What’s the best part of a meal?

The dessert.

Chefs save the good stuff, the sweet stuff, for the end.  The dining experience is designed to leave you with the taste of sugary goodness in your mouth as you pay the bill and head home.

I saw a show last week where . . . well . . . the lettuce on the salad was a little wilted.  The entree was overdone.  But the chocolate mousse of an ending was good enough to make me forget the taste of what came before it.  I found myself telling a friend that I liked the show, when in actuality, I just liked the dessert.

It made me realize how important last impressions are.

I’ve seen some of the most creative chefs in the business work magic with the final few moments of their meal/musical.

For example, I thought the last non-star driven (aka Craig Bierko) revival of The Music Man was pretty dull.  But it was hard not to perk up when the entire cast played “76 Trombones” on brass instruments in the curtain call . . . and then they dropped a giant American Flag (for real, yo).

It was hard for an audience not to applaud for that mound of whipped cream shoved in your face.

Despite the cheesiness of that pile of sugar, the lesson is the same.  Make sure the taste you leave in your audience’s mouths at the end of your show is a good
one.  I’ll leave it to you decide how sweet it needs to be.

It varies depending on who’s sitting at your table.

– – – – –

Only 12 days left to play The Producer’s Perspective Tony Pool!  You can win an iPhone!  Play today!

Related Posts


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.