The Playgoer: "Producers"

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006


"The reason theater people are having a good time at Harris' expense is that she represents a type of producer who has come to dominate Broadway: the dilettante who doesn't really know what she's doing but who, because she's got the money, gets to play at being a producer. These dilettantes are deeply, deeply resented by the professionals who really run the theater — those producers, managers, press agents and ad executives who got where they are not because they married well (or divorced even better) but because of their hard work, tenacity and talent."

- from Michael Riedel's follow up to his scoop Friday on that Paris Hilton of much-for-profit theatre, Dede Harris. If you can read between Riedel's lines here, there are some sharp barbs indeed at some very successful and influential individuals on Broadway and off.

Even as schadenfreude gossip, I recommend the whole column as a mini-exposee of what has happened to the art of producing for the commercial theatre. The days of Kermit Bloomgarden and Hal Prince are long behind us.


parabasis said...

Oooo! Fun! Let's decode this column!

Anonymous said...

I have a bit of gossip for you. An actress went to see Dog Sees God. She had never met one of the actors in the play, one who supposedly was so upset by the "sexual harrassment" that he refused to return to the stage.

After the show this actor was introduced to the actress, whom he had never met. He immediately grabbed her and said, "Your ex is dating my ex -- it's like you and I have fucked!"

I smell a rat. This producer, no matter how inappropriate her actions, is a scapegoat for a bunch of lazy actors who no longer wanted to do a play once their reviews came out. The bulk of these actors have been sexualizing themselves for agents, managers, publicists, journalists, film directors, and TV directors since the time they were teenagers. They have moved in "the scene," replete with alcohol, drugs, and explicit sexuality. And they couldn't tell some shrimpy woman to lay off? Or call Equity and have her stopped? These actors, with their teams of lawyers and publicists and agents and managers, had no recorse but to quit the show? Give me a break. They've been manipulating sexuality all their lives. They should have been able to brush this off -- but they didn't because they were looking for an excuse to get the hell out of dodge.