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The Five: Theater

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2. Rant: A Frustrated Producer on Broadway’s Hollywood Rut

Broadway is broken. The theater has been like a bad episode of Smash (see Bono throwing Julie Taymor under the bus). Stars are cast for commercial value, and some agents say, No audition, offer only. They say, Oh, but they’re so established in the movies. But what I’ve seen over the years is that just because someone is fantastic onscreen doesn’t mean they’re ready for the stage. Look at Ben Stiller in The House of Blue Leaves, or Katie Holmes in Dead Accounts. (Though Dead Accounts was bad by all accounts.) Art and artistry are being driven outhence empty houses, or avant-garde shows in prime houses. Rob Ashford’s idea for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof was to have ghosts of characters onstage, but his vision wasn’t supported, which is pretty fucked up. We need to support the visionaries. Otherwise, we’re chefs working in a kitchen with the same nine ingredients. As told to Jennifer Vineyard


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