Magazine article Variety

Fans Can Back Favorite Musical - and Make a Profit

Magazine article Variety

Fans Can Back Favorite Musical - and Make a Profit

Article excerpt

GORDON COX

@gcoxvariety

Crowdfunding isn't just for Zach Braff and "Veronica Mars." Legit producer Jamie Hendry recently used it to raise £1 million ($1.7 million) of the $10.7 million budget for an upcoming West End musical version of "The Wind in the Willows."

Broadway's given the idea a try too, with producer Ken Davenport leaning on similar methods to drum up about $2.5 million of his budget for the 2011 revival of "Godspell" - which didn't recoup.

Hendry tried crowdfunding to prove a personal theory. "There's an untapped pool of people out there who might not have ever considered investing in theater because they think of it as a mysterious dark art that happens behind closed doors," he posits. He used his computer-science degree to help design the digital portal investors used to pony up.

But, he adds, the populist approach is viable only with certain properties. …

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