Business of Entertainment

Bob Backish

Barry Weissler

Theatrical Producer

In 1968, Barry and Fran Weissler, established National Artists Management Company, Inc. (NAMCO), an entertainment production company based in New York City. They have nearly 50 years of experience developing, financing, casting, managing, marketing, licensing and consulting for first class theatrical ventures on Broadway and the West End as well as touring domestically and internationally.

They are the winners of seven Tony Awards: Othello, the Weissler’s Broadway debut starring James Earl Jones and Christopher Plummer; Fiddler on the Roof with Topol; Gypsy with Tyne Daly; Annie Get Your Gun with Bernadette Peters and Reba McEntire; the worldwide hit, Chicago; the 2010 revival of La Cage Aux Folles with Kelsey Grammer; and the 2013 revival of Pippin starring Patina Miller and Andrea Martin. Chicago — which is celebrating its 24th Anniversary season on Broadway this year and is the longest running American musical in the world — has featured countless stars including Bebe Neuwirth, Anne Reinking, Joel Grey, Melanie Griffith, David Hasselhoff, Chita Rivera, Denise van Outen, Duncan James, Lynda Carter, Ashlee Simpson, Kelly Osbourne and Usher. The show’s global success has reached 34 countries, 473 cities and has been translated into a dozen languages.

Other notable Broadway credits include Cabaret with Joel Grey; Cat on a Hot Tin Roof with Kathleen Turner; Zorba with Anthony Quinn; My One & Only with Tommy Tune; My Fair Lady with Richard Chamberlain; William Finn’s Falsettos; Grease with Megan Mullally; Seussical with Rosie O’Donnell; Wonderful Town with Brooke Shields; Sweet Charity with Christina Applegate; the West End premiere of Neil Labute’s Fat Pig; and Kander and Ebb’s The Scottsboro Boys, directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman.

In addition to Chicago and Pippin, NAMCO currently licenses internationally the 2012 Tony Award-winning musical Once, as well as their current hit, Waitress, the musical adaptation of Adrienne Shelly’s 2007 Sundance film favorite, with an original score by Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter, Sara Bareilles. After four years on Broadway and one year on the West End, Waitress plans to resume its North American tour and embark on a UK Tour in 2021. Many international productions of the show are also on the horizon.

Bob Backish