Saturday, June 15, 2024

Scott Rudin Sets a Record with 4 Broadway Hits Opening in 6 Weeks


Remember during the Oscars I asked why Scott Rudin wasn’t coming out to Hollywood for the show? He had two Best Picture nominations, for “The Social Network” and “True Grit.”

Well, over the next couple of weeks we’ll see why: Rudin has not one but four Broadway shows opening, all tipped and buzzed as hits. It’s a record of some kind, even for Rudin, who often has two shows lined up. Last year it was “Fences” and “A Behanding in Spokane.”

But that was simple stuff. A week from today Rudin opens the hottest show of the season, “The Book of Mormon,” from Matt Stone and Trey Parker of “South Park” fame. The show is playing at 101% in previews, a week to go before opening night. And opening night is the hottest ticket in any town–the producers are hearing from childhood friends and former plumbers. Everyone wants to be there.

Once “Mormon” is open, Rudin has three more to go: a revival of John Guare‘s “The House of Blue Leaves” with Ben Stiller, Edie Falco, and Jennifer Jason Leigh; “Jerusalem” with Mark Rylance; and “The Motherf—-er with the Hat,” which brings Chris Rock to Broadway.

The amazing thing about “Mormon,” billed as “God’s Favorite Musical”? It has not one well known player in it. They are unknowns. The fact that Rudin already has a major hit, and with no stars, is reason enough to start calling him David Merrick 2011. Or better yet, Sol Hurok (for those old enough to remember…).

On Friday, Rudin starts the celebration with an A list lunch at the Four Seasons for “media elite.” I can still remember the furor the South Park guys caused with their movie, “Team America.” ‘The Book of Mormon” is said to be 100 times more irreverent. I can’t wait!

PS No one flies in any of his shows!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

Read more

In Other News