1997 - 2000
Formation and Early Years
Matthew Rego, Michael Rego and Hank Unger form The Araca Group, LLC. Performances begin for Araca’s first Off-Broadway production, Skyscraper, written by future Pulitzer Prize-winner David Auburn.
Araca subsequently provides general management, marketing and production supervision for a series of Off-Off-Broadway productions including Stephen Belber’s The Death of Frank. Next, Araca produces Aaron Harnick’s independent film 30 Days, starring Ben Shenkman and Arija Bareikis. The film premieres at the 1999 Toronto International Film Festival and is released in both domestic and foreign territories.
James Naughton: Street of Dreams directed by Mike Nichols (Off-Broadway); Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues (Off-Broadway, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Toronto, London, and two national tours); and Moises Kaufman’s The Laramie Project (Off-Broadway) are also co-produced by The Araca Group. Following the 1999 New York International Fringe Festival, The Araca Group options festival hit Urinetown The Musical!
2001 - 2003
Urinetown The Musical! opens Off-Broadway, wins the Lucile Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical and sells out its two-month limited engagement. The production transfers to Broadway where it plays for almost 1,000 performances after receiving 10 Tony Award nominations (including Best Musical) with wins for Best Score, Best Book and Best Direction. This unlikely Broadway success has subsequent productions in San Francisco, Toronto, Chicago and a North American Tour, as well as hundreds of productions worldwide.
Araca’s second Broadway production, Terrence McNally’s Frankie and Johnny: In the Clair de Lune starring Edie Falco and Stanley Tucci, opens to critical acclaim and recoups its investment in a record-breaking six weeks. This production is nominated for two Tony Awards including Best Revival of a Play. Off-Broadway, The Araca Group’s production of Debbie Does Dallas opens for a six-month run followed by productions in San Francisco, Reno, Melbourne, and Johannesburg.
The Araca Group expands to become a fully integrated theatrical production company with General Management, Marketing and Merchandise departments. The Araca Group co-produces Wicked which goes on to become one of the biggest success stories in Broadway history.
2004 - 2006
Plays for All Seasons
Over the next four years, Araca expands its producing, marketing, and merchandising capabilities. Broadway producing/marketing credits include: Stephen Belber’s Broadway debut Match starring Frank Langella, Ray Liotta and Jane Adams; Marsha Norman’s ’night, Mother starring Edie Falco and Brenda Blethyn; Eve Ensler’s one-woman show The Good Body; and the Tony Award-nominated new musical The Wedding Singer.
Additional productions of Wicked follow in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Tokyo, Osaka, Stuttgart, Oberhausen, Melbourne, Sydney, as well as two North American tours. Araca commits to expanding its international merchandise divisions by establishing operations in these locations.
Back home, marketing/merchandising services are provided for The Wedding Singer and the long-running Broadway musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. In addition, merchandising services are provided for the following Broadway productions: The Pirate Queen, Ring of Fire, The Farnsworth Invention, Rock & Roll, Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me, national tours of Whistle Down the Wind, The Wedding Singer, Passing Strange and the West End production of Hairspray.
2007 - 2009
A Second Stage
Araca partners with Off-Broadway’s 2nd Stage Theatre to present Theresa Rebeck’s critically acclaimed The Scene starring Patricia Heaton and Tony Shalhoub and co-produces the Broadway revival of Boeing-Boeing (Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play) starring Christine Baranski, Bradley Whitford, and Gina Gershon.
Oh, What a Night – Araca secures merchandising rights for the Tony Award-winning musical Jersey Boys in Las Vegas, the U.K., and Australia, as well as the West End production of Spring Awakening and the Australian production of Chicago.
Araca acquires screen printing icon House of Ink – creating a one-stop screen printing and merchandising powerhouse – newly branded as Araca Ink. Araca Ink becomes a cornerstone of Araca’s merchandise division, bringing key clients such as Coyote Ugly, Saddle Ranch Restaurants, Professional Bull Riders Association, and Madison Square Garden Entertainment (New York Rangers and New York Knicks).
2009 - Present
Rock for the Ages
The Araca Group co-produces and merchandises Rock of Ages, an unlikely Tony Award-nominee for Best Musical, with subsequent productions in Toronto, a national tour, and upcoming productions in the U.K., Australia and Las Vegas. Additionally, Araca produces Broadway revivals of Lend Me a Tenor (Best Revival Tony Nominee) and A View From the Bridge (Best Revival Tony Nominee). Additional current merchandise productions include national tours of the following: Monty Python’s Spamalot, 9 to 5, and Shrek.
Upcoming productions include Broadway revivals of William Inge’s Picnic and William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice starring Al Pacino. Merchandising opportunities include: National Tours of Dreamworks’ Madagascar; Madison Square Garden’s Christmas Spectacular and Bring It On!; Broadway productions of Elf the Musical!, Catch Me If You Can, Kander and Ebb’s The Scottsboro Boys; and West End productions of Dreamworks’ Shrek and the new musical Ghost, based on the hit film.