redeemed

darquegk
Broadway Legend
joined:2/5/09
"Redeemed" flops
Posted: 9/11/12 at 01:34pm
The prevailing wisdom has always been that "a flop is a flop, and that's all it will ever be. If it didn't make back its money, it's a flop, it failed, move on." However, I have always wondered about the existence of what I call "redeemed flops:" shows that, despite flopping on Broadway, made good for themselves in tours, revivals, and licensing to the point where the initial "floppiness" can almost be seen to be cancelled out and the show "redeemed."

"Legally Blonde" and "Rocky Horror" both seem to fit in this category- as Broadway cult favorites, they did not make back their initial investment, but tours, revivals and constant productions have kept both shows from being seen as failures.

If I recall, didn't a few of the major Sondheim shows flop at first but just keep sticking around as well?
LALALand
Stand-by
joined:7/2/10
"Redeemed" flops
Posted: 9/11/12 at 01:53pm
I think Chess would fit into this category.
darquegk
Broadway Legend
joined:2/5/09
"Redeemed" flops
Posted: 9/11/12 at 03:16pm
I was actually wondering about Chess. I had always thought of Chess as a minor cult bit more than a "redeemed" piece, but actually looking at it, it does seem to have done pretty well by itself everywhere but Broadway. Concert after concert, tour after tour, etc.
broadway7117
Understudy
joined:9/13/11
"Redemmed" flops
Posted: 9/11/12 at 03:31pm
Jekyll & Hyde
NoName3
Broadway Star
joined:8/12/11
"Redeemed" flops
Posted: 9/11/12 at 04:10pm
Candide

Updated On: 9/11/12 at 04:10 PM
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
"Redeemed" flops
Posted: 9/11/12 at 04:26pm
Are you talking strictly "financially redeemed" because no matter how much money it makes, LEGALLY BLONDE will always be a steaming pile of corn filled crap.
newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
"Redeemed" flops
Posted: 9/11/12 at 04:32pm
Preach.
WOSQ
Broadway Legend
joined:7/18/03
redeemed
Posted: 9/11/12 at 04:34pm
"Mornings at Seven" by Paul Osborn flopped twice on Broadway before coming up a winner the third and the fourth time.
"If my life weren't funny, it would just be true. And that would be unacceptable." --Carrie Fisher
Overkill
Broadway Star
joined:5/4/08
redeemed
Posted: 9/11/12 at 04:44pm
The Addams Family - A bit early, but it will definitely fall into that category once community/regional theatres start tackling it.

The Last 5 Years
qolbinau
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/08
redeemed
Posted: 9/11/12 at 05:29pm
CARRIE is not a redeemed flop by any means judging by the reception of its recent engagement, but I think it's respectable that something so notorious and abhorrent managed to run 4 months off-broadway and get a cast recording. I suppose that the notoriety probably helped its return. But still, how often does such a notorious failure get the chance for a second life?



Updated On: 9/11/12 at 05:29 PM
EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
redeemed
Posted: 9/11/12 at 05:50pm
What aut a lot of Sondheim? Not just shows like Merrily, or one's that didn't flop so greatly but could never really be more than an artistic success on Broadway (Pacific Overtures), but Company for example got mixed reviews and didn't make any money until its tour (I believe), but is now, like it or not, a classic.
Jon
Broadway Legend
joined:2/20/04
redeemed
Posted: 9/11/12 at 11:30pm
Seussical - one of the most produced shows by schools.
nasty_khakis
Broadway Star
joined:3/15/07
redeemed
Posted: 9/11/12 at 11:52pm
Both Sweeney Todd and Into the Woods flopped on broadway, but with successful tours, regional, and licensing made their initial investments back.
bobs3
Broadway Legend
joined:4/8/12
redeemed
Posted: 9/12/12 at 12:41am
Isn't there a 90 minute one-act version of SUESSICAL that is consistently performed by community and middle & high school theaters?
Leadingplayer
Broadway Star
joined:5/12/03
redeemed
Posted: 9/12/12 at 12:44am
Would Chicago count as a flop the first time? I guess at least it was considered a disappoinment since it was supposed to be the year's big show and A Chorus Line stole its thunder.
Jon
Broadway Legend
joined:2/20/04
redeemed
Posted: 9/12/12 at 01:15pm
There is a "Seussical Jr." version - one act, 80 minutes - large cast - to be performed BY middle schools and high schools.

There is also "Seussical TYA" (Theatre for Young Audiences) - one act, 80- minutes, to be performed by a SMALL cast of adults, FOR young audiences. In other words, for professional children's theatre companies.

Both versions are much more popular than the full 2 act, 2 and a half hour original.
AEA AGMA SM
Broadway Legend
joined:8/13/09
redeemed
Posted: 9/12/12 at 02:00pm
I'm not sure what the Seussical Jr. script looks like, but I greatly prefer the TYA version of the show to the full one. It trims the fat and excess from the show and streamlines it quite nicely. I'm sure some will argue against it, but I have not once missed the military school sequences, "Having a Hunch," and think "How Lucky You Are" works well as a song that is just Mayzie's and not as a reprise of something we've already heard earlier in the evening.
Did you know that every day Mexican gays cross our borders and unplug our brain-dead ladies?
NoHSMisNotAMusical
Stand-by
joined:10/21/11
redeemed
Posted: 9/12/12 at 04:02pm
Into the Woods and Sweeney Todd were not total flops. Both ran for over a year and had multiple cast changes.
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
redeemed
Posted: 9/12/12 at 04:47pm
Tragic fact: I woke up this morning thinking about this thread.

Question: does anybody know what is typical in terms of the original Broadway limited partners (investors) sharing in subsidiary rights? The fact that a show is done by every high school in America doesn't change the OBC's balance sheet unless the producer and his partners share in the royalties.

dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
redeemed
Posted: 9/12/12 at 05:00pm
I've never seen the YA version of Seussical, but I do think the JR version is far superior to the full length. (And I've never seen a middle cast have more fun with a show.)
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
Jon
Broadway Legend
joined:2/20/04
redeemed
Posted: 9/12/12 at 06:29pm
The TYA and JR. versions are pretty much the same material, but the TYA is designed for a cast of about 12, while the Jr. version encourages as large a cast as possible.
bobs3
Broadway Legend
joined:4/8/12
redeemed
Posted: 9/12/12 at 06:40pm
"Question: does anybody know what is typical in terms of the original Broadway limited partners (investors) sharing in subsidiary rights? The fact that a show is done by every high school in America doesn't change the OBC's balance sheet unless the producer and his partners share in the royalties."

Rights vary from show to show but generally the original producers and limited partners participate in subsidiary royalties for appx. 17 years after which 100% rights revert back to the author or composer/lyricist and librettist.

I have a friend who invested in THE SECRET GARDEN. The show did not return its investment on Broadway but thanks to the tour and regional & community productions she ended up making a small profit but it took years to do so.

Updated On: 9/12/12 at 06:40 PM
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
redeemed
Posted: 9/12/12 at 07:28pm
Thank you very much, bobs3. This may fall under "things I could have found on the internet if I did enough research", but your answer was exactly what I wanted to know. (I did check the Dramatist's Guild site, but it's still under construction.)

I seem to remember some references to shows having to run a certain number of performances (not a huge number, but, say, 28 or so) for those subsidiary rights to kick in. I've heard of shows being run at a loss for a few weeks because the producer thought the subsidiary rights would make the extra cost worthwhile.

Again, thanks.
bobs3
Broadway Legend
joined:4/8/12
redeemed
Posted: 9/12/12 at 09:03pm
That may have been the reason they kept Neil Simon's FOOLS running for 5 weeks. It bombed on Broadway but soon became a popular staple of community theaters across the country. I doubt they made all of their investment back but I'm sure they returned some of it.
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
redeemed
Posted: 9/12/12 at 09:09pm
That sounds right and I'm sure it was a good bet on the producer's part.
After Eight
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/09
redeemed
Posted: 9/13/12 at 01:05pm
"Company for example got mixed reviews and didn't make any money until its tour (I believe), "

It received mostly highly favorable reviews, won the NY Drama Critics Award for Best Musical that season, and closed on Broadway having made a small profit.

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