Thursday, January 14, 2010

Updates on the Finian's and Ragtime fronts

Press reps confirm that Finian's Rainbow is now definitely closing this Sunday (Jan. 17), and will not be moving into the Neil Simon Theatre as rumored. Michael Riedel, theater columnist for the New York Post, gives the backstory on that.

According to Riedel, a shifty producer named Garth Drabinsky (not composer Andrew Lloyd Webber) was involved in the negotiations with producers to transfer and monetize the critically-acclaimed revival. Coincidentally, Drabinsky's baby was the original 1998 Ragtime, but this production also led to his financial undoing. ran a detailed article last March about Drabinsky and his fraudulent theater producing company, Livent Inc. Drabinsky and his business partner Myron Gottlieb were convicted of swindling about 500 million Canadian dollars (that works out to 405 million American bucks).

Despite multiple attempts, I was unable to get a hold of someone attached to Finian's to speak to the Drabinsky claims. Will keep trying.
The press rep for Ragtime maintains that the show is closed, though remains tight-lipped when it comes to talking about load out. "I don't know why you need to know this," was all I got ... granted, I have essentially lost my voice and this made any further communication strained and mildly awkward (on my part).

I leave you with this Huffington Post piece by Michael Kaiser, President of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in D.C. The revival of Ragtime originated at the Kennedy Center in the spring of 2009 before transferring to Broadway this past fall. Kaiser makes an insightful distinction between non-profit and commercial theater, and how each contributed to Ragtime's fleeting stage life.

No comments:

Post a Comment