The playwright has angrily withdrawn from a Winnipeg production of his play The Dresser, which he was to have directed, after expressing displeasure with the Canadian city's ban on smoking in public places. When Harwood, an avid fan of cigarettes, discovered the only smoking lounge he could find in Winnipeg is the all outdoors, he pulled the plug of a planned staging of his most famous play, The Dresser. Said Harwood: "I have recently visited Canada and had to suffer the most draconian antismoking regulations in restaurants and public buildings. I had no intention of allowing myself to be forced out into the street in winter to partake of one of my great pleasures."
The South African-born playwright has not had a Broadway production since 1996, far before Mayor Michael Bloomberg pushed through a city-wide smoking ban similar to the one enforced in Winnipeg. However, a new Tennessee staging of The Dresser starring John Cullum, set to run this summer, has plans to move to New York.