I am currently choreographing a production of The Wizard of Oz and after a few spats among the creative team, I began wondering if there are any famous examples of feuds or bad blood between collaborators in musical theatre history. I know about Patti LuPone's issues with Webber and such but I'm wondering more specifically about choreographers arguing with directors, etc.
Gillian Lynne never really forgave Hal Prince for butchering her amazing ballet in the Maquerade sequence, opening Act 2 of 'Phantom'.
devonian.t said: "Gillian Lynne never really forgave Hal Prince for butchering her amazing ballet in the Maquerade sequence, opening Act 2 of 'Phantom'."Disappointment that a sequence was cut is very different from not getting on. There was an enormous amount of respect and admiration for him on her part.
Jerome Robbins vs Zero Mostel and Pretty Much Everyone Else in Fiddler On The Roof
Call_me_jorge said: "Bono and the edge vs. Julie Taymor"The interactions between virtually all parties involved with bringing Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark to the stage were quite contentious. The book, Song of Spider-Man: The Inside Story of the Most Controversial Musical in Broadway History is a fascinating read.
poisonivy2 said: Glenda Jackson and Joe MantelloAnd Deborah Warner. And Sam Gold. Perhaps the directors aren’t the problem in these cases...
Howard Ashman and Marvin HamlischI don’t think they “didn’t get along”, but there were always unspoken and eventually unresolved tensions between Rodgers and Hammerstein.
Let's be real, people... the more accurate answer is "Jerome Robbins vs. anyone who worked with him." The consistent statement on him, from Bea Arthur to Rita Moreno and points beyond, is that he was a genius and they'd gladly work with him again, but what a miserable son of a bitch he was as a person.
jv92 said: "Howard Ashman and Marvin HamlischI don’t think they “didn’t get along”, but there were always unspoken and eventually unresolved tensions between Rodgers and Hammerstein."Rogers and Hart actually didn't get along. George Balanchine worked with Rogers and Hart and for the rest of his life spoke glowingly about Hart but never mentioned Rogers.Another one is Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
I think Rodgers and Hart had great affection for each other, but the problems were exacerbated by Hart's alcoholism, which led to tension. With Rodgers and Hammerstein, it was personality problems-- though they kept a strong united front. Dick and Oscar were just very different guys. With Hart, however, Rodgers' desire to work and write and put on new shows was hindered by Larry Hart's self-destruction. It's a sad story, really. I don't doubt Balanchine spoke well of Hart. I think he was beloved, but certainly a tragic figure.
Did Michael Bennett have issues with the creative team on Company and/or Dream Girls? I feel like I remember hearing that.
Joan Littlewood and Lionel Bart during Twang!Gilbert and Sullivan. Eventually Gilbert would write the full libretto and send it to Sullivan, who would then write the score without the two even meeting in the same room.
Jackie Gleason supposedly feuded with David Merrick during the production of Take Me Along, so much so that he wanted out of his contract. When Merrick refused, the story goes that Gleason went to the roof of the Schubert Theatre and started hitting golf balls toward the window of Merrick's office across the street. Gleason also clashed with Robert Morse in the cast, who he thought was trying to upstage him.
Bob Fosse and Stephen Schwartz during Pippin.
Andrew Lloyd Webber and every leading actress in 'Sunset Boulevard'.
Andrew Garfield and Nathan Lane in Angels in America.
backwoodsbarbie said: "Did Michael Bennett have issues with the creative team on Company and/or Dream Girls? I feel like I remember hearing that."I think the Bennett's relationship with Hal Prince, Sondheim and Furth was fairly harmonious. FOLLIES, however, brought tension between Bennett and Prince over Bennett's dislike of Jim Goldman's book. (IMHO, Bennett was wrong, and a little too shallow-- or maybe just too young-- to understand how brilliant that book is.)I've always held the theory that Bennett chose collaborators who were just starting out and waiting for a break (Ed Kleban, the authors of DREAMGIRLS) or truly second-rate (the book writers of CHORUS LINE, Marvin Hamlisch, the people who wrote BALLROOM) because he could manipulate them in ways he couldn't established people or people of higher caliber. He respected Prince, and especially Sondheim, but he couldn't control them.The story goes that he wanted Sondheim to write the score for SCANDAL (which of course he abandoned) but didn't even ask him because he would have been devastated if he declined. He really respected him that much. Michael was part of the reason "The Shuberts" put on SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE, by the way.
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