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Org licensed to shill tuners

Co. aims to focus on non-B'way fare

Steve Spiegel, a former prexy of Music Theater Intl., has launched a competing company that, like MTI, licenses musical rights to stock, amateur and regional troupes.

Theatrical Rights Worldwide aims to focus significant attention on new tuners that gain exposure through routes other than Broadway, including Off Broadway, festivals and regional theaters.

Company’s initial catalog includes “All Shook Up” and “Ring of Fire,” which both had brief runs on the Rialto, as well as Off Broadway alums such as “I Love You Because” and recent New York Musical Fest participants “Flight of the Lawnchair Man” and “Go-Go Beach.”

“We’re saying those shows should be positioned equally,” Spiegel said. “We’re more willing to take on shows that don’t necessarily make it to New York.”

Unlike many tuner-licensing companies, Theatrical Rights will operate on a business model more akin to publishing than rental. Rather than requiring multiple uses from each set of scripts and other production materials it manufactures, the company will provide materials to each troupe that licenses a tuner.

Org also touts the flexibility of its materials, which include directors’ scripts formatted to allow for notes.

About 85% of the company’s biz looks likely to come from schools and community theaters, although because of an individualized pricing scale based on each production’s potential profit, much of the money the org makes will come from the less-frequent licenses bought by professional theaters.

Spiegel was prexy of MTI from 1994 through 2002 and also worked for another licensing org, Rodgers and Hammerstein Theatricals.

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