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Broadway Unbound

The New York Times has an article on a topic we've discussed here before: How difficult it is for a show to open on Broadway. The piece does not address two factors which I'm led to believe are quite significant. One is the sheer number of shows that want to play The Great White Way compared to the number of available theaters. Even if every show could raise the necessary millions to open, there wouldn't be a place for most of them.

And the other thing is whether the press coverage of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark has soured some investors on putting their bucks into Broadway. That show is still playing to decent houses and may eventually turn out to be rather profitable. But there were sure times when that didn't look possible and it made theater look like an even more expensive crapshoot than ever.

The main point of interest in the article to me is that there seems to be no movement on getting The Nutty Professor anywhere close to Times Square. I'll save you looking for the relevant line…

Ned McLeod, the lead producer of "The Nutty Professor" (which was the final show by the composer Marvin Hamlisch), said he and the creative team were trying to align their schedules to develop the show further, and Mr. McLeod said he was looking for more investors as well.

No mention of another production being planned anywhere…just a need for backers, which is what the production in Nashville was supposed to generate. This doesn't sound good. And the article also has no mention of Minsky's, Robin and the 7 Hoods and quite a few other shows which were once headed towards Manhattan but now seem to have evaporated. The article says 75% of shows on Broadway never turn a profit. Imagine what the percentage would be if you figured in the losses on shows that never even make it that far.