Scott Sanders (producer)
Scott Sanders (born 1957) is an Emmy, Grammy, and Tony-Award-winning American television producer, film producer and theatre producer. His theatrical musical version of Alice Walker's novel The Color Purple, for which he was Lead Producer alongside co-producers Oprah Winfrey and Quincy Jones, premiered on Broadway in 2005, garnering 11 Tony Award Nominations including Best Musical.
Scott Sanders in 2012
|Born||1957 (age 62–63)|
|Alma mater||University of Florida|
|Occupation||Impresario, Television Producer, Theatrical Producer and Film Producer|
|Known for||"Elaine Stritch: at Liberty" '"The Color Purple: The Musical", the revitalization of Radio City Music Hall in New York City, the theatrical production of The Pee-wee Herman Show, and the revival of the musical Evita. He is a two-time Tony and Emmy Award winner, and won his first Grammy Award in 2017 for the Best Musical Theater Album of the Tony Award winning revival of The Color Purple musical.|
|Spouse(s)||Brad Lamm (m. 2008)|
He also produced the 2016 Broadway revival of The Color Purple which went on to win the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical and the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album. He won his Emmy and first Tony Award for his work as a producer on Elaine Stritch at Liberty. His musical comedy adaptation of the film Tootsie is to premiere on Broadway in the Spring of 2019. He is also known for his impresario role at Radio City Music Hall and for his work on numerous globally televised live events, including the Super Bowl XXVII halftime show starring Michael Jackson at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA.
Sanders grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida and was a 1975 graduate of Gibbs High School in Pinellas County, Florida, which at the time was undergoing court-ordered desegregation, and to which he was bused. He was Class President at Gibbs. He is a 1979 graduate of the University of Florida. During college he worked as an intern in the advertising department of the St. Petersburg Times.
Sanders began his career at Radio City Music Hall in New York, producing artists including Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Whitney Houston, K.D. Lang, Madonna, Bette Midler, Richard Pryor, Lionel Richie, Liza Minnelli, Paul Simon, Frank Sinatra, Tina Turner, Liberace, Sting, Diana Ross, and The Grateful Dead. He was Executive Producer there for 15 years and has been credited with reversing the venue's steady decline after its near-bankruptcy in 1978 and turning it into one of the highest grossing theaters in the world. For Radio City Music Hall Productions, Sanders also produced rock concerts and popular cultural events outside of the venue including Penn and Teller's NBC special, Don't Try This At Home, and inaugural anniversary gala for President Bill Clinton and the historic 1993 Super Bowl halftime show starring Michael Jackson on NBC.
That Super Bowl XXVII halftime show, starring Jackson, raised NBC's halftime rating higher than the Super Bowl action before it and is credited with transforming the way the NFL presents its halftime entertainment. In the years since, the NFL has, at every single Super Bowl, followed the model Sanders & Jackson created in 1993 enlisting big-name, contemporary, broad-appeal artists to perform during halftime in an effort to keep viewers from straying. He made his first foray into Broadway while still at Radio City, producing An Evening with Harry Connick, Jr. and his Orchestra in 1990. He returned to Broadway as an independent producer in 2002 with Elaine Stritch at Liberty. Other Broadway work includes Dame Edna Back with a Vengeance (2004), The Color Purple (2005), The Pee-wee Herman Show (2010), Evita (2012), After Midnight (2013) and The Color Purple revival (2015). In 1996, Sanders co-founded Mandalay Television, along with Mandalay Entertainment Chairman Peter Guber. and executive produced six network series, including include Young Americans, Cupid, Mercy Point, and Rude Awakening. In 2001, Sanders launched Creative Battery, a multimedia production company in partnership with AEG presents, which was responsible for solo Broadway shows by Elaine Stritch and the Barry Humphries character Dame Edna. While at Creative Battery, Sanders also served Executive Producer for Queen Latifah's jazz album, The Dana Owens Album, which received a 2005 Grammy Award nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album
In 2007 he founded Scott Sanders Productions, a film and theatrical production company based in New York City with funding for theatrical ventures from a private equity group which includes New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Roy Furman, and Jim Fantaci. On the film side, Scott Sanders Productions entered into a five-year first-look feature deal with Disney. In August 2012, the company signed a subsequent five-year deal with Sony Pictures Entertainment to develop and produce live versions of Sony films. Sanders and Ahmet Zappa co-produced a film written and directed by Peter Hedges, The Odd Life of Timothy Green, released by Walt Disney Pictures on August 15, 2012.
Sanders is currently in pre-production of a musical film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda's and Quiara Hudes' Tony Award-winning musical In The Heights.
In August 2012 Sony Pictures Entertainment and Sanders agreed to mount stage productions of Sony films and announced that Tootsie, the 1982 comedy starring Dustin Hoffman, would be the first project.
In September 2016, Sanders was named the creative head of global entertainment for Westfield Corporation, which confirmed its acquisition of Scott Sanders Productions.
In October 2018, he relaunched Scott Sanders Productions as an independent theatre, film, television, music, live-event and experiential entertainment production company, with offices in New York and Los Angeles. Sanders serves as President and CEO.
TOOTSIE (stage musical)Edit
The new comedy musical Tootsie opened its pre-Broadway world premiere engagement at Chicago's Cadillac Palace Theatre on September 30, 2018. Critics, in widely positive reviews, praised the contemporary updates that the stage musical's creative team have made to the 1982 movie comedy. Variety wrote, "This bouncy musical turns the story into a full-on satire of the narcissistic male ego.
Chicago Tribune wrote, "Very Funny...a boffo musical comedy with comic characters as outlandishly successful as The Producers." The production begins performances on Broadway on March 29, 2019, at the Marquis Theatre and officially opens on April 23, 2019.
In the Heights (film)Edit
In 2013, Sanders and Mara Jacobs began working on a film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda's musical In the Heights, with a script written by Quiara Alegria Hudes, who authored the book for the original stage version.
In 2018, Sanders, along with co-producers Jacobs, Miranda and Anthony Bregman, closed a $50 million deal with Warner Bros. for the film rights. The property has been the subject of a hot auction after it was extracted from The Weinstein Company ahead of its bankruptcy. Jon M. Chu is directing the movie and also helmed Warner's Crazy Rich Asians.
Sanders and Miranda previously worked together on The Odd Life of Timothy Green.
The Color Purple (stage musical)Edit
Sanders first approached author Alice Walker about adapting her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel into a stage musical in 1997. The project took over eight years to release, partly due to Walker's reluctance to give permission for the adaptation of her. Sanders eventually persuaded Walker to give her permission and support after telling her that he thought that it had similarities to Fiddler on the Roof – "a community of people that the audience would follow over time".
The Color Purple, which premiered at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta and opened on the Broadway at the Broadway Theatre in December 2005, had an all-black cast and Oprah Winfrey as an investor and producer. The production was noted for its contribution to a "redefinition of the Broadway crowd," a reference to its ability to attract a multi-racial audience. Later, Sanders would describe the work of producing a musical as "wrestling an octopus, keeping all the puppies in the box," and the hardest thing he had ever done, "more white-knuckle than I'd like, and the most fun I'd ever had."
The Original Broadway production garnered 11 Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical. Its original star, LaChanze, won the 2006 Tony Award for Leading Actress in a Musical. Later in the run, Sanders hired Fantasia, an American Idol winner, to take over the lead role. The London production at Menier Chocolate Factory, directed by John Doyle, was co-produced by Sanders, Winfrey and Roy Furman and ran from July to September 2013. On January 9, 2015, producers Sanders, Furman, and Winfrey announced that the Menier Chocolate Factory production would be mounted as a Broadway revival, with Jennifer Hudson making her Broadway debut in the role of Shug Avery, Danielle Brooks playing the role of Sofia, and Cynthia Erivo, reprising the role as Celie. Previews began November 10, 2015, with the official opening December 10 at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre. Cynthia Erivo won the 2016 Tony Award for best performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical. The production won the 2016 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical.
After Midnight (stage musical)Edit
Sanders, along with jazz legend Wynton Marsalis, produced After Midnight, a reimagined Broadway production of City Center Encores' Cotton Club Parade, which premiered in November 2013 and closed in June 2014. The show received 7 Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical. Warren Carlyle won the Tony Award for Best Choreography. Over the course of its run on Broadway, the production featured a rotating array of special guest stars, including Fantasia Barrino, k.d. lang, Toni Braxton with Babyface, Vanessa Williams, and Patti LaBelle. The production was also notable in that it marked the famed fashion world duo, Isabel and Ruben Toledo, designed and created costumes for a Broadway musical.
The Odd Life of Timothy Green (film)Edit
The Odd Life of Timothy Green, a 2012 Walt Disney Pictures film co-written and directed by Peter Hedges, was co-produced by Sanders and opened in U.S. theaters on August 15, 2012. Based on a concept by Ahmet Zappa, the fantasy film is about a magical pre-adolescent boy whose personality and naïveté have profound effects on the people in his town. The film starred Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton, and CJ Adams, and also marked the feature film acting debut of Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Evita (stage musical)Edit
Sanders, along with co-lead producer Hal Luftig, produced the first Broadway revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Evita, which opened at the Marquis Theatre on April 5, 2012. The production starred Argentinian sensation Elena Roger and pop superstar Ricky Martin. The production garnered three Tony Award nominations, including Best Revival of a Musical.
The Pee-Wee Herman Show (stage play)Edit
Sanders served as lead producer on The Pee-Wee Herman Show, the stage play starring Paul Reubens as Pee-wee Herman and featuring the entire Playhouse cast of characters. It opened at Los Angeles Club Nokia on January 12, 2010. After receiving strong reviews in Los Angeles, Sanders brought the show to Broadways Stephen Sondheim Theatre, where it opened to more critical praise on November 11, 2010.
Elaine Stritch at Liberty (stage play)Edit
Sanders served as co-lead producer, with John Schreiber, on Elaine Stritch at Liberty, the autobiographical one-woman show starring Elaine Stritch, written by Stritch and John Lahr, and directed by George C.Wolfe. The show premiered on Broadway, at the Neil Simon Theatre, on February 21, 2002, going on to win the 2002 Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event. Following its successful Broadway run, Sanders produced a ten-city tour of the production as well as an HBO documentary of the stage show. The HBO film won two 2004 Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special.
Awards and nominationsEdit
In 2004 Sanders won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety, Music, or Comedy Special for "Elaine Stritch: At Liberty" (2002).
Sanders received a 2005 nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album for Queen Latifah's The Dana Owens Album, a 2005 nomination for Best Special Theatrical Event for "Dame Edna: Back with a Vengeance", and was nominated in 2002 for a Best Special Theatrical Event for "Elaine Stritch: At Liberty."
In 2006, The Color Purple was nominated for eleven Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical, Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical, Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical, Best Choreography, Best Original Score, Best Book of a Musical, Best Costume Design of a Musical, Best Lighting Design of a Play, and Best Lighting Design of a Musical.
In 2012, "Evita" received three Tony nominations, for Best Revival of a Musical, Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical, and Best Choreography.
After Midnight received seven Tony Award nominations (Best Musical, Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical, Best Costume Design of a Musical, Best Lighting Design of a Musical, Best Sound Design of a Musical, Best Direction of a Musical and Best Choreography), earning the award for choreography. It also earned three Drama Desk Award nominations (Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical, Outstanding Choreography and Outstanding Revue, winning in the latter two categories). Of five Outer Critics Circle Awards nominations (Outstanding New Broadway Musical, Outstanding Director of a Musical, Outstanding Choreographer, Outstanding Costume Design and Outstanding Lighting Design), the show won for Outstanding Choreographer. After Midnight was also the most-nominated production at the 2014 Astaire Awards, where it won for Outstanding Male Dancer, Outstanding Female Dancer and Outstanding Choreographer.
Sanders won his second Tony Award as lead producer for Best Musical Revival winner The Color Purple in 2016.
- Alumni of Distinction: Inducted in the 2000s Archived 2008-08-19 at the Wayback Machine. College of Journalism and Communications, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
- Miriam Kreinin Souccar (2002-03-11). "Showbiz insider takes the stage with new outfit". Crain's New York Business.[dead link]
- Hetrick, Adam (August 31, 2016). "Scott Sanders Brings Stage Productions of Tootsie, Coal Minerâ€™s Daughter, Up Here to Westfield". Playbill. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
- "Producer Forms Scott Sanders Productions; Fineman is VP". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
- Gerard, Jeremy; Gerard, Jeremy (2016-08-31). "Mall Giant Westfield Corp. Acquires Broadway's 'Purple' Producer Scott Sanders Productions". Deadline. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
- John Fleming. "Passion for 'Purple' has Local Roots". "Saint Petersburg Times". Dec. 12, 2005
- Watrous, Peter (1992-05-05). "Review/Music; A Lifetime Of Joyous Improvising". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-01-28.
- Pareles, Jon (1990-08-11). "Review/Pop; The Unpredictable Aretha Franklin". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-01-28.
- Palmer, Robert (1983-05-20). "Pop: Marvin Gaye Sings". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-01-28.
- Holden, Stephen (1983-03-09). "Concert: Bette Midler Performs at Music Hall". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-01-28.
- Gussow, Mel (1983-08-17). "Stage: Richard Pryor Live at Radio City". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-01-28.
- Holden, Stephen (1981-09-11). "The Commodores Bring Soul to the Music Hall". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-01-28.
- Pareles, Jon (1987-04-27). "Concert: Simon's 'Graceland'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-01-28.
- Doty, Meriah (2016-08-31). "Broadway Producer Scott Sanders Sells Firm to Westfield Malls". TheWrap. Retrieved 2019-01-29.
- Terrace, Vincent (2013-06-06). Television Specials: 5,336 Entertainment Programs, 1936–2012, 2d ed. McFarland. ISBN 9781476612409.
- Sandomir, Richard (2009-06-29). "How Michael Jackson Redefined the Super Bowl". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-01-29.
- Trakin, Roy (2018-02-01). "The 10 Best (and Two Worst) Super Bowl Halftime Performances (Watch)". Variety. Retrieved 2019-01-29.
- Ozanian, Mike. "How Michael Jackson Saved The Super Bowl". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-01-29.
- Scott Sanders Archived 2007-11-02 at the Wayback Machine. Playbill. accessed September 29, 2011.
- Creative Battery. The Internet Broadway Database. accessed September 29, 2011.
- Scott Sanders Productions
- Zachary Pincus-Roth, "'Color Purple' Producer Sanders Partners with Disney on Film and Theatre Company" Archived 2008-07-06 at the Wayback Machine. Playbill, March 21, 2007.
- Andrew Gans, "Scott Sanders Theatrical Productions will Develop/Produce Stage Versions of Sony Pictures Films". Playbill. Aug. 23, 2012.
- Kit, Borys. "Hedges on tap for Zappa's 'Odd' movie idea". Reuters. June 11, 2009
- Patrick Healy."Sony Pictures the Latest Studio to Make Boradway Push". The New York Times. Aug. 23, 2012.
- Chow, Andrew R. (September 1, 2016). "Producer Scott Sanders to Direct Westfield Entertainment". The New York Times. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
- "Spielberg, Oprah Bringing 'Color Purple' to Big Screen (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2019-01-28.
- Oxman, Steven; Oxman, Steven (2018-10-02). "Pre-Broadway Review: 'Tootsie' the Musical". Variety. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
- McPhee, Ryan (2018-08-09). "Tootsie Musical, Starring Santino Fontana, Sets Broadway Dates and Theatre". Playbill. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
- Fleming, Mike, Jr. (2018-05-18). "'In The Heights': Warner Bros Closing $50M Deal For Movie Rights After Hot Auction". Deadline. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
- McNary, Dave (2016-05-31). "Weinstein Co. Boards Lin-Manuel Miranda's 'In the Heights' Movie". Variety. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
- "One man’s quest for the colour of success" Sydney Morning Herald. June 24, 2004
- Jim Higgins. "Inspiring Journey". The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. August 10, 2008
- "Alice Walker: Jazzed About Broadway". Bloomberg Businessweek. November 21, 2005.
- "‘The Color Purple’ draws diverse crowd." CBS News. June 6, 2006.
- Susan Berfield, "The Making of 'The Color Purple' - a Masterpiece Becomes a Musical". Business Week, Nov. 21, 2005.
- Campbell Robertson. “A Black ‘Cat,’ Catching an Elusive Audience’". The New York Times. March 20, 2008.
- Gans, Andrew (March 6, 2013). "Tony Winner John Doyle Will Direct European Premiere of The Color Purple at Menier Chocolate Factory". Playbill. Retrieved September 18, 2014.
- Healy, Patrick (August 15, 2013). "Stripping a Southern Musical to Its Core: The Director John Doyle Revives 'The Color Purple' in London". The New York Times. Retrieved September 18, 2014.
- "Kyle Jean-Baptiste, 1st Black Actor to Play Jean Valjean on Broadway, Dies in Fall". CBS News. August 29, 2015. Retrieved August 30, 2015.
- Rutti, Ron (August 29, 2015). "Baldwin Wallace Graduate Kyle Jean-Baptiste, Youngest to Play 'Les Miserables' Lead, Is Dead at 21". The Plain Dealer. Cleveland. Retrieved August 30, 2015.
- "Jennifer Hudson Will Make Broadway Debut in Color Purple Revival". Playbill.com. 2015-01-09. Retrieved 2015-04-01.
- Hetrick, Adam and Viagas, Robert. "Broadway 'Color Purple' Revival With Jennifer Hudson and Cynthia Erivo Sets Full Cast" Playbill, October 6, 2015
- "The Verdict: Read Reviews for Broadway 'Color Purple' Revival, With Jennifer Hudson and Cynthia Erivo" playbill.com, December 11, 2015
- "The Tony Award Nominees - Winners". TonyAwards.com. Retrieved 2016-06-21.
- "Scott Sanders: Producer". Playbill Vault. Retrieved September 18, 2014.
- "After Midnight". Playbill Vault. Retrieved September 18, 2014.
- "The Odd Life of Timothy Green" Internet Movie DatabaseAccessed Aug. 29, 2012.
- "Evita" Internet Broadway Database The Internet Broadway Database Accessed Aug. 29, 2012.
- Barbara Chai,  The Wall Street Journal Online, March 4, 2012. Accessed September 14, 2012
- Charles Sherwood. “Older, but No More Mature”. The New York Times. November 11, 2010
- Gordon Cox, “Pee-wee friends online followers to box office”. Variety, September 11, 2010
- Itzkoff, Dave (2010-05-20). "I Meant to Do That: 'The Pee-wee Herman Show' Coming to Broadway". ArtsBeat. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
- Healy, Patrick (2010-06-09). "Ricky Martin, Elena Roger Set to Join 'Evita' Revival". ArtsBeat. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
- "Westfield Acquires Scott Sanders Productions; Continues Work on Broadway's COAL MINER'S DAUGHTER, UP HERE and IN THE HEIGHTS Movie". Broadway World. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
- Gans, Andrew (May 16, 2006). "2005-2006 Tony Nominations Announced; Drowsy Leads Pack with 13 Noms". Playbill. Archived from the original on January 16, 2009. Retrieved September 18, 2014.
- Tony Awards Official Website of the American Theatre Wing's Tony Awards 
- Gans, Andrew (April 29, 2014). "68th Annual Tony Awards Nominations Announced; Gentleman's Guide Leads the Pack". Playbill. Retrieved September 18, 2014.
- Gans, Andrew (April 25, 2014). "2014 Annual Drama Desk Awards Nominations Announced; Gentleman's Guide Earns 12 Nominations". Playbill. Archived from the original on July 18, 2014. Retrieved September 18, 2014.
- Gans, Andrew (June 1, 2014). "Winners of 59th Annual Drama Desk Awards Announced; 'Gentleman's Guide' and 'All the Way' Win Top Prizes". Playbill. Archived from the original on June 6, 2014. Retrieved September 18, 2014.
- Gans, Andrew (April 22, 2014). "64th Annual Outer Critics Circle Awards Nominations Announced; A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder Leads the Pack". Playbill. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved September 18, 2014.
- Gans, Andrew (May 12, 2014). "64th Annual Outer Critics Circle Award Winners Announced; 'Gentleman's Guide' Wins Four Awards". Playbill. Archived from the original on May 12, 2014. Retrieved September 18, 2014.
- Hetrick, Adam (June 3, 2014). "After Midnight Sweeps Top Honors at Astaire Awards". Playbill. Retrieved September 18, 2014.
- Cummins, Carolyn (September 1, 2016). "Lowys bring some old razzle dazzle to Westfield with acquisition of Scott Sanders Theatrical Productions". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
- FIERBERG, RUTHIE. "The Color Purple Cast Album Wins the Grammy". Playbill. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
- Afinidad-Bernardo, Deni Rose M. (February 13, 2017). "Filipino producer wins Grammy for best musical theater album". The Philippine Star. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
- "Brad Lamm, Scott Sanders". The New York Times, September 21, 2008. p. ST16
- Dale Kawashima. “Brenda Russell Co-Writes the Songs for Hit Musical ‘The Color Purple,’ Receives Tony Award Nomination,” Songwriter Universe Magazine
- The Color Purple website