Sunday, November 28, 2010


Tonight at 6:30 pm, New York Time, (that's 3:30 pm Pacific Time) the long awaited Broadway musical "Spiderman: Light Up The Dark" will open in previews at the Foxwoods Theatre. This little show has had the kind of bad luck that my own show "Edgar Alan and Poe" had. Following a change in producers, several delays and the renaming of its theatre, the eagerly awaited Julie Taymor musical Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark begins performances Nov. 28 at 6:30 PM at Broadway's Foxwoods Theatre. An official opening night scheduled for Jan. 11, 2011, but for all intensive purposes, this is the test that every musical goes through before an official opening About the recent delays, lead producer Michael Cohl had said in a statement, "Shows like ours, that embrace the challenge of opening on Broadway without an out-of-town tryout, often need to adjust their schedules along the way. Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark has an unprecedented level of technical artistry, and getting it right takes time. We apologize in advance to any inconvenienced ticket holders." The musical of course is inspired by the Marvel comic-book character that first emerged in the 1960s, and had originally been announced to arrive during the 2009 season, but it was postponed due to financing.
Recent trouble included the injury of two actors during demonstrations of the show's flying techniques: One actor broke both his wrists, while the other broke both his feet. That's what I cal very bad luck. Tonight at 7:00pm we can all watch a wonderful preview program about the show on the CBS show "60 Minutes" It should really reveal some interesting facts and figures. In the meantime, my own new show "THE BREMEN TOWN BOYS" ticks down to its audition dates of May 5th and 6th at the Actor's Garden Theatre. The progress of the show can be followed by going to our informative show web site at Bremen Town Boys can be described as "The Brothers Grimm meet "Noises Off". It's a fairy tale and a spoof. And some of it is very very funny. We plan to open around February 12th or so. More details will certainly follow. Now I'm writing another spoof called "Adam and Eve and Steve (When the Devil Wasn't Enough) an altogether spoof of what might have happened if dear old Adam and Eve were not as close a couple as we might imagine them to be and when the finger pointing starts, Adam rejects Eve for another "companion" -- and God turns an annoying plum tree human who of course becomes "Steve". Eve, however is not about to give up her man that easy and fights back. This could be a lot of fun! Beautiful day on this Sunday! Later on!

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Today is the 99th birthday of the "Abominable Showman"-- none other than dear old David Merrick. This one producer who was responsible for many famous Broadway shows was the master of the cheap publicity stunt for the Broadway stage. There wasn't any thing this guy wouldn't try. His most infamous was to announce the death of famed director Grover Champion onstage on opening night of the mega musical "42nd Street" all in the hopes of publicizing the show. Talk about dropping a bomb on a party. He would close his own show if he didn't get his way and once for a forgettable musical called "Subways Are For Sleeping", he found ordinary people in New York who had the same last names as all of the famous critics in New York. He bussed them in luxury limos to the theatre, bought their tickets, paid for their steak dinners and got them to write phony quotes of praise for a show that was just terrible. He was yesterdays Fran and Barry Weisler-- the infamous producers who did in my friends, The Sherman Brothers. John and I have written a musical whose antagonist is actually based on this creep. It's called "Death Does Broadway" And by the way that show is on our upcoming season at the Actor's Garden Theatre. Auditions for "The Bremen Town Boys" will be on Sunday, December 5th between 3pm and 9pm and Monday between 7-10pm. Merrick has a grand story to tell and half of me hates this guy and the other half is grateful that a guy like him was around to make some of these master works possible. Because sometimes it takes a real piece of work to get a classic work on the stage. So in case you don't know, here are the many plays and musicals that the chicanery of David Merrick got produced:

Fanny (1954)
The Matchmaker (1955)
Look Back in Anger (1957)
Romanoff and Juliet (1957)
Jamaica (1957)
The Entertainer (1958)
The World of Suzie Wong (1958)
La Plume de Ma Tante (1958)
Destry Rides Again (1959)
Gypsy (1959)
Take Me Along (1959)
Irma La Douce (1960)
A Taste of Honey (1960)
Becket (1960)
Do Re Mi (1960)
Carnival (1961)
I Can Get It for You Wholesale (1962)
Stop the World - I Want to Get Off (1962)
Oliver! (1963)
Luther (1963)
110 in the Shade (1963)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1963)
The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore (1964)
Hello, Dolly! (1964)
Foxy (1964)
Oh! What a Lovely War (1964)
The Roar of the Greasepaint - The Smell of the Crowd (1965)
Pickwick (1965)
Cactus Flower (1965)
Marat/Sade (1965)
Don't Drink the Water (1966)
I Do! I Do! (1966)
Breakfast at Tiffany's (1966)
Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (1967)
How Now, Dow Jones (1967)
The Seven Descents of Myrtle (1968)
The Happy Time (1968)
Promises, Promises (1968)
Forty Carats (1968)
Play It Again, Sam (1969)
Private Lives (1969)
Mack and Mabel (1974)
Very Good Eddie (1975)
State Fair (1996)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Well, it has been a very long time since I've written here, but "Edgar Alan and Poe" turned out to be very blessed in some ways and very cursed in others. The good thing is that we grossed about over a thousand dollars, but the expenses certainly ate a lot of that up. Lessons learned? Never beg an actor to stay in a show that he has no capacity for learning lines and songs. This guy actually offered me a thousand dollars if he could quietly exit. I should have quietly taken the money and found somebody else. Second lesson: screen people very carefully at auditions. if they are out of work especially-- that's reg flag time. Third lesson? Never ever mention the name of Macbeth on stage. I am convinced this age old curse is right as rain. We had a cast member who tried to commit suicide; one get sick with pneumonia and put in the hospital. A member of the crew had two flat tires at once on one night and had the computer so we couldn't go on that night ether. Lighting didn't work. One night we had a complete black out. It was great producing this show and we had some of the best cast members and the best crew ever, but wow-- some of these things just blew me and poor John Nugent away! We did get the video recorded and John Nugent added fancy titles to the work last night. But we will go on with our next show called "THE BREMEN TOWN BOYS" with auditions on December 6th and 7th at the Actor's Garden Theatre in Hollywood. Cat Deobler will direct and we describe it as "The Brothers Grimm Meet Noises Off". It's very funny and filled with witty lines and double entrandes. So I really want to thank Cat, Zane, Bryce, David Marc, Micahel, Perry, Julie and Diego and everybody else for giving us their all! There were many many lessons learned here. I find it so amazing that so many crazy things happened to us along the way! Meeting Perry Sites and cat Deobler alone made up for so much sorrow. Bryce Kidman is a genius and Zane Grogan really created a wonderful character. So with all things considered, it was worth the effort and we will put this show back on with all the lessons learned firmly in place!