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'Godspell' producer looks to small investment fundraising for 2011 Broadway revival

September 15, 2010 | 12:32 pm

Godspell.WebQuality Resurrection is a central motif in the New Testament. So it seems appropriate that a Broadway revival of the musical "Godspell" that looked dead in the water two years ago is coming back to life -- this time with a brand new scheme for putting together its multi-million-dollar budget.

Producer Ken Davenport announced Wednesday that he is looking to open the doors to potential investors for "Godspell" by lowering the threshold amount to as low as $1,000 per person. His hope is to create a large pool of investors for the musical revival -- a "community-funded" effort, in his terms -- rather than relying on the traditional Broadway model of assembling a small group of big-ticket producers.

A unit investment in "Godspell" goes for $100 and investors are required to purchase at least 10 of them. In exchange, each investor will receive a limited liability company interest in The Godspell, LLC. They will also get their names listed on the poster outside the Broadway theater.

Speaking from his New York office, Davenport said that he is looking to raise $5 million. He said the offering had to be reviewed by the Securities and Exchange Commission before he could announce it.

"I had the idea to do this three years ago and was waiting for the right show to do it. 'Godspell' is the right show," Davenport said.

As is typical for a Broadway production, there is a large amount of risk involved for any interested party. "Investors should not purchase units unless they can afford to lose their entire investment," reads the fine print for the "Godspell" offering.

People who are interested in investing can contact the production at Peopleofgodspell.com.

A revival of "Godspell" was supposed to open on Broadway in 2008, but the production fell through when a major investor reportedly backed out of the production. The current revival is set to open in the spring of 2011, but no cast or theater has been announced yet. Daniel Goldstein is on board to direct, with Christopher Gattelli set to choreograph.

Davenport, whose credits include a number of Broadway and off-Broadway productions, has been an outspoken proponent of changing the way the theater community does business in New York. His company recently has launched a mobile application that allows users to check ticket availability at the discount TKTS booth near Time Square.

Featuring a score by Stephen Schwartz, "Godspell" first played on Broadway in 1976 and ran for more than 500 performances. (It had a popular off-Broadway run prior to that.) The musical is loosely based on sections of the New Testament chronicling the life of Jesus Christ and his disciples.

-- David Ng

Photo credit: The Morris + King Company

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