The Playgoer: Crazy Producers: Vol. XXIII

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Crazy Producers: Vol. XXIII

So have you ever wondered who the ad wizards were who came up with that awful Grey Gardens tabloid-style campaign, that's probably as responsible as anything for this Tony-winning star-turn of a show? The producers, of course.

Riedel today has a hoot documenting the shenanigans of airline magnates The Gondas, Kelly and Lou.

The Gondas fired Serino-Coyne, the veteran Broadway ad agency, because they didn't like their artwork. A source close to the agency says the company presented the Gondas with dozens of ideas but the Gondas "could never make a decision about anything."

Serino-Coyne was replaced by Radical Media, in which the Gondas have a stake. Radical came up with tabloid-style ads that theater insiders said had nothing to do with the musical.

What kind of experience does this ad promise ticketbuyers? Some mix of Batboy and Lipsynka, I'd suspect. Imagine their disappointment upon actually seeing this elegant, utterly serious and "integrated" oldschool musical. Especially since the "scandalous" part--and it ain't the glamorous kind of scandal--doesn't come till Act 2.

And pretty attractive too, ain't it?

Another gem hearkens back to that old saw that, as long as it's not in tights, anyone can be a costume designer.

One day she [Kelly Gonda] decided that a costume worn by the actor playing Joseph Kennedy was all wrong.

"He doesn't look like a Kennedy," she complained.

She pulled the actor out of rehearsal, took him shopping and bought him a heavy cable-knit sweater, which she insisted he wear in a scene set on the beach in July.

The costume designer of "Grey Gardens" is five-time Tony winner William Ivey Long, a close personal friend of Lee Radziwill, Jackie Kennedy's sister.

When producing on Broadway in this economy becomes a fool's errand, don't be surprised if the producers turn out to be fools.

1 comment:

Jaime said...

Oh my god. I'd been wondering about the horrific ads. (Which, yup, reminded me of Bat Boy. A show I love, but a slightly different feel, no?) They're such a disaster. Good to know what happened, but that's really scary.