The Playgoer: Scoring "Points"

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Friday, August 03, 2007

Scoring "Points"

Riedel's column today is all about Mel Brooks almost Producers-like engineering of a contract that makes him lots and lots of money on Young Frankenstein not matter how good or bad it sells.

But what struck me most was this contextual paragraph showing how directors--at least the Broadway A-list directors--can get a piece of the action, too:

Susan Stroman, who is directing and choreographing "Young Frankenstein," is entitled to 4 percent of the profits, which puts her in league with Broadway's two richest directors: Hal Prince, who reportedly owns 7 percent of "The Phantom of the Opera," and Mike Nichols, who's said to have 5 percent of "Spamalot."
5% of profits may not seem very large numerically. But not bad if you actually invested zero! All gravy.

If you're Nichols, Prince, or, now, Stroman.

The point is--outside of a flat fee or weekly royalty/salary (which no doubt can be hefty for the heavy hitters) the "profits" are usually, most often not going to the artists on a Broadway show... But same with other commercial entertainments--movies, the music biz, tv networks. Hence the big deal when even a movie star can negotiate gross "points" in a contract.

Otherwise artists are bodies for hire, as usual.

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