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I Wanna Be a Producer: How to Make a Killing on Broadway...or Get Killed Hardcover – April 1, 2016
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''John Breglio, the Broadway lawyer who's represented everyone from August Wilson to Joe Papp, has written an excellent book about the nuts and bolts of putting on a show. I love the title: ''I Wanna Be a Producer: How To Make a Killing on Broadway . . . or Get Killed.'' His book is a primer on securing rights, negotiating contracts, setting up royalty pools and creating ad campaigns. As such, it will be required reading at every university drama department in the country. But it's also an engaging memoir, laced with memorable anecdotes about Bennett, Lloyd Webber, Sondheim, Jimmy Nederlander and the Shuberts. Breglio was involved in nearly every major Broadway production of the past 40 years. ''I Wanna to Be a Producer'' is your ringside seat to all the fun, insanity and occasional heartbreak.'' New York Post "John Breglio really knows his stuff and so he should he s been working for more than 40 years in the entertainment business as both a lawyer and a producer...I can t recommend this book enough. It is written in a style that throws any idea of academic-style writing out the window. It is as if the author is sitting in the room letting you in on all the ups and downs you could be facing if you decide to go down the production route." - Musical Theatre Review
"Anyone who has dreamed of mounting a show on Broadway or the West End will be interested in John Breglio's comprehensive and informative new book. Part memoir, part handbook, Breglio takes readers through a behind-the-scenes journey on the job of a producer and the path from initial idea to a [hopeful] smash hit. With practical analysis and useful anecdotes the text is stuffed full of knowledge about the theatre industry from a true vet with over 40 years of practical experience. He can't promise you a hit, but he can share his valuable experience of a life well lived in the heart of the theatre industry." --London Theatre
''Producer and entertainment lawyer John Breglio has seen it all, and this memoir/handbook will be devoured by theater buffs whatever their goal. If you want to be a player, he's got dos and don'ts. If you want to peek behind the curtains and see how Broadway really works, he's got the details about the hard work that goes into mounting revivals of Dreamgirls and A Chorus Line, and decades of work as a lawyer. And if you want stories, he has crossed paths with everyone from Michael Bennett to Stephen Sondheim and August Wilson to Patti LuPone. It's neither fish nor fowl, really, much like the job of a Broadway producer.'' - Broadway Direct
''[T]his is a book about the business of Broadway, not the act of creating art. As soon as [author John Breglio] gets to contracts-specifically, discussions of the authors agreements, royalty pools, the APC (''Approved Production Contract''), raising money-we get a primer that is invaluable for those involved in, or merely interested in, the field. I can't stress how good a job does explaining these matters, especially the profit pool; this is the finest and clearest explanation I've ever read.... I Wanna Be a Producer is peppered with examples from real life, as Breglio illustrates the discussion with tales drawn from his involvement on such shows as A Chorus Line, Fences, Dreamgirls, Ballroom and more. [A Chorus Line creator Michael] Bennett is frequently cited, as are a panoply of Broadway bigshots of the era. All in all, I Wanna Be a Producer is a fascinating and entertaining look at just what it takes to produce a Broadway musical.'' - Huffington Post
''It's so cool to see a book about the theater that really digs deep and discusses the nitty-gritty day-to-day issues when it comes to mounting a show...Incredibly detailed, yet easily digestible, this one-stop-shop for theatrical advice talks facts and figures, including specific costs to expect (and that you probably wouldn't expect), truly merging the financial and artistic tightrope so many productions have to walk to stay afloat, let alone find success...an invaluable resource to any aspiring producer, performer, or devotee of the theater. Simply fantastic all around.'' - Manhattan Book Review
''[I Wanna Be a Producer] is a quasi-memoir of [John Breglio's] years serving as an entertainment lawyer with clients like Michael Bennett (director, A Chorus Line and Dreamgirls) and Allan Carr (La Cage Aux Folles). Breglio sprinkles in real-life anecdotes, which detail the creation of these seminal Broadway productions, along with some not so distinctive ones, while also covering the details of how to become a producer....While seeing theater transports us to another world and experience, Breglio's book offers a practical transformative experience in laying out the complete process and details needed to secure the rights and every other aspect necessary for the audience to fully embark on their journey. It will make you appreciate the finer aspects of the theater on a whole other level.'' --Center on the Aisle
''I Wanna Be a Producer is for anyone who wants to see their theatrical vision come alive on stage. But, the book is not just limited to wannabe producers. Theater aficionados also will enjoy learning about what it takes to put on a big Broadway show, the work and collaboration required, the expense it takes to get something mounted, and the anxiety of waiting for critical reviews and audience reaction.'' - Le Bon Travel and Culture
''John Breglio could hardly be better qualified to share his views, having spent decades as a lawyer advising those wishing to put shows on to the Great White Way before retiring from the day job and becoming a producer in his own right...The attractions of I Wanna Be a Producer are numerous. On a professional level, this is a man who knows his law and business practice inside out and explains things patiently and clearly...By the end of I Wanna Be a Producer, purchasers will have learned a great deal about the mechanics of Broadway, the business of show production and the difficulties of working with temperamental artistic types, not to mention business people. It would be a mistake to assume that this book is nothing more than a manual for would-be producers. The general reader will learn a vast amount about backstage business and may well respect those involved far more as a result.'' - British Theatre Guide
''Wow! If I ever decide to produce a Broadway show, this is all I ll need. From the moment you get a great idea for a show until opening night, Breglio covers it all with wit and wisdom, as no one else could. And his behind-the-scene stories reveal his knowledge gained through decades-long experience.'' -- Swoosie Kurtz, Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress
''John Breglio has written one of the great business books on the entertainment industry, and it's destined to be a classic. It's both educational and hilariously anecdotal, and should be a must-read in every college and for every businessman. With shows like Wicked, The Lion King, Les Miserable, and Phantom of the Opera grossing in the billions, anybody who doesn't take that part of the media segment seriously is missing the big picture. This is an invaluable guide and a wonderfully readable entry into a brave new world.'' -- Harvey Weinstein, Co-Chairman of The Weinstein Company
''Here's the one essential book you must have if you ve ever had an inkling of investing or producing in the theater. Breglio makes you understand why Broadway is a glamorous, lucrative, and treacherous business. Don t leave home without it!'' -- --Jim Cramer, Host of CNBC s Mad Money
About the Author
JOHN BREGLIO (New York City) has spent over three decades working in all sectors of the entertainment industry, including theatre, motion pictures, publishing, and music. As an entertainment lawyer, he was instrumental in helping his clients to produce and finance plays, musicals, and films for nearly four decades. In 2008, he retired from his law practice and since then has been producing plays, musicals, and films independently, including the critically acclaimed revival of A Chorus Line and Dreamgirls. Breglio has served as chair of the Theatre Development Fund and has sat on the boards of the American Foundation for AIDS Research, the Alliance for the Arts, the John Golden Fund, and Young Playwrights. He has also lectured frequently for the National Law Journal Seminars, the Practicing Law Institute, and at Yale University and Columbia University School of the Arts, where he has taught a graduate course on theatre and the law. In 2005, he received the Actors' Fund Medal of Honour, and he has been recognised for his contributions to the theatrical community by the Public Theatre, the National Corporate Theatre Fund, and Cherry Lane Theatre.
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The author offers enough technical detail about contracts and negotiations to be useful without becoming pedantic. He spices up the technical talk with vignettes from real shows he has represented or produced, and the complexities involved in balancing financial considerations with managing strong personalities. He offers glimpses into working with the likes of Joseph Papp, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Michael Bennett, the Bergmans, Patti LuPone and many others.
If you love theater, you will love this book - even if you never intend to become a producer.
This could be used as a textbook to teach a college course on the subject.