Epic Theatre Cancels New York Run of JAMES FRANCO AND ME After Cease & Desist Letter
Epic Theatre Company's production of "James Franco and Me" written by Kevin Broccoli has cancelled its New York production, slated to go up this August, after the venue at which the play was to be performed received a cease and desist letter from Mr. Franco's lawyers.
"I'm very disappointed," says Epic Artistic Director and writer/actor in the show, Kevin Broccoli, "We went to great lengths to let Mr. Franco know that the show existed and that he's portrayed favorably in it. We never received any pushback until our New York venue got a letter from his attorneys. The space didn't feel comfortable moving forward with the project, even though I feel very strongly that the show does fall within the realm of satire, and as such, should be protected by the First Amendment."
"James Franco and Me" tells the story of Kevin, a writer, who finds himself in a hospital waiting for his father to pass away. For some inexplicable reason, James Franco shows up to comfort Kevin, and the two end up spending a very long night discussing fame, mortality, and what to do with the time you're given.
Broccoli plans on producing the show again in August with James Franco removed from the show. "I'm not going to edit it," he says, "We're just going to remove any mention of James Franco. It's going to be like Garfield without Garfield. We're calling it '_______ and Me' and we're going to donate all the proceeds to the ACLU."
Epic's AD says he still plans on bringing the show to New York in the future. "I have a great producer, and we're confident another venue in New York will see that the show is pure satire, and that it shouldn't pose any legal risk. In the meantime, we're going to keep creating great, edgy theater right here in Rhode Island."