The Playgoer: Talk About Subsidiary Rights!

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Talk About Subsidiary Rights!

Would you rather share your royalties with a nonprofit theatre company...or your ex-wife?

Mamet couldn't be reached for comment, but it's long been rumored that he makes very little money from "American Buffalo." Sources say royalties from that play, as well as those from many of his other early works, go to his ex-wife, Lindsay Crouse, who reportedly got them as part of a divorce settlement. They were married from 1977 to 1990. Mamet married Rebecca Pidgeon in 1991. "I guess he just doesn't feel the need to work for his ex-wife," says a theater executive.

Al Pacino has long wanted to do a Broadway production of "A Life in the Theater," Mamet's 1977 backstage drama, but Mamet, sources say, shows little interest in seeing it revived. "You always hear that his ex-wife gets the money from that one, too," says a theater insider.

Hence the playwright's marked indifference to the ill fortunes of the recently opened (and closed) Broadway revival. Or so reports Riedel.


Esther said...

If it's true, it's pretty juvenile and mean-spirited. What about the actors, etc. who were involved in American Buffalo? Did they have to suffer because of Mamet's anger with his ex-wife?

Anonymous said...

Oh lighten up Esther.

There's nothing mean-spirited about not wanting someone from your past to profit from work they had no hand in creating.

And if you think the celebrities cast in the latest production had to suffer, you are naive at best. If the reviews and word of mouth are to be believed, it was the audiences who suffered.