Cease and Desist Sent to HANDS ON A HARDBODY at TUTS; Plus Other Updates
TUTS Undergound, an exciting new venture from Theatre Under the Stars, is currently presenting Houston audiences with the Texas Premiere of HANDS ON A HARDBODY. According to a recent blog by Howard Sherman, the production varies greatly from the show that ran on Broadway just last year, as director Bruce Lumpkin made significant changes to the show without first consulting the authors.
As BroadwayWorld reported earlier today, Sherman writes that the show's creator Amanda Green, who was invited to opening night, commented: "They started the opening number and I noticed that some people were singing solos other than what we'd assigned. As we neared the middle of the opening number, I thought, 'what happened to the middle section?'" She continued: "I thought, 'so we did put this number second after all' before realizing that we hadn't done that. I kept waiting for 'If I Had A Truck' and it didn't come."
When Lumpkin was asked about his changes to the show, he responded: "I didn't change lyrics, I didn't change songs, I didn't change dialogue. I only changed their order. I thought that perhaps maybe I could put together a different order thinking that perhaps if they don't like it I'll put it back. There was no new vision for the show. It was just a matter of the order of the songs in the show. I knew there was a possibility they wouldn't like it. I was totally upfront."
UPDATE: Since this morning, the Dramatists Guild released a statement that was sent directly to Lumpkin that reads: "Those theaters engage in the practice of rewriting shows they present without authorial approval, in direct violation of the theater's contractual obligations and industry standards. The Dramatists Guild of America, a national association representing the interests of over 7000 playwrights, composers and lyricists worldwide, vehemently and unequivocally objects to such illegal practices."
As of this afternoon, the licenser Samuel French Inc. wrote a cease and desist letter to Theatre Under The Stars, which reads: "As a result of your breach of contract, Samuel French hereby revokes Theatre Under The Stars' license to produce Hands on a Hardbody. Accordingly, demand is made that you immediately cease and desist from the advertising, promotion, presentation and performance of any production of Hands on a Hardbody, cancel all remaining performances and confirm your compliance with this demand in writing to the undersigned no later than close of business today, Friday, June 20, 2014."
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The Texas Premiere of HANDS ON A HARDBODY runs in the Zilkha Hall at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby Street, Houston, 77002 from June 12 to 22, 2014. Performances are Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8:00 p.m., Saturdays at 3:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., and Sundays at 3:00 p.m. For tickets and more information, please visit http://www.tutsunderground.com or call (713) 558-8887.