Updates: July 2018


Chapter 10 (Investors & Producers)

            Former Wall Street trader Jim Freydberg invested $500,000 in The Phantom of the Opera when it opened on Broadway in 1988. He has earned a $15 million profit from the show and is fond of remarking that only his Apple stock has been a better investment. And the hits are making more money than ever. Of course not everything’s a hit.

According to NY Post critic Michael Reidel, in the late 20th century, financial barriers to entry as a new investor on Broadway were raised. In the 1980s, you could get into a show with an investment of $10,000 to $15,000. Now the minimum unit for most shows is $250,000.

You’re not backing the shows, you’re backing a producer whose taste, intelligence, and integrity you believe in, Reidel says. Let them pick the show. Finding the hits is their business, not yours.


Chapter 2 (The Jobs)

Current 2017/18 season statistics regarding gender: Percentage of women holding the following positions on Broadway:


37%    Principal acting roles

19%    Directors

18%    Choreographers

16%    Writers

53%    Stage Managers

38%    Company Managers

40%    Music Directors


0%      Carpenters

25%    Props

65%    Wardrobe

4%      Electricians

11%    Sound Engineers

71%    Hair & Makeup


20%    Set Designers

54%    Costume Designers

19%    Lighting Designers

4%      Sound Designers

38%    Hair Designers

67%    Makeup Designers


Other stats:There were 100 producers involved in 60 shows on Broadway this past season.  Average price for a musical: $105. Average price for a play: $93.

Chapter 22 (Theatre Owners)

The 2017/18 Broadway season that just concluded with record high ticket sales of $1.7 billion…good news for theater owners, producers, royalty participants, and the hundreds of people they employ. Were they also good news for Broadway in the long term? The answer to that is more complicated. “We’re in the moving business,” James M. Nederlander, the late patriarch of the theater owning- and producing family, was fond of saying. “We move ’em in and we move ’em out.” … Not counting special attractions, the season that just ended saw only 30 new productions, down 25% from 40 the season before. (The 1927-1928 season set the record with 264 shows: 183 new plays, 53 new musicals and just 28 revivals.) Today’s Broadway is looking more and more like the long-term leasing business.”