The Playgoer: As if "In My Life" Wasn't Bad Enough

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

As if "In My Life" Wasn't Bad Enough

The world will little note nor long remember the hilariously disastrous vanity musical In My Life that some hack Hollywood songwriter put on Broadway a few years back. (Which didn't prevent NYT Arts & Leisure back then from doing their usual glossy feature.)

Well now one Joseph Brooks is in the news again for quite different reasons, such as 11 counts of rape and/or sexual assault against young actresses he was claiming to be "auditioning."

Sorry, allegedly, of course.

While identifying Brooks as, yes, the Oscar-winning composer of "You Light Up My Life" today's article sadly forgets his onetime contribution to Broadway musical theatre.

Aside from his personal assistant, a young woman herself, being implicated as an accomplice (we all knew those personal assistant jobs could get yucky, still...) the highlight of the police report has got to be:

Lt. Adam Lamboy, the commanding officer of the Police Department’s Manhattan Special Victims Squad...said they [the victims] recounted that Mr. Brooks would have them engage in a role, such as a prostitute, and to enhance their seductive manner, he would ply them with wine.

“At this time, we don’t believe this was an actual movie role he was casting for,” the lieutenant said.
No kidding.

Whatever the outcome of the trial, I wish the victims well in their ongoing recovery and want to remind all young performers out there...please don't answer (let alone fly in for) casting calls on Craigslist.


isaac butler said...


I wonder if this is really a newsstory to be cracking jokes about. I mean, yes, it's fun to make fun of In My Life, but the facts of this case are, it seems to me, fairly serious.

Playgoer said...

I'm totally horrified by this story. It's an awful, awful thing he (allegedly) did to these actresses. And by posting the story I hope to further add to any punishment and humiliation this creep suffers as a result.

The humor I find in it comes purely from how pathetic a portrait of the guy emerges from the reports. So I hope it's clear I'm laughing at HIM and not his unfortunate victims.

And I'm also serious about posting this as a caution to idealistic young performers who are always at risk to falling prey to such schemes, out of naivitee, desperation, or both. Be smart, kids.

Meanwhile, the more we savage and ridicule this sociopathic jerk the better, I say.

Playgoer said...

On second thought...

Now that I read the post, I see your point, Isaac. The tone is pretty glib, focusing only on Brooks and not his victims until the very end.

So I'm sorry I might have given the impression I wasn't giving enough thought to the women who were apparently violated and traumatized by this guy. My heart goes out to them and so should all of ours. A reminder of how vulnerable young actors make themselves every day...

I do believe mockery is the best weapon, tho, so I certainly do not apologize to Brooks for calling him untalented scum.

isaac butler said...

Hey G,
Thanks for both of your follow comments on this one, I really appreciate it. I didn't think you were like intentionally making light of people's suffering or anything, it just seemed tonally... off.

Anyway, what a fucking asshole, eh? Makes me double glad i didn't see In My Life.

Edward Einhorn said...

OK, I just have to weigh in a little here. The whole allegedly thing is there for a reason, guys - I'm not saying he's innocent, but let's not get in the Guantanamo Bay frame of mind where it is justified to say or do anything to someone accused of a crime, where in fact accused = guilty. If what he's accused of is true, it's awful of course, but if he's innocent, what a tragedy for him. We cannot sit in judgment of our government when they want to make a mockery of idea of innocent until proven guilt then make a mockery of that ourselves, when we don't like (or respect) the accused. This is not even a Madoff or an OJ Simpson case where we know so many facts that we can come to our own reasonable conclusions. And by the way, being a bad artist does not equal being guilty of rape, either.