Producer Scott Rudin Confronts New York Times Writer in Printed Testament of Mary Advertisement
By Michael Gioia
Tony Award-winning Broadway producer Scott Rudin, a lead producer on the short-lived 2013 Tony Award-nominated Best Play The Testament of Mary, criticized New York Times theatre reporter Patrick Healy, whose interview with Testament playwright Colm Tóibín was published May 1, in the Times' Saturday Arts section theatre listings.
In the printed Testament of Mary advertisement in the May 4 issue of the New York Times — announcing the production's final three performances — a quote from Rudin read, "Let's give a big cuddly shout-out to Pat Healy, infant provocateur and amateur journalist at The New York Times. Keep it up, Pat — one day perhaps you'll learn something about how Broadway works, and maybe even understand it."
The quote followed Healy's article, "The Testament of Tóibín: A Tony Nod, and a Closing Notice," published on the Times' website May 1 at 3:28 PM. The play was Tony-nominated (for Best Play, Best Lighting Design and Best Sound Design) April 30 — the same day Rudin and his producing team announced the show would close May 5.
In Healy's interview with the Tony-nominated playwright — whose play The Testament of Mary, starring Fiona Shaw, stirred controversy from religious groups from its first preview on March 26 through its closing on May 5 — the Times writer asked Tóibín why the show (a Tony nominee, chosen from 12 eligible original plays) would dim its lights prematurely. Its limited engagement was originally scheduled through June 16 at the Walter Kerr Theatre.
Although Healy asked questions such as "Scott Rudin is one of the most successful and strong-minded producers on Broadway. What was working with him like?" and "Did you two get along well, even when he told you that the play would close?," Tóibín did not speak negatively of his colleague.
Healy declined to provide an additional comment to Playbill.com or speak of his intentions behind the piece.
Producer Rudin, who was also reached via email, also declined comment to Playbill.com.
Authored by Irish novelist Tóibín, The Testament of Mary began previews March 26 and officially opened to mixed reviews April 22 after playing 27 previews. Acclaimed actress Shaw did not receive a Tony nomination for her performance.
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