The blogosphere and Twitter were abuzz with Morgan James’ tweet from Tuesday night. Playbill.com even wrote up an entire article pertaining to this incident. (I guess it was a slow news day because The Huffington Post wrote about it too.) I never saw the original tweet she posted, but I was told it said, “Question: HOW can you **** up "into the woods”?? I fear musicianship is dead in musical theatre. And acting, for that matter. #horrified.“

Yesterday she tweeted the above apologizing for her twitter tourettes

Morgan James is an incredibly talented performer and songwriter. I’ve seen her in concert once or twice, and she played Alice the one time I saw Wonderland and was very good in that as well. But obviously she was under some influence (the influence of bad judgment, perhaps?) when she tweeted her original statement.

How could she not expect that to go over poorly? You’re in this business, and you know how small of a community it is. Don’t alienate yourself by posting incredibly judgmental opinions of a whole group of unspeakably talented people. 

And also, those who live in glass houses those originate roles in shows such as the less-than-wonderful Wonderland shouldn’t throw stones shouldn’t talk shit about acclaimed and adored pieces like Into the Woods. I’m pretty sure Stephen Sondheim will never cast you in one of his shows again. (No, I don’t. I’m just being hyperbolic.) And also, you went to the first preview. Did you like it when everyone on BroadwayWorld was commenting on the first preview of Wonderland? Yeah. I didn’t think so. 

I try to keep my negative commentary down for this very reason. My real friends know my true opinions and I know they’re not going to smear my name in the industry.  I’m sure I say some less-than-positive things about shows that are truly train-wreck-worthy but that’s only when they’re really, really deserved. I digress: this industry is tiny. Manhattan is only 10 miles long and the theatre district is about a half-mile long. 

Hopefully the backlash has taught James to think before she tweets. I think this is a good lesson that harsh commentary isn’t going to be received well, especially when it’s brutal, probably undeserved, and presented in such a foul manner. And unless you’re, say James L. Nederlander or David Stone, you’re going to have a hard time getting away with it unscathed. 

Today in theatre..

So there were a lot of interesting articles that went up on the New York Times ArtsBeat Blog today.  It was a good day in theatre.  

  • It was announced that Stephen Spinella and Michael Esper, among others, were cast in an upcoming production of “The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism With a Key to the Scriptures,” by prolific playwright Tony Kushner. The production is slated to start performances on March 22nd, 2011 at The Public Theatre.  Maybe this is a good time to become a subscriber?
  • The logistics of whether or not Spider-man will ever recoup was discussed again.  According to their calculations, Spidey has to run for at least four years with an average ticket price of $111, at 96% capacity for 8 shows a week to begin to recoup it’s initial $65 million investment, bringing in an average gross (after the $1 million weekly costs of the show) and minus the approximated 35% that gets paid in royalties as $313,489.80.  They’ve been bringing in over a million dollars for their first two weeks, so let’s hope they can keep it up for the next 200-ish weeks.
  • Literally moments after a friend asked me if I’d heard anything about the upcoming off-Broadway production of Dracula, telling me how excited she was to see Thora Birch onstage, David linked me to an update on ArtsBeat announcing that Ms. Birch had been unceremoniously fired from the production.  Talk about timing!  Sources with the show say it was because of Birch’s father who stayed very close to Birch during the rehearsals and even went as far as to threaten one of her co-stars.  Birch’s understudy, Emily Bridges, will be taking over her role.
  • On a lighter note, tonight a photo essay of the Hammerstein family was published on ArtsBeat with captions by an heir to the Hammerstein’s.  

Just another day on the New York theatre scene.