The secret to producing a big fat hit Broadway show.

A distinguished member of the press recently asked me for my thoughts on developing product for Broadway, and the ingredients that make a million-dollar-a-week-show.

While sure, I’m a big believer in market research, and understanding who your audience is, and what they want to see, and trying to meet and exceed their expectations.

The big secret to creating a gi-normous, box-office busting, Broadway smash?


There is none.

Anyone who tells you they can sit down and write a hit is full of something that rhymes with hit but doesn’t smell as good.

You just can’t do it.  People can tell you that they can engineer it, but they’re wrong.

You think Da Vinci sat down and said, “I’m going to paint a picture of a woman with a half-smirk that people will talk about for centuries!”

You think Hemingway sat down and said, “Yep.  An Old Man.  The Sea.  Better open up the cash drawer and make some room, because this one is going to be a gusher.”

You think R&H sat down and said, “Oh yeah, this Oklahoma thing is going to make us so much money we’re going to be able to buy . . . well . . . Oklahoma!”

Artists write what they love, and what they want other people to love.  They write what they are passionate about.  Period.

And a Producer has to do the same thing.  While sure, it’s hard when you’ve got people’s jobs on the line (including yours), to not think about “what could I produce that would be a hit?”  But since that never works, why bother?

Here’s my mission.

Produce like Da Vinci painted.  Like Hemingway wrote.  Like R&H dreamed.  Produce what you love, what inspires you, and what you want to inspire others.  You’ll be proud, instead of pandering.

And whether or not people it’s a “hit”, when you’re done with one project, find another one and do it again.


Need more tips on producing your project?  Click here to learn the three fundamentals of producing.


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– Win a spot in our How to Market Your Show with No Money seminar!  Click here.

– Broadway Road Trip from DC on 4/28.  Click 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.