Jeffrey Finn: Bringing Broadway to DC with Broadway Center Stage

Jeffrey Finn has been a driving force behind the star-studded shows at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. As the Tony-winning Broadway producer and the Kennedy Center’s vice president/executive producer of theater, Finn has brought the best of Broadway to the nation’s capital. His series, “Broadway Center Stage,” has become a platform for new revivals and fresh takes on beloved musicals.

While the series started as a “concert” series with simplified staging and a focus on musical performances, it has evolved into a visually captivating production. Recent shows have incorporated unique ways to blend musicians and sets, such as placing an orchestra on top of a castle in “Spamalot.” Finn describes his role as a dream job, allowing him to create something on stage that has never been seen before.

Finn’s collaboration with the Kennedy Center began in 1984 when he was asked to produce a cabaret series. This marked the beginning of a fruitful relationship that eventually led to him becoming the mastermind behind the theater productions at the Kennedy Center. His desire to bring new life to classic works led to the creation of Broadway Center Stage in 2018.

His selection process for shows is simple: he chooses titles that he would want to buy a ticket to see himself. This philosophy has resulted in great success, with the Kennedy Center’s revival of “Spamalot” becoming the first Center Stage production to transfer to Broadway. Finn recalls capturing a bit of lightning in a bottle with that show, and it naturally evolved into something that needed to be shared beyond DC.

Each Center Stage production goes through an intense rehearsal schedule, with just two weeks of rehearsal in New York and a few days in DC before performing for 11 shows at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater. This tight schedule requires a dedicated team and a deep understanding of the material.

The premiere of “tick, tick…BOOM!”, a reimagining of Jonathan Larson’s debut musical, kicked off the 2024 season. Finn worked closely with the Larson estate to maintain the original story while adding new elements to create a fresh production. This approach will continue throughout the season, with upcoming productions including “Bye Bye Birdie” and a revival of “Nine.”

Throughout Finn’s efforts to bring Broadway-caliber productions to DC, he remains committed to the local theatergoers. He emphasizes the importance of providing quality productions for the savvy DC audience. With Finn at the helm, Broadway Center Stage continues to thrive, offering unique and captivating theatrical experiences for all to enjoy.

FAQ:

1. Who is Jeffrey Finn?
– Jeffrey Finn is a Tony-winning Broadway producer and the vice president/executive producer of theater at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

2. What is “Broadway Center Stage”?
– “Broadway Center Stage” is a series at the Kennedy Center that showcases new revivals and fresh takes on beloved musicals.

3. How has “Broadway Center Stage” evolved over time?
– While it started as a “concert” series focused on musical performances, it has now become a visually captivating production that incorporates unique ways to blend musicians and sets.

4. How did Jeffrey Finn collaborate with the Kennedy Center?
– Finn’s collaboration with the Kennedy Center began in 1984 when he was asked to produce a cabaret series. This eventually led to him becoming the mastermind behind the theater productions at the Kennedy Center.

5. How does Jeffrey Finn select shows for “Broadway Center Stage”?
– Finn chooses titles that he would want to buy a ticket to see himself, resulting in great success.

6. What was the first “Broadway Center Stage” production to transfer to Broadway?
– The Kennedy Center’s revival of “Spamalot” became the first Center Stage production to transfer to Broadway.

7. What is the rehearsal schedule for Center Stage productions?
– Center Stage productions have a tight rehearsal schedule, with just two weeks of rehearsal in New York and a few days in DC before performing for 11 shows at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater.

8. What kicked off the 2024 season of “Broadway Center Stage”?
– The premiere of “tick, tick…BOOM!”, a reimagining of Jonathan Larson’s debut musical, kicked off the 2024 season.

9. How does Jeffrey Finn maintain the originality of the story while adding new elements?
– Finn works closely with the original creators or their estates to maintain the essence of the story while adding new elements to create fresh productions.

10. What upcoming productions are expected in the “Broadway Center Stage” series?
– Upcoming productions include “Bye Bye Birdie” and a revival of “Nine.”

Definitions:

– Tony: The Tony Awards are annual awards that recognize excellence in live Broadway theatre.
– Revival: A revival is a new production of a previously staged play or musical.
– Cabaret: A cabaret is a type of entertainment that features music, singing, dancing, and comedy in a small, intimate setting.
– Eisenhower Theater: The Eisenhower Theater is a performance venue within the Kennedy Center.

Suggested Related Links:

Kennedy Center Official Website