Dodger Productions, one of Broadway's most active theatrical producers, and Endemol Entertainment, Europe's largest independent television and theatre production company, have announced a joint venture to produce theatre around the world: "Dodger Endemol Theatrical Productions, Inc."
The Dodgers and Endemol have produced The Who's Tommy together in Europe and the Almeida Theatre production of Hamlet, both on Broadway and in London.
Michael David of Dodger Productions said, "Over the past couple of years we have realized that we share so many of the same professional and personal goals with our friends at Endemol, it became inevitable that we would want to work together on a more consistent basis." The idea is for both companies to reach audiences throughout Europe and North America.
"Not only will the joint venture provide a significant capital base for the new company," said David, "but both companies also will benefit from the alliance with greater opportunities in numerous markets globally."
Robin de Levita, Chief Executive Officer of Endemol Theatre Productions in North America, said, "We at Endemol are very excited about this opportunity to form an ongoing partnership with the Dodgers, whom we have grown to like and respect as we worked together. We look forward to this expansion into the North American market working closely with a resourceful partner, and to the opportunity of forming a unique international stategic alliance. We are also pleased that the new venture will complement long-standing relationships both organizations have developed over the last twenty years." Dodger Productions is a theatrical producing partnership consisting of Michael David, Doug Johnson, Des McAnuff, Rocco Landesman, Edward Strong and Sherman Warner. The partnership originated at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1978 before forming an alliance with the New York Shakespeare Festival, then commercial Off-Broadway, then Broadway.
Current Broadway productions include: The King and I starring Donna Murphy and Lou Diamond Phillips, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum starring Nathan Lane, and Once Upon a Mattress starring Sarah Jessica Parker. Other Broadway stagings include: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Alan Menken's A Christmas Carol, Jelly's Last Jam, Guys and Dolls, The Secret Garden, Into the Woods, Big River, A Prelude to a Kiss, The Gospel at Colonus, Mandy Patinkin: Dress Casual, and Pump Boys and Dinettes. The upcoming Broadway season will include the Peter Stone/Maury Yeston musical Titanic at the Lunt Fontanne and Mandy Patinkin in Concert at the Lyceum. London's West End boasts The Who's Tommy at the Shaftesbury, and ongoing relationships with The Royal Court and Almeida theatre companies.
According to spokesperson Susanne Tighe, although both parties have worked on Once Upon a Mattess, Hamlet and Tommy, Titanic will be the first production to carry the official producing title of "Dodger Endemol Productions, Inc."
D*Tours is the touring arm of Dodger Productions. Endemol Entertainment was established in 1994 with the merger of Netherland's two leading independent entertainment companies, Joop van den Ende Productions and John de Mol Productions. Their more than 70 European theatrical productions include: West Side Story (Holland tour), Miss Saigon at the Endemol-owned Circustheater in Scheveningen, the Dutch premieres of Barnum, Sweet Charity, Funny Girl, Cabaret, Sweeney Todd, Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera, My Fair Lady, Evita, West Side Story, and Cyrano - The Musical.
--By David Lefkowitz