Case | HBS Case Collection | March 2014

Milk Baths and Charm Necklaces: Had Randy Weiner (Finally) Gone Too Far?

by Mukti Khaire and Hannah Catzen

Abstract

The case on Randy Weiner explores the tensions between artistic and financial imperatives in a for-profit immersive theater venture. In order to revive the dormant Manhattan nightclub "The Diamond Horseshoe," theater-impresario Randy Weiner created "The Queen of the Night," a hybrid performance that combines food, opera, circus arts, and dance. While "The Queen of the Night" is the latest in a string of productions categorized as "immersive theater," a category Weiner is credited with inventing, it is also more expensive and more artistically risky than anything he has ever done before. Has Weiner finally gone too far, or will he be able to pull this off? This case explores the creation of a market for immersive theater, as well as structures Weiner has created to fund, manage, and create his productions. Additionally, this case examines the psyche of Weiner, a successful artist-entrepreneur, and investigates the role of risk, controversy, and the line between avant-garde and controversial art in creating works that are both financially profitable and artistically impactful.

Keywords: entertainment; entrepreneurship; Theater Entertainment; New York (city, NY);

Citation:

Khaire, Mukti, and Hannah Catzen. "Milk Baths and Charm Necklaces: Had Randy Weiner (Finally) Gone Too Far?" Harvard Business School Case 814-079, March 2014.