A road less travelled – producing musical theatre

The Producers is a musical comedy that debuted on Broadway in 2001, with music and lyrics by Mel Brooks and a book by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan. The show is based on a 1968 film of the same name, which was also written and directed by Brooks.

The story follows Max Bialystock, a washed-up Broadway producer, and Leo Bloom, a timid accountant, who hatch a scheme to make a fortune by producing a sure-fire flop of a musical. They plan to oversell shares in the production to investors, and when the show closes after just one night, they will be able to keep the leftover money. However, their plan goes awry when the musical, ‘Springtime for Hitler’ becomes a smash hit.

The show is a satire of Broadway and the entertainment industry, with humorous and irreverent takes on everything from show business conventions to Hitler’s Nazi regime. The score features catchy and humorous songs such as ‘The King of Broadway’, ‘I Wanna Be a Producer’, and ‘Springtime for Hitler’.

‘The Producers’ won a record-breaking 12 Tony Awards in 2001, including Best Musical, and ran on Broadway for over 2,500 performances. It has since been produced in numerous productions around the world, becoming a beloved classic of musical theatre.

Producing musical theatre can be a challenging and rewarding experience. It involves bringing together a team of talented individuals, including writers, composers, lyricists, choreographers, designers, and performers, to create a cohesive and entertaining show.

One of the biggest challenges in producing musical theatre is securing funding. The cost of producing a show can be very high, and finding investors or sponsors to finance the production can be a difficult and time-consuming process. Producers must also budget and manage the finances of the production carefully to ensure that the show is financially viable.

Another important aspect of producing musical theatre is selecting the right creative team and performers. The producer must work closely with the director, choreographer, and designers to ensure that the show’s vision is realized. They must also hold auditions and cast the right performers to bring the characters to life.

During the production process, the producer is responsible for overseeing every aspect of the show, from rehearsals to marketing and promotion. They must ensure that the show runs smoothly and that all deadlines are met.

This column will discuss the highs and lows of venturing down this road less travelled. From producing countless not for profit productions and then moving onto a number of large scale small and large professional productions, I have seen my share of highs and lows. In this column I would like to share various aspects of the business in show business. My intention is not to have this column to be like a guide, but rather a collection of experiences which have guided and shaped the course of my career and journey in life. If I can share some knowledge to inspire a new generation of aspiring producers then there is a silver lining.

Producing plays commercially has never been for the faint of heart. But today, it’s more complex and challenging than ever before. With the stakes so high, the risks of putting on a show can seem overwhelming. And yet, even with all this on the line, the rewards and returns of producing plays are dwindling. It’s a tough time for producers out there.

But you know what? That’s not stopping them. In fact, it’s only making them more creative, more inventive, and more daring. They’re finding new ways to launch their productions and set themselves apart from the rest. And they’re doing it all while keeping costs in check, making sure that every penny spent is a penny well spent.

Sure, it’s tough out there. But that’s never stopped the best and the brightest from rising to the top. So let’s celebrate the producers who are making it happen, who are defying the odds, and who are showing us all what it takes to make it in this business. It’s not just about the money – it’s about the passion, the drive, and the sheer determination to put on a show that will leave audiences talking for years to come.

In a world where production costs are always on the rise, it takes a true visionary to find new and innovative ways to make theatre happen. And that’s exactly what producers are doing.

One strategy that’s really taking off is co-producing – joining forces with other commercial producers or subsidised companies to create something truly special. And the benefits are amazing.

For the commercial producer, co-producing can be a game-changer. By working with other experts in the field, they’re able to cut costs and create something truly spectacular. Meanwhile, for the subsidised company, co-producing can open doors they never thought possible. They can present plays with star names and top talent that might otherwise be out of reach, and they can earn money from future opportunities to exploit those plays.

It’s an incredible way to work together, and it’s a true testament to the power of collaboration. As theatre continues to evolve, we’ll see more and more of these partnerships – and more and more incredible productions that simply wouldn’t be possible without them.

So let’s celebrate the co-producers out there, the visionaries who are changing the face of theatre as we know it.

Cameron Jones

A Canadian theatre producer based in Toronto. With over 15 years of experience in the industry, Cameron has played a vital role in bringing some of the most successful productions to the Canadian stage. Cameron began his career as a stage manager, working on various productions in Toronto. He quickly moved up the ranks, taking on roles as a production manager, and eventually becoming a producer. He has produced a wide variety of productions, ranging from new Canadian plays to classic musicals and everything in between.

Cameron Jones

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *