Thursday, December 20, 2007

Privilege to Pee: Settled Out of Court

Because December is an insane month for me - - and this year I added opening a show to the insanity - - I've been WAY off on reading other blogs.

I tried to catch up a little today and that's why I spotted this item over at The Playgoer.

It seems that the lawsuit filed by the Broadway designers and director of URINETOWN against the Chicago production team has been settled out of court.

According to Variety...

"Chicago team, including director Tom Mullen, has agreed to pay an undisclosed sum to members of the Broadway version of 'Urinetown,' which was staged by helmer John Rando, choreographer John Carrafa, lighting designer Brian MacDevitt and set designer Scott Pask, among others.

"Creatives of 'Urinetown' on the Rialto publicly accused the creators of the Chi production -- as well as the production team from a separate but similar production in Akron, Ohio -- of plagiarism in November 2006."

Although this case has been settled, it doesn't bring any legal decision upon which a theatre director could copyright his or her work.

I wrote about my take on this issue a few different times last year and received some rather heated comments about it.

What I really find interesting is that I haven't read one thing about this in our local theatre publication. Did I miss it? Have any of the local theatre bloggers picked this up?

Funny how when Chicago theatre is tackling Broadway, we can't get away from the hype, but we don't hear a thing when our own are settling out of court after spouting again and again in the media that they most decidedly DID NOT plagiarize and had created their own, unique version of URINETOWN.

I mean, if they didn't copy several elements from the Broadway production and call them their own, wouldn't they be able to win a court case that accused them of plagiarism?

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'...

(I can hear the local theatre queens clicking to add a comment as I hit "publish" on this...)


Doug said...

I saw Urinetown on Broadway just after it opened, and I hated it. Truly. To the point where I wanted to get up and leave.

I got all the parodies and spoofing, I just thought it was incredibly dumb.

So all this hubbub seems such a waste of time to me.


Kris Vire said...

Stephen, I started a comment on this post and then realized it was long enough to be a post of its own. My response is here.

Stephen Rader said...

Doug - I really enjoy the debate around this issue. I believe that a director's contribution to a theatre piece can be protected. This is one step and one discussion. There are many more to go.

Kris - Thank you! I knew you would be able to help me figure out if the local theatre press covered this or not. I look forward to reading your post!

Aaron said...

They settled? How nice...I wonder if Broadway will settle with Chicago or London when they completely fuck up "Jerry Springer The Opera." (Starring Idina Menzel as Trailer Trash Woman #1, perhaps?)

Stephen Rader said...

Aaron - How about letting Carol Channing have a go at that role? Nah, she should play the stripper. Carol sings "I Just Wanna Fuckin' Dance!" I love it!!!

Aaron said...

Here's a YouTube clip taken by someone in the audience at the Hollywood Bowl in September. She's clearly way up there in years, but she's still got some of it!

Stephen Rader said...

Aaron - Thanks for the clip and for seeing LYLE today. You're the best. Happy Holidays!!! Looking forward to seeing RUDOLPH when I get back.