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Newsflash: nobody cares about theater.
Breaking: nobody cares about Disney theater.

Include pictures of yourself to attract attention! rarr

Posted by Non | June 19, 2008 11:35 AM

I can't believe it ...

Non is right ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 19, 2008 11:38 AM

I have seen over 5 plays directed by B. Sher at Intiman and I have to say, I'm less than thrilled. I think I liked one of them. I gave up my membership because it just wasn't working for me. Clearly many people think he's great and I'm happy for them. Personally, I think he's overrated.

Posted by D. | June 19, 2008 11:39 AM

@3 Agreed. Last thing I saw there was "A Prayer for my Enemy" on opening night. We got out of there as quickly as we could afterward so as to avoid running into anybody we knew working on it and having to pretend we liked it. Intiman on the whole is totally overrated.

Posted by k-see | June 19, 2008 11:48 AM

theater is over in america.

there. i said it. now everybody go home.

Posted by sir tyrone guthrie | June 19, 2008 11:51 AM

More significant, I think than the Intiman-Disney connection (isn't this sort of thing more appropriate for a company that actually produces, um, musicals, like, say, The 5th Ave?), is the second sentence of the first paragraph: "Although he recently moved from SEATTLE TO NEW YORK..."

I mean, WTF?!? Not only do our major LOCAL theatres have to job-in actors FROM NYC, but now their Artistic Directors aren't even obliged to LIVE here anymore?

Posted by COMTE | June 19, 2008 11:52 AM

theater is over.

there, i said it.

now everybody go home.

Posted by sir tyrone guthrie | June 19, 2008 11:52 AM

maybe he was misquoted (it was misha, after all).

maybe he said "a big, business-y musical"

or "a pig hissing musical"

or "a dig in sri [lanka] musical."

really, these are far more likely.

Posted by thickturd | June 19, 2008 11:55 AM

They're re-imagining "Song of the South" for today's hip, young audiences...

Posted by michael strangeways | June 19, 2008 11:56 AM

Oh don't be obtuse, Comte. Everybody saw that coming from a million miles away—it's not "artistic directors," plural, it's just this one artistic director.

We'll call it The Sher Exception.

Posted by Brendan Kiley | June 19, 2008 11:56 AM

Next up ... Show Boat!

Man, how relevant will that be ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 19, 2008 12:06 PM

There's a missing or in your post that is turning the rest of Slog into italicized text.

Posted by sociallytangent | June 19, 2008 12:07 PM

It's not being obtuse in the least Brendan.

The notion of Sher EVENTUALLY moving to NYC to pursue a freelance directing career was most definitely foreseen. But, that he would do so, while SIMULTANEOUSLY running a major REGIONAL theatre company - via remote-control apparently - I don't think WAS expected, particularly not since Intiman just announced he's "staying" in the position for at least another year.

Must be a great contract he's got - can you point to any other examples wherein the head of a major local arts organization gets to draw a fat, cushy salary, while spending most of their time moonlighting on the other side of the continent?

At least Dan Sullivan had the decency to step down as Seattle Rep AD BEFORE making his move.

Maybe we should now expect the next AD to be hired at one of the major local companies to not even bother to move to Seattle at all.

Posted by COMTE | June 19, 2008 12:17 PM

There's an open ITALICS tag in here that's translating all the way down the page, into other Slog posts.

Posted by Judah | June 19, 2008 12:21 PM

I heard the Disney musical is from "Pink Flamingos". Jack Nicholson will sing the part that Devine played.

Posted by Vince | June 19, 2008 12:23 PM

The thing is, Comte, he flies back and forth so often, working on projects here and there, that it barely matters (to the public, at least) where he calls home. The arrangement is a little odd, but I really don't think it'll change how that theater is run for the next few months, or however long Sher will stay AD.

And Intiman will keep Sher as long as it can for the star power—which, if you have a decent development director, can always be parlayed into money. (And, given Intiman's debt, they need it.)

Maybe I'm just lazy, but I'm finding it hard to get too worked up about it.

I'm more concerned about this Disney musical...

Posted by Brendan Kiley | June 19, 2008 12:33 PM

@13 it's pretty common for the music directors of orchestras. Gerard Schwartz probably would spend more time out of town if anyone else wanted to hire him to do so.

Posted by Eric F | June 19, 2008 12:35 PM

Ah, but that's sort of the point, isn't it Brendan? Sher's been doing this pretty much since he came on-board at Intiman eight years ago, starting with, I believe his production of "Cymbeline" for Theatre for a New Audience. So, yes, it's not like he's setting any precedent directing out-of-town; lots of Seattle A.D.'s have done that before him. But, all of them at least kept residence in Seattle while double-dipping; Sher now has clearly decided even that tenuous of an attachment to the local community is no longer necessary, which frankly is appalling.

If he wants to freelance in New York, or Salzburg, or wherever, that's perfectly fine. But, he should at least have the decency to relinquish his position as Intiman A.D., if he isn't even going to keep up a pretense of residing here.

And as for his "star power" - if eight years and directing shows at Intiman (which includes a Tony nom for "Light In The Piazza" in 2005, and their 2006 Regional Theatre nod) hasn't been sufficient to retire the company's high six-figure debt, I seriously doubt his moving to NYC is going to do much to convince local funders to open their wallets for a theatre that can't even keep their own Artistic Director from leaving town.

Posted by COMTE | June 19, 2008 12:52 PM

Um, what about the seven Tonys that were just dumped on him and his latest show? You don't think that's going to stir some new attention and support for the theater? It's precisely that six-figure debt that makes it important for Intiman to hold onto Sher for as long as they can.

Posted by Brendan Kiley | June 19, 2008 12:59 PM


I get your point. I'm not terribly familiar with how things work in the Classical/symphonic world, but I do seem to recall that Schwarts has simultaneously held directorships at several orgs, no?

Still, it's a very rare occurance in theatre, or, when it does occur, it's because there's very little overlap in the schedules between the companies, as for example, if an A.D. at a regional theatre also heads up a summer-stock program that operates when their other company is not in-season. But generally, once an artistic director starts spending more time away from their home company than with it, either they or the board will elect to terminate the relationship.

What Sher is doing now, and what Intiman's board appears to be sanctioning, is highly unusual, and IMO sets a terrible precedent in terms of the relationship between organizations and future A.D.'s both here and elsewhere.

Posted by COMTE | June 19, 2008 1:19 PM

The "Best Musical" Tony for "Piazza" didn't help; nor did the Regional Theatre Tony, so why would Sher winning a Best Director Tony - for a show that Intiman had absolutely NOTHING to do with (as his notable non-mention of Intiman in his acceptance speech made abundantly plain) - be of any more help?

The only one who's going to be helped by the passel of Tony's for "South Pacific" will be Sher himself; I've no doubt the statuette will look FABULOUS on the fireplace mantel in his new home, so I would certainly not expect to see it gracing a place of honor in Intiman's lobby anytime soon, if that's what you're thinking.

Posted by COMTE | June 19, 2008 1:39 PM

Sher mentioned working on a new musical adaptation of "The Huncback of Notre Dame" in Seattle on KUOW last week. Could that be the Disney musical?

Posted by moretheatre | June 19, 2008 1:55 PM

So that's why Laurence Ballard moved.

Posted by Greg | June 19, 2008 2:35 PM

i'm disappointed that no one liked my "big, business-y musical" line enough to say so.

you know, a musical with lots of stage business-- tea cups everywhere, bales of hay to be lifted, books to be stacked, whatever...

this stuff is wasted on you guys.

Posted by thickturd | June 19, 2008 3:17 PM

I vote for "pig hissing musical."

Posted by moretheatre | June 19, 2008 5:01 PM

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