Australian playwright Thomas Duncan-Watt has filed a lawsuit against Jonathan Rockefeller claiming that the Off-Broadway producer ripped-off That Golden Girls Show! – A Puppet Parody and that he is the original co-creator of the show.
According to Duncan-Watt’s website, he created the show with “long-time collaborator“ Rockefeller in 2012—then titled Thank You For Being a Friend—which debuted in Australia before launching an international tour.
According to the New York Post, it was then that Rockefeller “stole the show“ by listing himself as the sole creator and billing the New York debut as a world premiere. As reported in the Post, the $11 million lawsuit cites defamation, fraud, breach of contract, breach of licensing agreement, and other actions. It also asks for the immediate closing of That Golden Girls Show! – A Puppet Parody, which opened Off-Broadway October 3 at Union Square’s DR2 Theatre, and that Rockefeller publicly admit his mistake.
“We strongly deny these claims and we look forward to vindication in court,“ Rockefeller responded in a statement to Playbill.com.
The world premiere of That Golden Girls Show! – A Puppet Parody began previews Off-Broadway September 19; it uses puppets to parody classic moments from the long-running, popular TV series.
Scroll through photos of the production below:
The cast includes Arlee Chadwick as Rose, Cat Greenfield as Blanche, Weston Chandler Long as Dorothy, and Emmanuelle Zeesman as Sophia. Puppets were created by Joel Gennari.
The creative team is made up of David Goldstein (set and lighting design), Nate Edmondson (composer and sound design), Stephanie Klapper (casting), and Shae Candelaria (production stage manager). General management is by Perry Street Theatricals.