Garth Drabinsky, the former head of the fallen theatrical empire, Livent, will produce a Broadway-bound Toronto revival of The Dresser, directed by Daniel Sullivan, The Toronto Star reported.
Drabinsky, the visionary producer who shepherded Livent's Kiss of the Spider Woman, Show Boat, Parade, Candide, Ragtime, Barrymore, Fosse and planted the seeds for Seussical and Sweet Smell of Success, will open the Ronald Harwood play — about an imperious actor-manager and his dresser in war-ravaged England — in March 2003 at the Elgin Theatre in Toronto.
The Star reported that The Dresser will have a month's run in Toronto in March 2003 and a direct transfer to Broadway.
Drabinsky's appearance at a Broadway opening of the work is questionable: He is still wanted by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Manhattan, which has a handful of indictments for allegedly inflating earnings reports and taking kickbacks, the paper reported. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission also wants to talk to him about alleged accounting fraud.
Drabinsky told the Star: "I have always felt totally confident in my position, as I have maintained since day one, and I believe that more and more of the story will surface in weeks ahead and that will make it clear why I feel the way I do about my position." Sullivan, former artistic director of Seattle Repertory Theatre, won a Tony Award for directing Proof, staged the lauded new Lincoln Center Theater revival of Morning's at Seven and helmed the recent tour of I'm Not Rappaport, which opens at Broadway's Booth in July. He will also stage David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross with Danny DeVito in the 2002-2003 season.
Santo Loquasto will design sets and costumes.
Drabinsky, regarded as an impresario with taste and connections in the old tradition, produced Athol Fugard's The Island at the St. Lawrence Centre in Toronto in summer 2001.
— By Kenneth Jones