June 15, 2006

Producer Michael David Shines at the Tonys

June 15th, 2006

New York Times’ Campbell Robertson said that many people on Broadway had much to cheer about (even — gasp — the ratings) after Sunday night’s Tony Awards ceremony, but few had a better reason to smile than Michael David.

Mr. David is the president of Dodger Theatricals, the production company behind the night’s big winner, Jersey Boys, which was named Best Musical, was the first show put together by the company since its well-publicized split with a business partner in 2004. What’s more, the two last shows that the Dodgers had a hand in producing failed. After the business breakup, Mr. David had to cut his staff to 14 from 44, learning once again what it felt like to be at the head of a small independent company.

But any gossip around Broadway about the Dodgers’ potential demise was muted when Jersey Boys became a hit and was probably silenced altogether when Mr. David stood onstage at Radio City Music Hall Sunday night.

In an interview on Monday, Mr. David said,

“I think it’s a wonderful welcome to a new chapter in our lives. The fact is hits are better than flops. We’re so gratified to have one. But I don’t think if Jersey Boys didn’t work, we weren’t going to do another.”

But he quickly added that he saw no vindication in the show’s success, only the delight in pulling off a winner in a very fickle business.

The producers of the show said that by midafternoon yesterday Jersey Boys had already sold more than $300,000 worth of tickets since the broadcast, more than doubling the typical sales for a Monday. That was coming off a strong weekend during which the show sold a million dollars in tickets before winning any awards.

The Battle Creek Enquirer noted that David is a 1964 Albion College graduate. According to Albion College’s Web site, Dodger Theatricals’ productions have earned more than 100 Tony nominations, more than 40 Tony Awards, 20 Drama Desk Awards, 26 Obie Awards and 18 Drama Critics Awards through the years.

David also received a special Tony Award for “outstanding contribution to the artistic development of the musical theater.” In May 2000, David received an honorary doctor of theater degree during Albion’s commencement exercises. He also was honored with the Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1990.

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