Most people might be surprised to find that only 1 actor (Nathan Lane) made the list. Yes, there are three others who are former/current actors, but are on the list for other, more powerful reasons: Joe Machota Broadway's first Sky in Mamma Mia! is an agent, Casey Nicholaw is a director/choreographer, and Nick Wyman is President of Actor's Equity.
I was most surprised to find that Barry and Fran Weissler were first timers on the list AND that they were only 44 on the list! I was also surprised to find that Susan Stroman was not on the list, either.
There are some directors of note on the list: Julie Taymor (you have to be powerful to get $60M for an unproven musical) and Bartlett Sher (king of non-profit directing). And one playwright, David Mamet, and one composer, Stephen Sondheim.
The top five, now that I see it, makes perfect sense. They are the men in charge of Broadway's 3 main theatre chains, Jujamcyn, the Nederlander Organization, and The Shubert Organization.
The rest of the list is made up of the artistic directors of the big non-profits, Lincoln Center, Roundabout, TDF, etc., the heads of Broadway's major unions and producers. All three groups make perfect sense: AD's pick and choose which plays and musicals get seen for big, well-attended theatre companies; the unions have the power to negotiate, and if need be, shut down the industry; and producers get the money (among other things) to get a show up and running. If that isn't power, I don't know what is!
There are also several agents, the folks who get stars seen, a few casting folks, who pick who gets seen, and a couple advertising agencies, who market shows so that they are seen.
But perhaps most telling is the fact that only two critics made the list, and not that far up: Michael Reidel, at #35 (up 2 from last year) and Ben Brantley, at #31 (down 3 from last year). I wonder how long it will be before theatre websites and blogs make a dent on this list. (Broadway.com was on last year.)
(Image from Broadway Space.com/The Producer's Perspective)
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