Question about musicals

Question about musicals

Sally
Sally

September 29th, 2008, 4:53 am #1

I have a question about musicals. I think I read that when a show is in previews it can still make changes, but once it has an opening night, everything has to be locked and stay that way throughout the history of the show. Is this how it is with every show that is on broadway? Is there a reason they can't make changes after that? Are there exceptions. I know people have mentioned that they've added and deleted lines from Annie over the years. Is this common?

Thanks so much!
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Rachel
Rachel

September 29th, 2008, 1:55 pm #2

A prominent show that had a huge change after it had already been playing for years is "Beauty and the Beast." They added the song "A Change in Me" for Toni Braxton when she played Belle and then left it in for all of the remaining Belles. You can change things after opening night, it is just traditional that the majority of the changes are made before the critics review it.

Rachel
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Suzanne
Suzanne

September 29th, 2008, 7:33 pm #3

The thing that came to my mind when I read your post was that anyone doing the show (say "Annie") - any community theatre, Dinner theatre, etc. that gains the rights to perform the material is contracted to not make any changes to the show without prior consent from the Leasing Company (in the instance of "Annie" that would be Music Theatre International). So, if you wanted to add the song "Dumb Dog" from the movie into your production you would have to first obtain the rights of the song and at that - to be put into your production, and then you would have to get an addendum to your contract with Music Theatre International if they are able to approve those changes. That's the easiest way I can explain it. == An example that is sort of in the same form but with the casting is that of "Annie Jr." - which is to be done 17 and under (18 if they are in high school still) -- and when I produced/directed the show, my Miss Hannigan became extremely ill and in the hospital - so the only person who could take over that role was me, so I had to get written permission from Music Theatre International to perform the remaining shows as Miss Hannigan, being that I am an adult. That's a bit outside the box of changing lines or adding songs... but maybe that helps a bit ?? Just my experiences here - others may have similar or different ones.

Have a great day!
Suzanne
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Meghan
Meghan

September 29th, 2008, 10:09 pm #4

Your production was lucky that they allowed an adult to perform in a restricted ages show. I was in Les Miserables (school edition) this summer, in wich no actor may be over the age of 19. One night our Valjean fell and very badly dislocated his shoulder and was rushed to the emergency room. Our amazingly talented assistant director went on for him, but was 20 (which was why he wasnt in the show in the first place). We ended up receiving a pretty hefty fine from MTI. but what other choice did we have?
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Sally
Sally

September 30th, 2008, 4:59 am #5

The thing that came to my mind when I read your post was that anyone doing the show (say "Annie") - any community theatre, Dinner theatre, etc. that gains the rights to perform the material is contracted to not make any changes to the show without prior consent from the Leasing Company (in the instance of "Annie" that would be Music Theatre International). So, if you wanted to add the song "Dumb Dog" from the movie into your production you would have to first obtain the rights of the song and at that - to be put into your production, and then you would have to get an addendum to your contract with Music Theatre International if they are able to approve those changes. That's the easiest way I can explain it. == An example that is sort of in the same form but with the casting is that of "Annie Jr." - which is to be done 17 and under (18 if they are in high school still) -- and when I produced/directed the show, my Miss Hannigan became extremely ill and in the hospital - so the only person who could take over that role was me, so I had to get written permission from Music Theatre International to perform the remaining shows as Miss Hannigan, being that I am an adult. That's a bit outside the box of changing lines or adding songs... but maybe that helps a bit ?? Just my experiences here - others may have similar or different ones.

Have a great day!
Suzanne
That is so interesting! Thank you!!!

I just saw 9 to 5 at the Ahmanson in LA, which I loved! I know it is going to Broadway after LA. Do you know if they are able to make changes to the show before they open on Broadway?
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Julie Stevens
Julie Stevens

September 30th, 2008, 5:04 am #6

I'm going to see "9 to 5" next week. es, they will make changes to the show up until they open on Broadway. They have to pay the cast to rehearse when they want to make changes, so most producers/directors don't do much more tinkering once the show has opened. I have heard of some shows making changes after getting bad reviews, in an attempt to stay open longer.

Julie
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Another Stage Mom
Another Stage Mom

September 30th, 2008, 11:45 am #7

The thing that came to my mind when I read your post was that anyone doing the show (say "Annie") - any community theatre, Dinner theatre, etc. that gains the rights to perform the material is contracted to not make any changes to the show without prior consent from the Leasing Company (in the instance of "Annie" that would be Music Theatre International). So, if you wanted to add the song "Dumb Dog" from the movie into your production you would have to first obtain the rights of the song and at that - to be put into your production, and then you would have to get an addendum to your contract with Music Theatre International if they are able to approve those changes. That's the easiest way I can explain it. == An example that is sort of in the same form but with the casting is that of "Annie Jr." - which is to be done 17 and under (18 if they are in high school still) -- and when I produced/directed the show, my Miss Hannigan became extremely ill and in the hospital - so the only person who could take over that role was me, so I had to get written permission from Music Theatre International to perform the remaining shows as Miss Hannigan, being that I am an adult. That's a bit outside the box of changing lines or adding songs... but maybe that helps a bit ?? Just my experiences here - others may have similar or different ones.

Have a great day!
Suzanne
Another thing comes to my mind: When the original production of "Les Mis" ran on Broadway the show originally ran over three hours, and the orchestra was paid overtime for the time in excess of three hours. After several years, in an attempt to reduce costs and keep the show running, the producers cut enough material out of the show to bring it in under three hours, thus eliminating the overtime pay for the orchestra and saving some costs that allowed the show to keep running for a while longer.
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