Town Square

The Economics and Diversity of Broadway; Plus, Actor Nick Rashad Burroughs on His Role in “Moulin Rouge! The Musical”

What does it take to produce a Broadway show, and what leads to a successful hit? Plus, efforts for more inclusion in the industry.



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Town Square with Ernie Manouse airs at 3 p.m. CT. Tune in on 88.7FM, listen online or subscribe to the podcast. Join the discussion at 888-486-9677, or @townsquaretalk.

First, we talk with Broadway actor Nick Rashad Burroughs, known for starring in Broadway productions such as Kinky Boots, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, and the national tour for Something Rotten, becoming the first Black man to play the role of "Shakespeare."

Burroughs discusses his current role as Toulouse-Lautrec in the national tour of Moulin Rouge! The Musical, playing at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts until March 12, 2023. For more information, visit

Then, we discuss the economics of Broadway with Tony Award-winning Broadway producer Ken Davenport. He explains the cost of putting a show on Broadway, why producers turn to adapted material, Broadway's significance to New York and America, and the industry's recovery after the Pandemic. Plus, he shares a little about his book Broadway Investing 101: How to Make Theater and Yes, Even Make Money.

Also, joining the conversation is Caseen Gaines, author of When Broadway Was Black. The book tells the story of the 1921 musical Shuffle Along, which was an all-Black musical that became a Broadway hit and changed the world. He also shares his thoughts on diversity in Broadway.



Nick Rashad Burroughs

  • Plays Toulouse-Lautrec in Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Ken Davenport

  • Tony Award-winning Broadway producer
  • Author, Broadway Investing 101: How to Make Theater and Yes, Even Make Money

Caseen Gaines

  • Writer, Director, Educator, & Popular Culture Historian
  • Author, When Broadway Was Black: The Triumphant Story of the All-Black Musical That Changed the World

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