Posted on September 17, 2009 at 8:43 pm
Wiley DeWeese asks, in hundreds of increasingly desperate emails over the course of the last month:
In your blog a few years back you mentioned that the script of the Donmar production of Parade would be the only version available to license starting in 2008; however, the MTI website still lists the 1999 touring version as the production available to license. Did the switch to the Donmar version ever happen, and if not, will it possibly happen after the LA production closes? I have an interest in doing the show, but lack the resources to do the larger production.
And JRB, shielding his eyes from the blinding shame, responds:
Ugh, it’s true, it’s all true, I LIED. It’s right there in this entry:
…Starting in January 2008, the only version of Parade that will be available for license is this new one; we are withdrawing the earlier version, though we may make “Big News” available separately for those companies who have a Britt Craig that they really want to show off. Don Sebesky and I are also going to revise the original orchestrations so that you can do the show with the small band or the large one.
But here’s the thing, okay, before you nail me to your cross, hear me out: It was a lie borne of enthusiasm and ignorance, not of malice. I didn’t mean to mislead you, okay? I just got excited and talked out of turn. I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, if I could take it back, I would. Please, please forgive me.
As Monk would say, here’s what happened: just as we were in the middle of preparing the materials for licensing, we got an offer from the Mark Taper Forum to present the Donmar production of the show. And so the Donmar called us, all the way from London, and asked us (the authors) to hold off on licensing the new version of the show so that the Taper production could be called the American premiere of the revision. In fact, they asked us to suspend all productions of Parade in the United States and Canada until the Donmar production. That seemed a little excessive, and MTI in particular wanted us to get the new version out in the world, but as a professional courtesy, we agreed to keep the original script on offer for the time being (with certain regions being declared off-limits so as not to compete with the production in Los Angeles) and not release the new one. So we’ve been in a holding pattern with the licensing until the Taper production is over; and even then, if this production tours, we’ve agreed to keep this version of the show off the market until such time as it makes sense to let other companies do it. I should have updated that blog entry months ago, but I’ve been paralyzed by embarrassment. I feel better now. Thank you, Wiley, for giving me the opportunity to bare my soul.
Meanwhile, I’m currently sitting in a tech rehearsal at the Taper, and this show is going to be magnificent, an ever richer experience, I think, than it was in London. I’m sorry I was a big fat liar, but at least I write good musicals.
To whet your appetite, check out this gallery of photos of the production in London, courtesy of our sensational lighting designer Neil Austin. Previews start in a week!