The unprecedented click of “Hair” on stage and as an original cast album has touched off a disk scramble for rights to other contemporary styled musical properties. “Two Gentlemen of Verona”, the Joseph Papp production for the NY Shakespeare Festival, was landed by ABC Records after unusually strong pitches by Capitol, RCA and Decca.
It’s understood that ABC is giving a record high in royalties to the production companies. While other shows have earned up to 13% of the retail sales, “Verona” will be getting a substantially higher cut of the retail price, reportedly around 18% or 19%.
“Verona” is a hot property on two counts. Firstly it’s a pre-sold hit. The show drew rave reviews at it’s premiere in Central Park, NY during the summer and is already pulling advance ticket sales for it’s Broadway run sometime this fall, even though the theater has not been set as yet. Secondly, the music was written by Galt MacDermott who also was composer of the score for “Hair”. Lyrics are by John Guare who also collaborated with Mel Shapiro on the book adaption.
“Hair” is shaping into an all-time bonanza for the writers Galt MacDermott and the lyric writers, Gerome Ragni and James Rado. Total sales for the writers on the score or the legit, disk and upcoming film version is expected to total well over $10, 000, 000 at the final count.