Hi Gang, and greetings from Hollywood!
I’m so farklempt to be back! As Michele may have told you all, I was the victim of built in technological obsolescence. In other words, my computer died. I’m holding out on getting another one, and meanwhile am using my son’s. He’s very frightened, as technology in my hands in like a grenade launcher in the hands of a five-year-old. Hopefully, I’ll get a new system before I push the wrong button on this thing and Norad goes to Defcon Three.
Over my forty-eight years in show business, I’ve worked with some of the greatest directors and producers in history. Yet recently, I have become a fan…nay, an acolyte of Andrew Lloyd Webber. Not because of his body of work per se, but because, as a producer myself, I can appreciate pure, unmitigated genius when I see it!
Recently, on BBC-America, they ran a two-year-old competition called “Any Dream Will Do.” The premise seemed simple; Andrew Lloyd Webber ran an ‘American Idol’ like competition for the viewers to select the male lead in his new production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” At first, I watched it just because it was very good, and secondly because “Joseph” is my all-time favorite musical. But it wasn’t until the series finale that I realized just what the Lord was up to, and it borders on brilliance worthy of Einstein. It goes like this:
Webber takes the competition idea to the suits at BBC. They like the premise and they buy it. Now, Webber has someone to pay for the casting process, which is seen by thirty million Brits, thereby also providing his upcoming production with eight weeks of publicity. During the show’s run, he introduces said Brits to a dozen adorable, talented, wanna-be’s. Now, Webber is creating a fan base for all these guys, one of whom will ultimately get the lead in the musical chosen by the viewers’ votes. This way, his Nibs creates a mass hysteria of viewers who all are willing to shell out the fifty pounds for a ticket, (about one hundred thirty bucks American,) to see their new fave in a loincloth again, since they saw all the contestants in theirs during the competition.
But Webber’s true brilliance is not yet revealed.
The biggest pain in the tokhes a producer has to deal with is the investors who put up the money for a show; in this case, about ten million American bucks to bring ‘Joseph’ to the West End. But remember, in addition to all the already mentioned perks of the competition, Webber is also raking in the gelt as the producer/creator of the competition, about three quarters of a million per episode, thereby generating more than enough to put the revival on stage! And by the time the show was in final rehearsal, it was sold out for four months! Five hundred seats at a hundred bucks each for six shows a week, times four months, less the daily production costs; and not a brass farthing out of his Lordship’s pocket!
Not that I would have paid for a ticket. I’ve seen David Cassidy, his brother Patrick, and Andy Gibb do the play, and also I saw Donny Osmond (who played the role for over six thousand performances,) in it three times, four if you count the video. Besides, the guy I wanted to see win, came in third! Feh!
Till next month, Gang!
The Gantseh Megillah
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