up on 2/1 in NYC! Only a few spots left! Sign up today.
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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.