Friday, April 22, 2005
ARTHUR MILLER ROLLS OVER Shame on Neil Simon:
In 1966, when the Neil Simon musical "Sweet Charity" opened on Broadway, a waiter in one scene asked a customer, "A double Scotch, again, sir?" In the revival, soon to open at the Al Hirschfeld Theater, the waiter asks, "Gran Centenario, the tequila?"
Madison Avenue has come to Broadway.
"Commerce and art always merge, unless it's some hermit who takes his creative ability into a cave," said Barry Weissler, who is producing the revival of "Sweet Charity" with his wife, Fran. "Picasso was a brilliant artist who was extremely commercial. He understood how to sell and market his work. And it kept his prices up."
"Are we so pure that we can't accept a commercial adjunct to what we create?" Mr. Weissler asked rhetorically. "I don't think so."
Mr. Arana and Mr. Weissler said that Mr. Simon, whose approval was necessary to rewrite the line, agreed to the change. A representative for Mr. Simon said yesterday that he could not be reached for comment.