I Rise Again: Fallen Producer Garth Drabinsky Petitions for Broadway Comeback

News   I Rise Again: Fallen Producer Garth Drabinsky Petitions for Broadway Comeback
 
Garth Drabinsky, the Canadian film and theatrical producer and entrepreneur who was released from prison on parole last year, is seeking to revive his Broadway career with a stage musical based on the Studs Terkel's non-fiction book "Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression," the New York Post reports.

Garth Drabinsky, creator and producer of
Garth Drabinsky, creator and producer of "Triple Sensation." Photo by Michael Cooper

The Post gave no source for the report, but said Drabinsky, the producer behind 1990s musicals Ragtime, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Fosse and the Show Boat revival, is trying to assemble a creative team that would include Tony-nominated An American in Paris director Christopher Wheeldon and librettist Craig Lucas.

Terkel is no stranger to the world of Broadway. His "Working" was turned into a musical by Stephen Schwartz in 1978.

One important problem for Drabinsky: though he has served time in Canada for fraud connected with the collapse of his producing company, Livent Inc., he still faces possible arrest if he crosses into the U.S., where charges connected with company are still pending.

The Post reported that Drabinsky is hoping to petition President Barack Obama for a pardon.

Aside from his two Tony-winning musicals, Drabinsky built the Broadway theatre on 42nd Street now known as the Lyric Theatre. No word on last fall's report that Drabinsky was looking to musicalize the 1988 Shirley MacLaine movie "Madame Sousatzka," which Drabinsky also produced. The musical was supposed to be presented by the Canadian-based entertainment company StageVentures.

The Post reported last fall that Drabinsky had approached Richard Maltby, Jr., with whom he previously collaborated on Fosse — the 1999 revue of Bob Fosse dances — to adapt the movie for the stage.

Drabinsky's parole follows three years of serving time for fraud and forgery in connection with the collapse of his theatrical empire Livent. He was the subject of "Show Stopper," Barry Avrich's documentary about his career.

Formed by Bernard Abrams, Stage Ventures has invested in Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Bonnie & Clyde and Wonderland.

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