The Playgoer: Gatsby v Gatsby

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Sunday, July 16, 2006

Gatsby v Gatsby

A terrific read in Arts & Leisure today from Jason Zinoman on yet another area where Broadway's stranglehold stifles downtown theatre: the issue of performance rights to still-copyrighted classics. The case here is Elevator Repair Service's much praised but little scene experimental epic staging of The Great Gatsby (called Gatz) which can't go on in New York (even at the almighty Public Theater) as long as the novel remains the property of a commercial producer who hopes to import the more conventional Broadway-bound version premiering at the Guthrie this fall....All this over the rights of something that isn't even a play!

An interesting twist on the uptown vs. downtown story--where "uptown" involves a nonprofit behemoth in Minnesota! And a lesson in the current landscape of literary adaptation.


Anonymous said...

Great Article !

I suggest we watch this CAREFULLY:

DAVID VS. GOLIATH - this is the crux of the theatrical problem. Mainstream meaningless or Underdog Originality.

Harold Ober Associates, Inc.
425 Madison Ave.
New York, NY 10017

parabasis said...

Hey Playgoer,

Over at my place (Parabasis) we're doing a letter writing push on behalf of getting GATZ the rights. Just thought you (and your readers) might be interested in joining in. It's part of our ongoing effort to take the lessons of the political blogosphere and apply them to theater.

Anyway... hope you're well!
oh and PS: i don't know if you care, but the first post in this comments section is comment spam. I got the exact same comment on a completely unrelated post on my site. While I agree with what they're doing, surely we don't need to use the same tactics as viagra suppliers.