Art trump Trump?
fodder spewing from the White House has spawned a new industry “Trump Bashing”
for networks and cable alike.
gag writers’ dream, Saturday Night reclaimed its long lost grown up audience
heard of Trevor Noah before?)
the social commentary of conscience,
grown its fertile garden of Trump cacti
Stage’s revival of Shaw’s Heartbreak House recast its bully in
a yellow comb over wig
to Off Broadway
where Building the
Wall had Trump presiding over immigrant concentration camps
to Central Park
where Shakespeare’s Julius
Caesar actually murdered Trump onstage
(hear that Kathy
cautionary tale had audiences squirming
presented huge portions of its text in a new anti-Trump light
And now, the most
unabashed of all Trump critics, makes his unlikely Broadway debut in
asking: Can A Broadway Show Bring Down A
Moore doesn’t think he can
do it singlehandedly but feels his addition to that thorny crop of pricklers
to about 1,000 people who have paid as much as $149 a seat”
little of it is written where it won’t change night to night,” said director
Michael Mayer, who called Mr. Moore “a natural raconteur.”
What will he do differently?
the limited 12-week
engagement began previews at Broadway’s Belasco Theatre (111 W 44th
Street) on Friday, July 28, 2017 with an official opening night set
for Thursday, August 10, 2017
Thomas Meehan, left, with Mel Brooks
in 2001 at a rehearsal of the “The Producers” in Manhattan.CreditSara
Krulwich/The New York Times
Thomas Meehan, who won Tony Awards for writing the books for three of
the most successful Broadway musicals of the past 40 years — “Annie,” “The
Producers” and “Hairspray” — died Monday at his home in Manhattan. He was 88.
The cause was cancer, said his wife,
Thomas Edward Meehan was born on
Aug. 14, 1929, in Ossining, N.Y., and grew up across the Hudson River in
Suffern. He had an ice cream truck in his youth and also worked at a drugstore,
his wife said.
After graduating from Hamilton
College in 1951, he secured an entry-level editorial job at The New Yorker,
where, somewhat bedazzled by his good fortune, he arrived for his first day of
work at 9 a.m. only to find that the office was empty.
“He thought maybe the whole thing
was a joke,” his wife said. “Of course, everyone wandered in later because
nobody got to work at 9 o’clock.”
Given opportunities to write for the
magazine, he produced a short story titled “Yma Dream,” which got the attention
of Anne Bancroft, Mel Brooks and the lyricist Martin Charnin. They teamed up to
work with him on a television adaptation, and the connections would prove
In 1972, Mr. Charnin asked Mr.
Meehan if he would want to work on a musical. Mr. Meehan said he was game. But
then Mr. Charnin told him his idea: to adapt the comic strip “Little Orphan
Annie.” Recounting the genesis of the show in an article in The New York Times
in 1977, Mr. Meehan wrote that his reaction was swift and succinct: “You’ve got
to be kidding,” he told Mr. Charnin.
Mr. Meehan, left, with Mel Brooks in
2001 after accepting a Tony Award for “The Producers.”CreditSara
Krulwich/The New York Times
But he eventually agreed to give it
a try, and once he read the comics, he realized that it would be harder than he
“Although I’d read ‘Little Orphan
Annie’ as a child in the 1930’s,” he wrote, “I’d forgotten that it was
basically nothing more than a series of totally improbable adventures, in which
Annie, for example, was stranded on a desert isle or lost in the jungles of
South America or held prisoner in a waterfront warehouse by a Fu Manchu‐like
“We’d set out to write a realistic,
three-dimensional musical,” he continued, “and what I had to work from was a
series of unrealistic, two-dimensional, two-inch squares.”
The musical the men eventually
fashioned with Charles Strouse, who wrote the music, took five years to get to
Broadway. But once it did, in 1977, it ran for 2,377 performances. Today it is
a staple of American musical theater.
Mr. Meehan went on to work with Mr.
Brooks on other projects, including the 1987 movie “Spaceballs” and, perhaps
most notable, their adaptation of the 1967 Brooks film “The Producers.” The
show became a Broadway juggernaut that dominated the 2001 Tony Awards and ran
for more than 2,500 performances.
Mr. Meehan followed that with
“Hairspray,” an adaptation, written with Mark O’Donnell, of John Waters’s 1988
film of the same name. (The music was by Marc Shaiman, the lyrics by Mr.
Shaiman and Scott Wittman.) It opened in 2002 and ran for 2,642 performances.
Mr. Meehan, who lived in Greenwich
Village, had two children, Joseph and Kate, with his first wife, Karen; their
marriage ended in divorce. Besides his wife, Carolyn, whom he married in 1988,
he is survived by his children as well as three stepchildren, six
grandchildren, and a brother, John.
Carolyn Meehan said her husband had
been astounded by his success, especially with “Annie.” After the Tony Awards,
she said, the trophy was taken away so that it could be engraved. When he
picked his up later, he took it to Sardi’s restaurant and just sat there with
it, still in its brown paper wrapper, on the bar.
“To be able to be sitting at Sardi’s
with a Tony in a brown paper wrapper was just amazing to him,” she said.
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