The Playgoer: "Rachel Corrie" vs NYTW: Day 4

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Friday, March 03, 2006

"Rachel Corrie" vs NYTW: Day 4

The New York Times publishes their first update on the story today, but only under the gossipy Arts, Briefly column. And it's really only about the London West End transfer. In fact, tell me if the average NYT reader this morning would be aware of any controversy or free speech issues at all:

Though an Off Broadway production of "My Name Is Rachel Corrie" was postponed this week because of concerns about its political content, the sold-out production at the Royal Court Theater in London will move to the West End. Pieced together from Ms. Corrie's journals and e-mail messages, the solo show by Alan Rickman and Katherine Viner about Ms. Corrie, an American demonstrator killed by an Israeli bulldozer while trying to stop the destruction of a Palestinian home, will open at the Playhouse Theater for 36 performances, from March 28 through May 7.

Sounds like just another London opening, doesn't it. Note that because this is not an actual investigative article, NYTW's official statement of "postponement" is relayed without question. "Arts briefly" indeed.

I suppose to many minds, the announcement of the West End transfer closes the case for now. Obviously the show is not going to open in New York any time soon, since the creative team (and presumably the one actress who owns the part now) are booked--possibly for quite a long run at that given its success so far over there, now a success du scandal to boot.

So is James Nicola off the hook? Is it even more easy for him to talk of indefinite "postponement" with no necessity to commit anywhere in sight. Even better: it's not his fault now, it's Alan Rickman's for being too selfish in letting film commitments control his timetable and being greedy enough to take the West End deal over NYC.

Well, let's not let the debate subside so easily, ok?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree, I think the disingenuousness of Jim Nicola's post is pretty hilarious, as is the baleful head-shaking at all the vicious, VICIOUS people who would dare to perceive their decision as cowardly.

What climate would make it acceptable for people to listen to the play? Is NYTW waiting for the crisis in the Middle East to resolve itself?
I am a proud Usual Suspect at NYTW and they've been very good to me, but that victimmy statement on their site is a little too vague to be very meaningful.