Taboo Will Get a Cast Album

News   Taboo Will Get a Cast Album
The score of Taboo, the Boy George musical about the London club scene of the 1980s, will be preserved on a Broadway cast album, Liz Smith reports.

The cast reportedly goes into the studio Feb. 2. Fans (and some critics) embraced the muscular, evocative pop score (written by George O'Dowd, a.k.a. Boy George), although critics moaned about focus and direction in the evening.

Producer Rosie O'Donnell announced Jan. 13 that the show would close Feb. 8 at the Plymouth Theatre.

There is a some speculation in the theatre community that with a new creative team, a freshly-realized Taboo might very well have potential as a road vehicle targeted to thirty and fortysomethings who grew up admiring Boy George and his passion for reinvention, pansexuality and pop tunes. Such a plan has not been announced.

Playbill On-Line was not able to independently confirm the cast album recording plan Jan. 19.

* On Jan. 13, producers told the company of Taboo it will play its final performance on Sunday Feb. 8.

Taboo was produced by Rosie O'Donnell and Adam Kenwright in association with Daniel MacDonald, Lori E. Seid and Michael Fuchs.

O'Donnell saw the London version of the show, which celebrates the glitter, pain and personalities of the '80s London club scene — warts and all — and fell in love with the world and the sound of the show. The musical tells of the origins of pop sensation George O'Dowd (a.k.a. Boy George), splitting the focus with designer/artist/club sensation Leigh Bowery (played by George O'Dowd).

"Taboo was by far the most fulfilling experience of my career," O'Donnell said in a statement. "Many lessons were learned, and so it goes. For this experience I am profoundly grateful and have no regrets."

O'Donnell suffered the slings and arrows of critics, many of whom disliked the show's storytelling, but there had been a growing cult of fans for the work. The evocative music in the show (most of it new, but including some hits from Boy George's heyday) has been embraced by fans of pop. It was rules by a Tony Awards committee that it is indeed eligible to be nominated for 2004 Tony Awards.

However vocal its cult of fans may have been, it failed to catch fire with a wider audience, despite a splashy TV ad campaign.

O'Donnell enlisted American playwright Charles Busch, no stranger to camp and glitter as author of Psycho Beach Party and Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, to pen a new libretto for the Broadway version.

Taboo began performances at The Plymouth Theatre (236 West 45 Street) on Oct. 28, 2003 and opened on Nov. 13, 2003.  At the time of its closing, Taboo, which also stars Boy George, will have played 16 previews and 100 performances.

Taboo had its world premiere at the Venue in London, produced by Kenwright and Michael Fuchs.  The London production opened Jan. 11, 2002 and had its final performance April 26, 2003.

The show was directed by Christopher Renshaw and choreographed by Mark Dendy.

Musical supervision is by John McDaniel and orchestrations by Steve Margoshes. Kevan Frost is the co composer.

Taboo stars Sarah Uriarte Berry, Jeffrey Carlson, Raúl Esparza, Donnie R. Keshawarz, Liz McCartney, Euan Morton (playing Boy George) and Cary Shields.

For the remainder of its run Taboo will perform on the following schedule: Tuesday through Saturday at 8 PM, Saturday and Sunday at 2 PM and Sunday at 7:30 PM.

Tickets for Taboo range from $40-$100. For information, visit

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