I had some colleagues who were quite close with many of the original cast, and they all have spoken to George's unbelievable disdain at Swit and her antics. But it wasn't only Rose... One of the original creatives went so far as to dubbing her a "total bitch" - saying she was a nightmare to work with -- his only solace being that once she was put into the show, he had nothing more to do with her. Howard McGillin tells a hilarious (if now infamous) story of Swit's antics. He recalls that a couple of weeks into her run, Loretta was getting increasingly frustrated that she was never once selected as murderer. Not once! Most in the cast would chalk this up to her (lack of) performance as Puffer. However, Loretta was CONVINCED it was because she was not included in the pivotal dinner scene where the rest of the cast sing "No Good Can Come From Bad" and reveal their motives. SO, she went to Wilford Leach and explained this theory to him - suggesting that if she only made an appearance in the scene -- say, Puffer glaring through the window in the set while the scene/song was going on -- she might be taken seriously as murderer. Wilford, being a sweet man who would rarely say 'no' to anyone, granted Loretta her wish -- knowing full well, that the area behind the window wasn't lit and NO ONE would see her... So, the next performance comes and the cast is getting ready to begin the dinner scene, when Howard notices Loretta in the wings, getting ready to go behind the set. The cast sees this and rolls their eyes, knowing full well that she won't be seen. It's at this moment that Howard sees Loretta pull out a flashlight and a massive lantern. The cunning Swit had found a workaround! So the dinner scene begins, and as their singing, there's Loretta, behind the window with the lantern and flashlight - grimacing up a storm, a la Bella Lugosi, attempting to upstage the rest of the cast and prove her penchant for murder! Apparently, stage management quickly threatened to bring her up on charges with Equity and the flashlight antics quickly stopped. But after hearing this story (and many others) I can begin to appreciate why George threatened to walk!
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