Thursday, January 29, 2009

McCann and The Public Come to Agreement, HAIR in 'Very Healthy Shape'

The New York Times is reporting the positive news that the leaders of New York's Public Theater announced today, Thursday January 29th, that they have signed an agreement with the Broadway producer Elizabeth I. McCann that avoids legal action, threatened by Ms. McCann, over the upcoming transfer of the musical "Hair," which is scheduled to begin rehearsals on Friday.

The Times explains that "Ms. McCann was originally, with the Public, the lead producer of the show, which was a hit last summer in Central Park, but the Public moved her aside last month when she could not raise the money for its initial $6.5 million capitalization. Ms. McCann had suggested that she might sue, but Oskar Eustis, artistic director of the Public, said on Thursday that the theater and Ms. McCann had signed an agreement keeping her "as an above-the-title" producer. "The acrimony is completely behind us - there will be no lawsuits," Mr. Eustis said to the Times.

"We're in very healthy shape with more than $5 million in firm money, and we'll end up turning prospective producers away," Mr. Eustis said.

To read the entire Times Arts Beat story on Hair click here.

HAIR will begin preview performances on Friday, March 6, with Opening Night set for Tuesday, March 31, at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre (302 West 45th Street, New York City). Jeffrey Richards and Jerry Frankel, the producing team that helped bring the Tony Award-winning musical Spring Awakening to Broadway, have joined forces with The Public Theater (Artistic Director Oskar Eustis; Executive Director Andrew Hamingson) - as co-lead producers - to present the upcoming Broadway production.

The production will reunite most of the creative team of last summer's staging at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park: director Diane Paulus, set designer Scott Pask, costume designer Michael McDonald to design the lighting for the Broadway production.

Recently cited on more than 25 10-BEST-OF-THE-YEAR THEATER lists, including The New York Times, New York Magazine, Newsday, Time Out New York, and TIME Magazine, HAIR features a book and lyrics by Gerome Ragni and James Rado, and music by Galt MacDermot.

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