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)

No comments: