Theater things that don’t make sense: Vol. 4. Size envy.

Why is it that most of the companies that service Broadway Producers have offices that are bigger than most Broadway Producers’?

Shouldn’t the people that produce the shows be the ones with the fancy addresses and the giant conference rooms and the late-nite catering?

Most of the offices of my peers don’t rival the offices of the ad agencies, the general managers, the accountants, the lawyers, the lighting rental companies, etc.

In fact, the only Producers’ offices I know that can measure up, are offices that also include in-house service agencies like General Management, Marketing, etc.

Unfortunately funny, no?

As someone once said to me, “There’s no money to be made in Broadway.  But there is money to be made OFF Broadway.”

Something tells me that he wasn’t talking about producing shows at theaters under 499 seats.

There are several rational explanations for this phenom, the main one being that it’s easier for those service industry specialists to serve multiple clients, than it easy to produce several shows (especially in a market that doesn’t care about competition).

But we can rationalize it all we want.  If our service industries had smaller offices, then they wouldn’t have to charge so much, and if they didn’t have to charge so much, then our shows would recoup faster.

And if our shows recouped faster, then the producers and investors would be more encouraged to take more risk.

And when you take more risk, everyone gets rich . . . in more ways than one.

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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.