Broadway Publicity Firm THE HARTMAN GROUP to Shut Down January 2014
After beginning his career in 1993, longtime theatrical press agent Michael Hartman, founder and CEO of one of the largest and most successful theatrical publicity firms in New York, will say goodbye to Broadway and close The Hartman Group on Sunday, January 5, 2014, remaining fully operational until then.
"Theater salvaged my sanity and defined community for me when I was younger and has continued to do so. It has been a privilege to work in an industry that I love and I owe a debt of gratitude to my clients and colleagues over the past 21 years for an absurdly vibrant life as a Broadway press agent in New York City. I am a very lucky man."
Having recently married, Hartman and his husband began long-term planning to move to their home state of Texas to start a family. Then came a delicious opportunity.
Amy's Ice Creams opened as a single storefront in 1984 and has since become one of a small group of bona fide Austin institutions, now with 15 locations across Texas. Its trademark eccentric customer service reflects a distinctive quality of life in Austin. Hartman was one of the first employees while pursuing his B.F.A. in Theatre at The University of Texas. Owner Amy Simmons was wildly entrepreneurial and inspired him to believe that he could be a business owner himself, which resulted first in a successful 10-year partnership with Barlow-Hartman Public Relations and ultimately in this 5-year run with The Hartman Group. Ms. Simmons, who has been featured nationally in Forbes Magazine, Inc. Magazine, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Southern Living, People Magazine and on "The View" as one of the top 5 ice creams in the country, recently offered him the position of CEO of her company, he accepted, and a story that began 30 years ago will now come full circle.
"Amy has grown her company into one of the biggest Austin success stories of the past 30 years. Her product is impeccable but what equally compels me is the value placed on human capital and the personal evolution of her employees. A primary mission of hers is to actively educate and cultivate entrepreneurs from within. The company's open-book, full-transparency management model affords every employee the opportunity to receive a business education for free, on the job, becoming intimate with every aspect of its finances, operations and projections. To join this rare and innovative company culture excites me beyond measure."
The Hartman Group is a media relations firm, founded by Michael Hartman in 2009, with an expertise in Broadway productions and other theatrical events. Current Broadway projects include Billy Crystal 700 Sundays, Big Fish, First Date, If/Then, Rocky, Rock of Ages, Romeo & Julietand Wicked. Current Off-Broadway projects include Second Stage Theatre, Murder For Two and Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812. Upcoming productions include The Last Ship, Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, Houdini, Rear Window, Cirkopolis, Dames at Sea and Coal Miner's Daughter.
The firm also represents Key Brand Entertainment, Broadway Across America and Stage Entertainment USA. Recent productions include The Trip To Bountiful (starring 2013 Tony Award winner Cicely Tyson), Let it Be, Ann (starring Holland Taylor), Jekyll & Hyde (starring Constantine Maroulis and Deborah Cox), The Rascals: Once Upon a Dream, Hands on a Hardbody, Evita (starring Ricky Martin), War Horse, Bring it On: The Musical (2013 Tony nominee - Best Musical), In the Heights (2008 Tony Award - Best Musical), Billy Elliot (2009 Tony Award - Best Musical),Memphis (2010 Tony Award - Best Musical), How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (starring Daniel Radcliffe and John Larroquette), Sister Act, Ghost, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons on Broadway, Traces, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (starring Harry Connick, Jr.), Lysistrata Jones, American Idiot, Next to Normal (2010 Pulitzer Prize), La Bête (starring Mark Rylance, David Hyde Pierce and Joanna Lumley), Catch Me If You Can, Donny & Marie - A Broadway Christmas, Elf, The Pee-Wee Herman Show Live On Stage, Promises Promises (starring Sean Hayes and Kristin Chenoweth), West Side Story, Baby It's You!, Harry Connick, Jr. In Concert on Broadway, Come Fly Away, A Steady Rain (starring Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman), the national tour of Billy Crystal's 700 Sundays and Cirque du Soleil's Wintuk.