Tony Award-winning composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz who has written such hit musicals as Godspell (1971), Pippin (1972) and Wicked (2003) is refusing to allow any of his musical productions to be put on in North Carolina because of its recently passed anti-LGBT law HB2 and is asking all other Broadway composers and agencies to do the same.
“To my fellow theatre writers and producers: As you no doubt know, the state of North Carolina has recently passed a reprehensible and discriminatory law. I feel that it is very important that any state that passes such a law suffer economic and cultural consequences, partly because it is deserved and partly to discourage other states from following suit.
“Therefore, I and my collaborators are acting to deny the right to any theatre or organization based in North Carolina to produce any of our shows. We have informed our licensing organizations and touring producers of this, and I’m happy to say have met with compliance and approval from them.
“In the 1970’s, I, along with many other writers and artists, participated in a similar action against apartheid in South Africa, and as you know, this eventually proved to be very effective.
“If you are in agreement, you may want to join me in refusing to license our properties to, or permit productions of our work by, theaters and organizations in North Carolina until this heinous legislation is repealed.
“Thank you for considering this.”
An important lesson for North Carolina: No one mourns the wicked.
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Ben Cohen has seriously ramped up his work with his StandUp Foundation dedicated to stopping bullying worldwide.
In the video below Ben talks his work with international partners Microsoft and Nike, as well as Wicked the Musical. (And his voice is even HOT!)
Also Ben, recently posted a picture of him and Prince Harry, who supports Ben Cohen’s work and the anti-bullying project. Princess Diana would be so proud of Harry, who has carried on with her spirit of supporting charities and helping those who need it.
Michael Ausiello Over at tvline.com is reporting that Salma Hayek and ABC are developing an eight-hour miniseries adaptation of Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, by Gregory Maguire.
Sources confirm that the actress-producer is teaming with ABC to develop an eight-hour miniseries adaptation of Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, the Gregory Maguire bestseller that spawned the Broadway phenom. The insider stresses that it would be based on the novel and not the musical. As a result, this Wicked would be less of a prequel and more of a parallel story to The Wizard of Oz. (Universal, as you may know, is currently developing a Wicked film, and that would be based on the musical.)
Hayek who will be the producer may also play a supporting role in the project, which will be written by Erik Jendresen (Band of Brothers).