UPDATED MONDAY MORNING APRIL 26TH
The vultures are circling Scott Rudin’s shows.
Revealed in a New York Times article this afternoon was news that Rudin has resigned from the Broadway League. He’s really out, done, it’s over at least for now. He’s giving up running a slew of hit shows.
Now outside producers are vying to take over “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “West Side Story,” “Book of Mormon,” and so on.
I’m told that Barry and Fran Weissler, of “Chicago” fame, may have already stepped in on Mormon. But a “Mormon” spokesman says it’s not true. “No one is stepping in.”
Matt Stone, who created “Mormon” with Trey Parker of “South Park,” says in the Times article that he and another producer told Rudin he had to relinquish his role in the show.
Of course, what all producers want is to get their hands on “The Music Man” with Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster. “It’s the perfect show for our times,” a top Broadway producer told me today. “Coming out of the pandemic, with all that upbeat singing, and Hugh Jackman. It’s a gold mine.”
Rudin also has some new productions waiting to go forward including “Our Town” with Dustin Hoffman, which will be a hot ticket. And Denzel Washington is set to star in August Wilson’s “The Piano Lesson.”
But what about Rudin? A top Broadway producer who comes from corporate America praised the way Rudin has handled his scandal. “He didn’t deny it, and didn’t resist. He just said Ok, I’m guilty, I’m leaving, I’m out. He definitely took a crisis manager’s advice, unlike Harvey Weinstein or Les Moonves. It was brilliant.
“The question now,” says the theater veteran, “is who takes over? Scott has unique access to Hollywood and Broadway. He also had vision. Who can fill that void? I don’t know.”
And the bigger question: Can Scott Rudin come back? “If anyone can,” says this observer, “he can.”