Michael McCabe Theatre Producer
Michael McCabe is an independent, four-time Olivier Award-winning theatre producer in the UK and Tony® Award nominated on Broadway. Across his almost 40-year international career, he has worked variously in production, advertising and ticketing and is renowned as one of the industry's most innovative and pioneering marketing practitioners. He was the original Marketing Director of Mamma Mia! and is the UK Executive Producer of Wicked. Born in Brighton, East Sussex and educated at Kingscliff House School and Shoreham College, he also attended the Brighton School of Music & Drama and went on to study Drama & Theatre Arts and Stage Design at Lewis Technical College (now Sussex Downs College).
From 1998-2004, Michael served as Marketing Director, and subsequently also as Associate Producer (Worldwide), of Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus' Mamma Mia! for the 1999 London premiere production at the Prince Edward Theatre and for productions in Toronto, Melbourne, Sydney, Tokyo, Seoul, Hamburg, Utrecht, at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, on two North American Tours and at the Winter Garden Theatre on Broadway. Working directly with the show's creator and global producer, Judy Craymer, he also worked on the launch of the International Tour and productions in Stockholm and Madrid.
Since 2006, Michael has served, on behalf of producers David Stone, Marc Platt and Universal Stage Productions, as Executive Producer of Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman's acclaimed musical Wicked (Olivier 'Audience Awards', 2010 & 2015) at London's Apollo Victoria Theatre as well as on two record-breaking tours of the UK & Ireland and on an international tour. He also served as a consultant on productions in Germany and The Netherlands. "One of the most successful musicals of all time" (BBC News), Wicked has already been seen by more than 10 million people in London alone and is now the 9th longest running musical in West End theatre history.
His additional producing credits include: The Prince of Egypt, in collaboration with DreamWorks Theatricals and Neil Laidlaw; An American In Paris (Olivier Award nomination, 'Best Musical'), in partnership with Joshua Andrews; Sweeney Todd (Olivier Award, 'Best Musical Revival'; Evening Standard Theatre Award, 'Best Musical'), starring Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton; Spring Awakening (Olivier Award, 'Best Musical'; Critics' Circle Award, 'Best Musical'); the 2011 original West End production of Million Dollar Quartet and, on Broadway, Rob Ashford's hit revivals of How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying (Tony® Award nomination, 'Best Musical Revival'), starring Daniel Radcliffe (and subsequently Darren Criss and Nick Jonas), and Promises, Promises, starring Sean Hayes and Kristin Chenoweth. The latter five productions all in partnership with Joseph Smith.
Michael began his career, in September 1983, at Leader & Co., part of the Keith Prowse ticketing organisation, in London's Old Bond Street. The following year, he joined the advertising agency Dewynters where he worked on the promotion of over 30 new productions including: Me and My Girl (Adelphi Theatre) starring Robert Lindsay and Emma Thompson; Les Misérables (Barbican Centre and Palace Theatre); La Cage Aux Folles (London Palladium); CHESS (Prince Edward Theatre); On Your Toes (Palace Theatre), starring Natalia Makarova; Dave Clark's TIME (Dominion Theatre); The Hired Man (Astoria Theatre); Alan Bleasdale's award-winning Are You Lonesome Tonight? (Phoenix Theatre); Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart (Albery Theatre), starring Tom Hulce, and Torvill & Dean: The World Tour at Wembley Arena, as well as on many long running productions including Starlight Express; Daisy Pulls It Off and Little Shop of Horrors.
In 1986, Michael was appointed as General Manager for the Broadway transfer of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, starring Ernie Wise, Lulu and Julia Hills (Savoy Theatre), and, in December 1987, for Larry Shue's hit comedy The Foreigner, starring Nicholas Lyndhurst (Albery Theatre).
He went on to found Michael McCabe Associates, the West End's first company dedicated solely to the marketing of commercial theatre productions, including Willy Russell's Blood Brothers (Albery Theatre). He continued as Managing Director for over a decade (during which time the company became known as McCABES), overseeing its expansion into a full-service advertising agency for live entertainment and the cultural industries. McCABES was the agency for many notable and long running productions including: Mamma Mia!; Disney's Beauty and the Beast; West Side Story; the West End transfer of the National Theatre production of An Inspector Calls; The Woman in Black and The Graduate, which variously starred Kathleen Turner, Jerry Hall, Amanda Donohoe, Linda Gray and Anne Archer as 'Mrs Robinson'. During this time, he also spent two years living and working in New York where he served as a Marketing Consultant on productions including Smokey Joe's Café; the Tommy Tune production of Grease!, Hello, Dolly, starring Carol Channing; Blood Brothers, Blue Man Group and Crazy For You. Following a merger, he departed the agency to assume the role of Associate Producer (Worldwide) on Mamma Mia! at Judy Craymer's Littlestar company and, subsequently, pursued his own independent producing career.
As an independent marketing consultant, Michael has worked with companies including Cirque du Soleil; English National Opera (the premiere of Anthony Minghella's Madam Butterfly; Leonard Bernstein's On The Town and Candide and the first major London revival of Kismet, which opened to the highest advance in ENO's history) and for Disney Theatrical Productions in Europe (including Der König der Löwen and Tim Rice & Elton John's Aida in Germany and Le Roi Lion in Paris).
Michael was a Trustee of English Touring Theatre. He lives in Brighton & Hove, East Sussex.