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Scott Rudin returns: "intimately involved" with Little Island's 2024 Summer Festival

Scott Rudin returns: "intimately involved" with Little Island's 2024 Summer Festival

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ErmengardeStopSniveling
#1Scott Rudin returns: "intimately involved" with Little Island's 2024 Summer Festival
Posted: 5/13/24 at 12:59pm

Hmm...

https://www.nytimes.com/2024/05/06/arts/music/little-island-festival-barry-diller-scott-rudin-twyla-tharp.html

 

 

also of note:

 

Since stepping back from Broadway and Hollywood, Rudin said he had been working on projects with friends, including some movies and plays.

GottaGetAGimmick420
#2Scott Rudin returns: "intimately involved" with Little Island's 2024 Summer Festival
Posted: 5/13/24 at 2:11pm

Yeah he's retained a new assistant and has his hand in some stuff... it's a badly kept secret around town right now.


I'm just here so I don't get fined

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Broadway Flash
#3Scott Rudin returns: "intimately involved" with Little Island's 2024 Summer Festival
Posted: 5/13/24 at 2:12pm

Slowly getting back into it.  Broadway needs him BAD.  He was a hitmaker!!

GottaGetAGimmick420
#4Scott Rudin returns: "intimately involved" with Little Island's 2024 Summer Festival
Posted: 5/13/24 at 2:15pm

Broadway Flash said: "Slowly getting back into it. Broadway needs him BAD. He was a hitmaker!!"

I mean yes hitmaker... but also HITmaker of hitting people with baked potatoes... so... 


I'm just here so I don't get fined

OhHiii
#5Scott Rudin returns: "intimately involved" with Little Island's 2024 Summer Festival
Posted: 5/13/24 at 2:20pm

His abuse aside (though should never be actually cast aside), the man brought A TON of awareness to Broadway as a whole with his seasonal slate of star-studded shows. His presence on the street elevated all of Broadway to a degree. His absence has been tangible since re-opening there’s no denying that.

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TotallyEffed
#6Scott Rudin returns: "intimately involved" with Little Island's 2024 Summer Festival
Posted: 5/13/24 at 2:28pm

He has fantastic taste. Let's hope he has gotten his anger under control.

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Broadway Flash
#7Scott Rudin returns: "intimately involved" with Little Island's 2024 Summer Festival
Posted: 5/13/24 at 2:34pm

Didn’t he get Matilda kicked out of the Shubert. Yes, he elevated Broadway but did it to his advantage, not the broader community. 

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ErmengardeStopSniveling
#8Scott Rudin returns:
Posted: 5/13/24 at 2:56pm

I agree that his taste was, often, excellent, yet I don't feel a huge loss.

Sonia Friedman, ATG, Seaview, Tom Kirdahy, Kevin McCollum, David Stone, Hunter Arnold, and SR's former right-hands Sue Wagner & John Johnson have prolific slates of plays & musicals, and the output is more good than bad.

The nonprofits are doing more new plays, and doing them well.

Most people don't have his power of persuasion (the power that got us shows like Bette in Dolly and the returns of Elaine May and Glenda Jackson), but a year ago I wouldn't have expected RDJ, Carell, and Clooney to make their Broadway debuts.

 

Broadway has also changed so much since he last produced a show: 

There's new power. Some of the producers above have made huge strides. Jujamcyn doesn't exist and ATG is one of the most important entities in English-speaking theatre right now. TodayTix is expanding. Leadership changes at the Broadway League, Roundabout, 2nd Stage, LCT, Lincoln Center, Playwrights Horizons, Signature, Steppenwolf, CTG, Encores, City Center, Classic Stage, and TDF, as well as some changes within Shubert and MTC. (among others)

There's also a much greater awareness of representation, equitability, and giving people a chance. Sure, some of the old people are there, and there are still active producers who hardly behave better than SR, but the landscape of 2024 is much different than the landscape of 2019.

Updated On: 5/13/24 at 02:56 PM

Playbill_Trash
#9Scott Rudin returns:
Posted: 5/13/24 at 3:00pm

Broadway needs him more than he needs Broadway.

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Kad
#10Scott Rudin returns:
Posted: 5/13/24 at 3:09pm

Little Island has been having its share of problems- a lot of staff and leadership turnover, pus the novelty of the park wore off very quickly and the whole selling point of it being a place for public art went totally unfulfilled after its first summer. Diller sounds very out of touch for blaming the quality of the art they put up and the "lack of artistic vitality" in the city.

It's worth noting, though, that Little Island has a pretty robust infrastructure for putting up productions. It has a great deal of facility space underneath the park specifically created to support large casts and technical elements. It could very easily be putting up professional theatre productions that could function like a smaller Shakespeare in the Park.


"...everyone finally shut up, and the audience could enjoy the beginning of the Anatevka Pogram in peace."

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TotallyEffed
#11Scott Rudin returns:
Posted: 5/13/24 at 3:13pm

I have to admit, I do feel the loss of Scott Rudin. I can't imagine a more perfect production than that revival of Hello, Dolly! and I appreciated his riskier productions which made seasons feel a lot more exciting. Not every production was a hit or even great, but the vast majority of them were intriguing and interesting to me. Three Tall Women, A Doll's House Part 2, Hillary and Clinton, The Ferryman, The Boys in the Band, Shuffle Along, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time...

The list goes on and on. He also understood how to market his shows in a much more sophisticated way than most shows on Broadway.

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veronicamae
#12Scott Rudin returns:
Posted: 5/13/24 at 3:50pm

TotallyEffed said: "He also understood how to market his shows in a much more sophisticated way than most shows on Broadway."

Ah yes - by not paying for it, if I recall.

He treats everyone around him and those who are behind the scenes like worms. He can get out and stay out of this industry.

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raddersons
#13Scott Rudin returns:
Posted: 5/13/24 at 4:02pm

Hate to say there’s a lot to like in this slate of programming. I’ll check a few out but maybe I’ll swap out my baked potato for a salad come dinner time.

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TotallyEffed
#14Scott Rudin returns:
Posted: 5/13/24 at 4:03pm

veronicamae said: "TotallyEffed said: "He also understood how to market his shows in a much more sophisticated way than most shows on Broadway."

Ah yes -by not paying for it, if I recall.

He treats everyone around him and those who are behind the scenes like worms. He can get out and stay out of this industry.
"


I meant design.

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veronicamae
#15Scott Rudin returns:
Posted: 5/13/24 at 4:19pm

TotallyEffed said: "veronicamae said: "TotallyEffed said: "He also understood how to market his shows in a much more sophisticated way than most shows on Broadway."

Ah yes -by not paying for it, if I recall.

He treats everyone around him and those who are behind the scenes like worms. He can get out and stay out of this industry.
"


I meant design.
"

Too bad he did not pay for that design (done by his then-agency SpotCo) and subsequent usage to the tune of $6.3 million.

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TotallyEffed
#16Scott Rudin returns:
Posted: 5/13/24 at 4:21pm

That is too bad, indeed. I was just saying they always looked great.

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ErmengardeStopSniveling
#17Scott Rudin returns:
Posted: 5/13/24 at 4:22pm

TotallyEffed said: "The list goes on and on. He also understood how to market his shows in a much more sophisticated way than most shows on Broadway."

Oh I disagree. He might have had nice-looking posters for some shows, but he relied way too much on static images (archaic in the 21st century), he overspent on the NYT (a dying audience), his digital advertising was usually poor or neglected, and he was incredibly picky about what could be shown in production b-roll and photos.

He relied much too heavily on advertising words (be they quotes or the names involved) and nostalgia.

Some of those strategies were fine for plays and shows with massive stars, but he was a poor promoter of musicals and lacked the aptitude to promote a big musical in the way that people like Jeffrey Seller, Barry Weissler, Cameron Mackintosh, and David Stone have.

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Jordan Catalano
#18Scott Rudin returns:
Posted: 5/13/24 at 4:24pm

Not saying anything he did was ok but I always find it interesting the people that this community chooses to “un-cancel” and who they don’t. 

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Kad
#19Scott Rudin returns:
Posted: 5/13/24 at 4:32pm

Let's not forget that one of the last notable actions by Rudin prior his cancellation was that he decided to threaten  community theaters nationwide with legal action for mounting the old adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird... and decided to let them stage his adaptation instead.


"...everyone finally shut up, and the audience could enjoy the beginning of the Anatevka Pogram in peace."

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binau
#20Scott Rudin returns:
Posted: 5/13/24 at 4:48pm

I think I might have seen Scott Rudin at ‘Old Friends’ in London. I could be wrong, but someone that looked like him was sitting in the very back row corner by himself as if they were hiding. It was a bit…sad. I have to agree with what everyone said - this guy knew what art was and he knew how to make money with good art, too. His name was almost synonymous with quality. 
 

I am not convinced he could ever change. Arthur Laurents once described him as his best friend, I think that says everything. And I tend to think that anyone who takes Sondheim to court has a particular wickedness about them. Also, the descriptions of what it was like to work in his office are abhorrent. 

Also, there were even rumours that he treated Donna Murphy terribly in Hello, Dolly! (I know he wouldn’t have treated Bernadette like this because she has been clear she doesn’t work in those conditions)  

But he did produce good work. And I wish his work was back on stage. I don’t know how to solve both problems. Can some powerful Broadway ‘people’, whoever they are - or even Scott Rudin himself - agree to work only under CCTV camera and provide an escalation path for workers if he cannot keep control? I don’t think he can have a second chance that is unqualified or unsupervised. But at the same time he is not Harvey Weinstein. 


"You can't overrate Bernadette Peters. She is such a genius. There's a moment in "Too Many Mornings" and Bernadette doing 'I wore green the last time' - It's a voice that is just already given up - it is so sorrowful. Tragic. You can see from that moment the show is going to be headed into such dark territory and it hinges on this tiny throwaway moment of the voice." - Ben Brantley (2022) "Bernadette's whole, stunning performance [as Rose in Gypsy] galvanized the actors capable of letting loose with her. Bernadette's Rose did take its rightful place, but too late, and unseen by too many who should have seen it" Arthur Laurents (2009) "Sondheim's own favorite star performances? [Bernadette] Peters in ''Sunday in the Park,'' Lansbury in ''Sweeney Todd'' and ''obviously, Ethel was thrilling in 'Gypsy.'' Nytimes, 2000
Updated On: 5/13/24 at 04:48 PM

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TotallyEffed
#21Scott Rudin returns:
Posted: 5/13/24 at 4:53pm

Agreed, binau. I hear he treated Donna very poorly and the Shuffle Along drama was a really bad look. I think he would need a lot of therapy to really change and I hope he can.

It certainly seems like Lea Michele has been on her best behavior.

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ErmengardeStopSniveling
#22Scott Rudin returns:
Posted: 5/13/24 at 5:03pm

IF he were to try to venture back to Broadway, I think it would have to be accompanied by

  • a big statement of apology
  • details on what specifically he's done to change his life
  • what in his upbringing might have caused some of his behavior
  • how he plans to be held accountable for his behavior going forward

If, for example, he sought medical attention and was diagnosed with a list of conditions –– perhaps BPD, or NPD, or Autism, or OCD/anxiety, or depression, or all –– and has taken meaningful steps over multiple years to create change, that could paint a more sympathetic narrative than simply "I'M BACK, B&%#H!"

But also, unicorns are real.

Updated On: 5/13/24 at 05:03 PM

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Impeach2017
#23Scott Rudin returns:
Posted: 5/13/24 at 5:18pm

Newsflash: many of the greats of the theater were not nice people!  

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Jonathan Cohen
#24Scott Rudin returns:
Posted: 5/13/24 at 5:36pm

binau said: "But he did produce good work. And I wish his work was back on stage. I don’t know how to solve both problems. Can some powerful Broadway ‘people’, whoever they are - or even Scott Rudin himself - agree to work only under CCTV camera and provide an escalation path for workers if he cannot keep control? I don’t think he can have a second chance that is unqualified or unsupervised. But at the same time he is not Harvey Weinstein."

I really disagree with the narrative Rudin was so great at his job producing Broadway/movies/TV he can't be replaced. For example David Fincher, Greta Gerwig, and Aaron Sorkin all had hit movies they directed and/or wrote produced by Rudin. They have also all created more financially successful movies without Rudin's involvement. 

Similarly yes, Rudin brought a bunch of A-list stars to Broadway. On the other hand, Denzel Washington and Jake Gyllenhaal are returning to Broadway, and Robert Downey Jr. and George Clooney are making their Broadway debuts next season without his involvement. Getting big stars to do Broadway isn't some special skill he alone possesses. 

Additionally, if he couldn't figure out how to do his job without verbally and physically abusing his staff, he's not actually that competent of a producer.

And yes, he's not as bad as Harvey Weinstein, but I'd like to think the bar for keeping workplaces safe should be set a little higher than just excluding serial rapist who are actively in jail.  

We don't "need" Scott Rudin.     

Updated On: 5/13/24 at 05:36 PM

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Kad
#25Scott Rudin returns:
Posted: 5/13/24 at 6:13pm

Impeach2017 said: "Newsflash: many of the greats of the theater were not nice people!"

Not being nice, or even being ruthless, is the not the same as being abusive, which Rudin was widely known to be. And we are thankfully slowly coming out of the age in which abuse is tolerated or excused as a price of doing business. 


"...everyone finally shut up, and the audience could enjoy the beginning of the Anatevka Pogram in peace."


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