re: The casting of this MERRILY.
Last Edit: Chazwaza 08:27 pm EDT 06/09/24
Posted by: Chazwaza 08:25 pm EDT 06/09/24
In reply to: re: The casting of this MERRILY. - Thom915 07:21 pm EDT 06/09/24

Yes.

But deciding to program a production that has already been produced, fully, twice, and already has Sondheim's approval... and then finding 2 stars to agree (or the stars approaching the theater and the theater going for it) is not that same as a home-grown production that, without any former validation, approval, reviews, or anything, becomes a hit and transfers.

Also, I can't speak to the real plan, but I think most people thought of NYTW as a pre-cursor to broadway. Nothing is guaranteed, but if it did well there, a transfer was all but a sure thing. That it would continue to be so in-demand is something no one could have known for sure, but that it would transfer if a hit at NYTW is something I'd bet my mother's life on was part of the discussion and planned for (and, I'd bet too, anticipated).

And frankly, I would say there was just about zero risk for NYTW to program it in their space off-broadway for a limited run in their season. It was going to sell out. And if it didn't transfer, then it would still have a been a notable, buzz-worthy mounting of the version of the show Sondheim approves, in the production he approved, with 2 big stars and a Tony winner, and not a ticket to spare. The Broadway run is perhaps a surprise to some. But I don't think there was much risk with this. The risk is in the Broadway run. I have no idea to what extent NYTW is financially responsible in making that possible.

But it's all semantics. It was, at the end of the day, a NYTW produced production, even if it was basically a remounting of the same production Friedman had done 2.5 times already... and it's that production that transferred and has been successful on Broadway.
It would have been pretty much the same, I surmise, had any of the *major* non-profit theater companies of NYC had done it.
But good on them for being the ones who did it. They will win a Tony for it, and have surely made money, regardless of my opinion of what their risk was or how much the NYTW leadership has to do with it actually as a production.
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