Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Scott Morfee, a great producer and a good friend, is quoted in this NYT piece on the difficulties of breaking even Off Broadway.

"It took us pretty much the whole ride to recoup," said Scott Morfee, one of the play's producers. "I mean, if you look at the heyday of Off Broadway, in the late 90's, you had all kinds of shows recouping - 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch,' 'How I Learned to Drive.' But it seems shows don't seem to burn as hot or fast anymore."

McKinley's piece says that the average cost to mount an Off Broadway run is now between $500,000 and a million, and I don't doubt it--we ran 21DY as tight as a ship could be run and came in well under that, but that's owing a lot to having just one performer. Most shows can't cut those kind of corners, and so Off Broadway costs are spiraling up toward the Broadway costs. This in turn drives ticket prices up, which in turn drives away the very people you most need to see the shows.


It's a good article--multifaceted, well-researched, thorough. I didn't know that the John Houseman Theatre had shuttered, and if it does indeed get demolished that will be a shame--I had long wanted to play the downstairs there, which I thought would be a great spot for a monologue. It's funny--I've worked with Rick Dresser, who wrote ROUNDING THIRD, the play whose life cycle is dissected in the piece, and reading this I began to realize I know a lot of people in the business. Rick's Beach Boys musical opens today, and I hope it does well by him.
8:45 PM