The Playgoer: Staged Reading at Broadway Prices?

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Staged Reading at Broadway Prices?

Healy reports today on NYTimes.com that the much anticipated revival (and B'way premiere) of Larry Kramer's landmark 1985 AIDS play The Normal Heart is so pressed for rehearsal time that they're not guaranteeing actors will be off book, making the whole production potentially a very dressed up stage reading at B'way ticket prices.

First their director, Joel Grey, got cast in a hit musical and will divide director duties (somehow) with George C. Wolfe.

Second, the production was meant to be a transfer of an actual staged benefit reading of the play in the fall. Problem is, they never planned the time necessary to go from script-in-hand to full staging.

Rick Miramontez--who has already provided the community with much entertainment in the thankless job of Spider-Man press rep--is on the job:

The show’s spokesman, Rick Miramontez has said all spring that “The Normal Heart,” Larry Kramer’s landmark play about AIDS and New York in the 1980s, will have “all the values associated with Broadway productions,” including a complete team of designers and full staging. But he has also noted that the 10-member cast has had relatively little time to prepare for the show, given standing commitments for several of them. Late last month, Mr. Miramontez (speaking on behalf of the producers) could not say definitively if the actors would be off book, instead repeating that the show would be “presentational in nature.” 
Yes, "all the values"! Except acting rehearsals.

3 comments:

Jihad Punk XXX said...

*head bang*

this is an insult and a great disservice to the playwright Larry Kramer. Unbelievable.

EsoCritic said...

This is an insult to everyone sharing the same oxygen as these people.

Is the fact that these little half-ass schemes are reminiscent of the worst community theater nightmare not supposed to count because the people involved are celebrities?

Imagine what this could be if only the NY theater brass took the theater seriously. Somewhere in this town there are talented stage actors aspiring to be on Two And A Half Men just so they can work here.

And we want to keep this going, why?

The Playgoer said...

UPDATE 4/26: NYT reports today that actors in "Normal Heart" (now in previews) are off book!