[Editor's Note: Once a month we have a producer take you behind the curtain, into the rehearsal process, backstage, or on the road to illuminate more the of Broadway's Next Hit Musical process. This month it's producer and artistic director Rob Schiffmann]
Broadway's Next Hit Musical is excited to be doing a five show run at the Jerry Orbach Theater in Midtown Manhattan. It's the first time we have had an Off-Broadway run of our show produced by someone outside of our organization and thanks to Right Angle Entertainment - producers of The Office: The Musical, among others - we get to experience what that's like.
Upping the Production Values
When we discussed how to best take advantage of this opportunity and turn the five show run into a five hundred show run, we knew that the look of the show needed to change. We are used to doing our show in a zillion different spaces all over the country and because we are constantly moving into these new spaces, we don't always feel ownership. In this case, while we ARE sharing the space with The Office: The Musical (with songs written by Broadway's Next's own, Assaf Gleizner), we do feel a bit more ownership and thus we wanted to do what we could to make the space ours!
Step one was hiring Robert Z. Grant, who is one of our esteemed actors, to be our production designer. Robert, when he's not blowing people away with his amazing improvisational skills, is a phenomenal designer. Robert took right to the task and started designing for the space by creating a Step and Repeat, some banners and all kinds of great tangible materials to use to decorate the lobby and the inside of the theater. With Robert’s artwork, we are taking the look of the show up a notch for sure.
Upping Our Skills
As far as the substance of the show, we have been working in rehearsal to tighten up our improv and get in fighting shape. This means working on the quality of our vocal performance, our structural work on both a melodic and narrative level and our overall presentational abilities. The New York audience is always great because, in a sense, they are 'in on the joke'. They get some references that may or may not hit out of town. That said, they are also quite critical because they have a zillion entertainment options at their fingertips. So, we'd best do our best to make sure our fans are not just seeing the same old show they have seen before and that the critics are completely blown away.
Wanna find out if we will succeed in our 'blow their minds' endeavor? Come on out and see Broadway's Next Hit Musical at The Jerry Orbach Theater on 5/29, 6/6, 13, 20 & 27 at 7:30pm. Tickets are avail on Ticketmaster. See you at the Jerry Orbach!