The Spanish are Coming! The Spanish are Coming!
Recent research reports indicate that a whopping 37 million people in the US speak Spanish in the home, making this Latino-language the most spoken non-English language in this country, by mucho.
And that number is only increasing. (Why did I take French in high school again?)
Extrapolate that statistic to our business and you’d see an audience that is about to emerge, despite the fact that our audience is currently only 7.8% Hispanic, according to the recent Broadway League Demographic report.
But maybe that minuscule number is because we haven’t produced any shows that “speak” to that audience specifically.
Expect that to change.
Because just last month, there were three announcements that got me thinking the Spanish tides were turning. And you know, things happen in tres.
First, I was just asked to speak on a panel called Latin America Meets Broadway: Exporting, Importing and Co-Producing Musicals and Plays put together by the US-Mexico Chamber of Commerce and Broadway’s Luis Salgado.
Second, Mexico’s Cameron Mackintosh, Morris Gilbert, announced that he was bringing his Spanish speaking production of The Vagina Monologues to the Westside Theatre Downstairs right here in NYC, where it’s playing right now! Vamanos!
And lastly, and by far what could move that minuscule Hispanic audience stat most significantly, the long awaited Gloria Estefan bio musical, On Your Feet, which was announced for Broadway next year (with a reality show in the works to find its leading lady)?
The audience isn’t going to change overnight. Because nothing changes overnight. But when our population shifts, as it has been, everything shifts with it in time. Including our entertainment.
And tomorrow’s Producers should take notice. Because the Spanish speaking population is going to make up a much bigger part of our audience.
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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.