×

Listen: Why One Tony-Winning Producer Thinks Broadway’s Boom Is Just Beginning

Think Broadway is big now? Then get ready, because the boom is just beginning.

So says Ken Davenport, the producer of the Tony Award-winning Broadway revival of “Once On This Island,” on the latest episode of Stagecraft, Variety‘s theater podcast.

Listen to this week’s podcast for free below and at Apple Podcasts:

People thought, oh, Broadway’s been booming over the last couple of years? It’s about to experience another [boom],” Davenport predicted. “When ‘Hamilton’ opened, there weren’t kids in the Philippines wearing ‘Hamilton’ T-shirts. There are kids right now in the Philippines wearing ‘Harry Potter‘ and ‘Frozen‘ T-shirts. They’re gonna want to come here.”

Davenport’s revival of “Once On This Island” gave watchers one of the biggest surprises of Tony night, snatching the trophy for musical revival away from its more traditional competition, including the perceived frontrunner “My Fair Lady.” How’d he pull it off?

We’re seeing a real change on Broadway in general,” he explained. “Not only ‘Once On This Island,’ but I think ‘The Band’s Visit‘ win, the success of ‘Dear Evan Hansen,’ the success of ‘Come From Away’ — I think we’re seeing a real embracing of unique and original ways of telling stories.”

On Stagecraft, the producer — whose interest in transparency led to his long-running blog, the Producer’s Perspective, and to Broadway’s first crowd-funded production — also addressed goats on the red carpet, the secrets to a good Tony number, and breaking taboos and blurring the lines between producer and creator with his newest Broadway project, “Gettin’ The Band Back Together,” starting previews at the Belasco Theater on July 19.

Download and subscribe to Stagecraft on iTunes, Stitcher and Google Play.

Popular on Variety

More Legit

  • The Rose Tattoo review

    Broadway Review: 'The Rose Tattoo' Starring Marisa Tomei

    “The Rose Tattoo” is what happens when a poet writes a comedy — something strange, but kind of lovely. The same might be said of director Trip Cullman’s production: Strange, if not exactly lovely. Even Marisa Tomei, so physically delicate and expressively refined, seems an odd choice to play the lusty and passionate protagonist, Serafina [...]

  • Obit-Roy-B

    Former NATO President Roy B. White Dies at 93

    Roy B. White, former president and chairman of the National Association of Theater Owners, died of natural causes Oct. 11 in Naples, Fla. He was 93. White ran the 100-screen independent theater circuit, Mid–States Theaters Inc. In addition to his career, he did extensive work on behalf of charities and non-profits. He was vice president [...]

  • Soft Power review

    Off Broadway Review: 'Soft Power'

    The “culture-clash musical” is a familiar template, in which a white American protagonist — waving the flag of individuality, optimism and freedom — trumps and tramps over the complexities of that which is foreign, challenging or “other.” David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s “Soft Power,” the new “play with a musical” at Off Broadway’s Public [...]

  • Jagged Little Pill Business of Broadway

    Listen: How 'Jagged Little Pill' Will Rock Broadway

    “Jagged Little Pill” wasn’t originally written with Broadway in mind — but the songs on Alanis Morissette’s smash-hit 1995 album do exactly what good musical theater songs should do, according to the upcoming show’s creators and producers. Listen to this week’s podcast below: The team explained why on Variety‘s theater podcast, “Stagecraft,” in an episode [...]

  • Stephen Moore

    Stephen Moore, 'Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' Android, 'Doctor Who' Actor, Dies at 81

    Stephen Moore, best known for his roles as the paranoid android Marvin in “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” radio series and the Silurian Eldane in “Doctor Who,” has died. He was 81. “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” producer Dirk Maggs confirmed Moore’s death Saturday on Twitter, writing, “Our dear friend Stephen Moore has [...]

  • Ben Platt Variety Power of New

    Ben Platt on Coming Out and the Queerness of 'The Politician'

    Ben Platt never imagined he would one day star in a series like “The Politician.” “I didn’t think I could be a star of a show in general starting out. I think I was like, ‘I’ll do Broadway. I can be on stage and I can play Jimmy in “Thoroughly Modern Millie” and Nathan Detroit [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content