Friday, April 07, 2006


Painting is dangerous but not as dangerous as producing Broadway shows. In 1972 I produced a musical version of Lysistrata starring Melina Mercouri, one of those actresses who could sell out a theater reading the telephone book. When we were in previews I eavesdropped on the audience conversations in the intermission and they were discussing their golf handicaps. This was not a good sign. My director said he had a brilliant idea which would make the show a hit. He told me to walk over to his apartment. As I stood on the darkened street a window opened on the twentieth floor. I hoped he wasn’t planning to jump. A white bird flew out of the window and made circles over my head. When it landed at my feet I discovered it was a white dove with a motor in it’s tail. I went up to his apartment and found him sitting on his couch surrounded by more mechanical doves he had ordered at my expense from Paris. He told me he was planning to let some of the doves loose in the audience at the end of each performance. And he said he had ordered four thousand because he knew we were in for a long run. I took my director to my therapist.

Lysistrata closed in one night and lost $950,000. And I was served with a lawsuit by a member of the audience. One of the doves had hit him in the eye.


Post a Comment

<< Home