ROSIE O'DONNELL AND ADAM KENWRIGHT
A NEW MUSICAL
WITH BOOK BY CHARLES BUSCH
(ADAPTED FROM THE ORIGINAL BOOK BY MARK DAVIES)
ORIGINAL CONCEPT BY GEORGE O’DOWD
(a.k.a. BOY GEORGE)
AND CHRISTOPHER RENSHAW
MUSIC AND LYRICS BY GEORGE O’DOWD
DIRECTION BY CHRISTOPHER RENSHAW
CHOREOGRAPHY BY MARK DENDY
MUSICAL SUPERVISION BY JOHN McDANIEL
STARRING BOY GEORGE AS 'LEIGH BOWERY'
AND OLIVIER AWARD NOMINEE EUAN MORTON
AS 'BOY GEORGE'
PREVIEWS BEGIN TUESDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2003
AT BROADWAY’S PLYMOUTH THEATRE
OPENING THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2003
Rosie O’Donnell and Adam Kenwright are proud to announce the Broadway premiere of TABOO, a new musical starring George O’Dowd (a.k.a. Boy George) as Leigh Bowery and Euan Morton as Boy George. Mr. Morton earned an Olivier Award nomination when he created the role in London, where TABOO had its world premiere at the Venue, produced by Mr. Kenwright and Michael Fuchs. The London production of TABOO (which opened on January 11, 2002) had its final performance on Saturday, April 26, 2003 after a successful fifteen month run.
TABOO has a book by Charles Busch (adapted from the original book by Mark Davies), and original music and lyrics by George O’Dowd. TABOO, original concept by George O’Dowd and Christopher Renshaw, is directed by Christopher Renshaw and choreographed by Mark Dendy, with musical supervision by John McDaniel and orchestrations by Steve Margoshes.
TABOO, produced by Ms. O’Donnell and Mr. Kenwright in association with Lori E. Seid, begins performances on Broadway at The Plymouth Theatre (236 West 45 Street) on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 and opens on Thursday, November 13, 2003.
TABOO is a musical portrait of a brief but remarkable era - London in the early 1980’s. An ever-shifting time that sparked a rebellion among the youth that found its expression in flamboyant fashion and decadent nightlife. These kids were "the New Romantics" – leaders of an unofficial movement that left a lasting influence on music and fashion. TABOO focuses on two young men - Leigh Bowery, a brilliant, anarchic performance artist/designer and George O’Dowd, a young, rough-edged boy who arrives in London and – once swept up into the exciting artistic climate -becomes the surprising crossover star of the scene as Boy George. Both men’s stories are played out against the fantastic background of Taboo, the club that had come to symbolize the mad excess and decadent fun of 1980’s London.
TABOO has scenic design by Tim Goodchild, costume design by Mike Nicholls and Bobby Pearce, lighting design by Natasha Katz, sound design by Jonathan Deans, and make-up and hair design by Christine Bateman.
Tickets for TABOO, which range from $ 80 - $ 100, go on sale in late August and may then be purchased by calling Telecharge (212) 239-6200. Exact details to come.
For further information, please visit www.tabooonbroadway.com
ROSIE O’DONNELL (Producer) was for six years the host and executive producer of the critically acclaimed, nationally syndicated talk/variety series “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” (six-time Daytime Emmy Award winner for Outstanding Talk Show Host and five-time winner for Outstanding Talk Show). Her motion picture credits include A League of Their Own, Sleepless in Seattle, Another Stakeout, The Flintstones, Exit To Eden, Now and Then, Beautiful Girls, Harriet the Spy and Wide Awake. A self-confessed television savant, Ms. O’Donnell has made guest appearances on a number of television series including “Will and Grace,” “All My Children,” “Suddenly Susan,” “Spin City,” “Sesame Street,” “The Nanny,” and “The Larry Sanders Show.” She hosted Nickelodeon’s “Kids Choice Awards” from 1997 – 2003, and served as host of The Tony Award telecast in 1997, 1998 and 2000. Ms. O’Donnell made her Broadway debut in 1994 starring as Rizzo in Tommy Tune’s revival of Grease. In 2001, she returned to Broadway to star as The Cat in the Hat in Seussical. From April 2001 – December 2002, Ms. O’Donnell served as the Editorial Director of Rosie, the magazine she launched for G&J USA publishing in partnership with her own KidRo productions. Her autobiography Find Me was published in April 2002 and reached number two on the New York Times Bestseller List. A tireless crusader for children, she established the For All Kids Foundation, which distributes money to children’s charities across the country.
ADAM KENWRIGHT (Producer) is the founding director of aka, a leading advertising, marketing and design agency to the entertainment industry. Adam formed aka Productions in 1999 to present De La Guarda at Camden’s Roundhouse which ran for a hugely successful year long season. Three new plays were premiered in the West End in 2000: Lee Hall’s Cooking With Elvis starring Frank Skinner, Richard Nelson’s Madame Melville starring Irene Jacob and Macaulay Culkin and Marie Jones’ Stones In His Pockets, which won The Evening Standard Award for Best New Play and the Olivier Award for Best Comedy in 2001 (also produced in Toronto and New York). Stones In His Pockets continues it’s extraordinary life with the London production enjoying it’s third year and both US and UK tours continuing throughout 2003. In 2002 aka co-produced Peter Nicholls, A Day In The Death of Joe Egg at both the New Ambassadors Theatre and Comedy Theatre (followed by a limited engagement with The Roundabout Theatre Company at The American Airlines Theatre in New York) and a highly successful new production of Jonathon Larson’s Rent, first on UK tour and then in the West End at the Prince of Wales Theatre. At the beginning of 2002, Adam Kenwright opened London’s first new permanently licensed commercial theatre for 75 years: The Venue in Leicester Square. Adam produced Boy George’s Taboo at The Venue which opened in January 2002 and went on to win more Olivier award nominations than any other West End musical that year. Most recently Adam Kenwright was an executive producer on Romeo and Juliet – The Musical at The Piccadilly Theatre and produced the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of The Lieutenant of Inishmore by Martin McDonagh at The Garrick Theatre which won the 2003 Olivier Award for Best Comedy. He is currently developing several new shows including a UK production of Russell Simmons’ Def Poetry Jam and a new musical Zorro.
LORI E. SEID (Associate Producer) has worked in the downtown theater and club scene since the early 80's. She is the recipient of an OBIE, a Theatre Craft International Award and a Bessie (downtown theatre and dance award) all for overall sustained achievements in the theatre. She also produced several movies, including the critically acclaimed High Art starring Ally Sheedy. Most recently, Ms. Seid was a producer on “The Rosie O' Donnell Show” which won her an Emmy for Outstanding Talk Show.
CHARLES BUSCH (Book) is the author and star of such plays as Psycho Beach Party, Times Square Angel, The Lady in Question, Red Scare on Sunset, You Should Be So Lucky, Queen Amarantha and Shanghai Moon. His play Vampire Lesbians of Sodom ran five years in New York and is one of the longest running plays in Off-Broadway history. In 1988, he wrote a new libretto for the 1955 musical Ankles Aweigh for Goodspeed Opera and has also adapted the book of the Truman Capote/Harold Arlen musical House of Flowers for a tour with Patti Labelle. In June of 1994, Mr. Busch starred in Charles Busch's Dressing Up, a one night sold-out extravaganza at Town Hall featuring guest stars Milton Berle, Beatrice Arthur and the late Charles Pierce. In 1995, he co-authored and appeared in a critically acclaimed run in the Off-Broadway musical Swingtime Canteen. 1997 saw him performing his one-man show Flipping My Wig at the WPA Theatre and writing the book for the musical The Green Heart, which was produced by Manhattan Theatre Club at the Variety Arts Theatre. In 2000, Manhattan Theatre Club produced his play The Tale of the Allergist's Wife, which was nominated for a Drama Desk for best play and won Mr. Busch the Outer Critic's Circle John Gassner Award for Playwriting. It reopened on Broadway in November, 2001, was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play and ran 777 performances. On film, he's appeared in Addams Family Values, It Could Happen To You and Trouble on the Corner. He wrote the screenplay and starred in the film version of his play Psycho Beach Party. For two seasons he appeared as Nat Ginzburg in the HBO series "Oz". His first novel Whores of Lost Atlantis was published in hardcover by Hyperion Press and released as a Penguin paperback. Mr. Busch graduated from Northwestern University and is a member of the Dramatist's Guild.
GEORGE O’DOWD (‘Leigh Bowery’ / Music and Lyrics). Boy George was born George O’Dowd in Eltham, Kent in 1961. During the early 80’s he became a regular in London on the ‘New Romantic’ club scene. His flamboyant cross-dressing style and his appearances at clubs such as Billy’s, Blitz and Heaven and Hell were regularly featured in the pages of magazines such as Blitz and The Face. From 1979, he worked as a DJ alongside Jeremy Healy until he joined forces with disc jockey Michael Craig and former Adam and The Ants drummer John Moss in 1982 to form the 80’s supergroup Culture Club. Over the next four years, the group wrote and played some impeccable pop music including tracks such as ‘Karma Chameleon’ and ‘Do You Really Want to Hurt Me’. The group dissolved in 1986 and George re-emerged as a solo singer in 1987 with ‘Everything I Own,’ a cover version of the Bread/Ken Boothe hit which gave him his first solo number 1. In 1989 he formed his own record label, More Protein, and fronted a new band called Jesus Loves You, which demonstrated his increasing involvement in the UK club scene and a move away from his pop stardom of the 80’s. His autobiography, Take It Like a Man, recalling his extraordinary life, was published in 1995. Today, Boy George is recognized foremost as a leading dance music DJ, playing regularly at major clubs and dance festivals in the UK and Ibiza while also producing, in collaboration with Pete Tong, several mix compilations for the Ministry of Sound label.
MARK DAVIES (Original Book) has worked extensively in theatre, television, radio and film. For theatre he has written Road Movie which was commissioned and performed by Hull Truck Theatre Company and also performed at the Liverpool Everyman. For the Sheffield Crucible he wrote the successful children’s shows Danny’s Christmas Shower and Bonded; a touring production which also played at Birmingham Repertory Theatre. Other plays include Love Life, Independent State, and Plum Duff. Mark was a winner of Radio 4’s Young Playwrights Festival for his Sony Award nominated Safe. His subsequent work on radio includes Goose Breath recorded on location in his native Liverpool, MacWoodstockinstosh broadcast live from the Edinburgh Festival, Call Out and Easy Terms. For television Mark has written for EastEnders, City Central, Kay Mellor’s Gold, and This Life for which he received a Writers’ Guild Award. His current projects include Head On, a screen adaptation of Julian Cope’s recollections of the Liverpool punk scene (Tubedale Films), Hunky Dory, a two-part drama for the BBC, and Porn Star, a stage play.
CHRISTOPHER RENSHAW (Director) received the 1996 Drama Desk Award as well as Tony and Outer Critics’ Circle Nominations for his direction of the critically acclaimed and Tony Award-winning revival of The King and I. The West End production of The King and I opened in 2001 at the London Palladium. In May 2002 his production of We Will Rock You by Queen and Ben Elton opened at the Dominion Theatre, London. After leaving Magdalen College Oxford, Mr. Renshaw spent three years with the Glyndebourne Festival Opera before moving to the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. Since then, he has directed operas all over the world, including Lucrezia Borgia (with Dame Joan Sutherland) in Rome and Luisa Miller (with Luciano Pavarotti) in Philadelphia, recorded for American television. He has directed eight productions at the Sydney Opera House and a new production of Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. A gradual move towards straight theatre began when he directed the production of The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein at the Camden Festival (with Patricia Routledge), followed by a celebrated series of Gilbert and Sullivan operettas at Sadler’s Wells. National tours of plays since then have included Angela Huth’s adaptation of Little Women (with Jill Gascoine), Towards Zero (Marius Goring and Michael Cashman), Deadly Embrace (with Patrick Ryecart) and Wait Until Dark for Bill Kenwright, all having started at the Churchill Theatre Bromley. In London’s West End he has directed Dry Rot at the Lyric, Café Puccini (produced by Cameron Mackintosh and Andrew Lloyd Webber) at Wyndham’s, Paris Match at the Garrick, Yeomen of the Guard at the Cambridge Theatre, and Bless the Bride, again at Sadler’s Wells. He also directed a gala performance of Cole Porter’s Nymph Errant at Drury Lane. In 1991 he directed Warhola! By Snoo Wilson at Offstage Theatre Camden and a production of The King and I (with Hayley Mills), which toured throughout Australia prior to Mr. Renshaw’s Broadway production.
MARK DENDY (Choreographer). Credits include The Wild Party (Andrew Lippa; MTC, Obie Award, Calloway Award), Dream Analysis, The Joyce Theater. Workshops: Music of Disney, Disney Theatricals; Carnivale, Radio City Music Hall. Artistic Director 1983-2001, Mark Dendy Dance and Theater, performing internationally and in regular New York season. Mr. Dendy is the author and choreographer of Cool Now, a new musical with music and lyrics by Steven Trask, directed by Peter Askin, for Off-Broadway 2003-2004.
JOHN McDANIEL (Musical Supervisor). Conductor, pianist, composer, record producer, Grammy and two-time Emmy Award-winner, John McDaniel was seen leading the band daily on “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” for its entire six year run. He wrote the theme song and received five Emmy nominations for Outstanding Music Direction and Composition. Mr. McDaniel was the supervising Music Director of the recent Broadway revival of Annie Get Your Gun, starring Bernadette Peters (and subsequently Reba McEntire), which won the 1999 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical and for which he received his Grammy Award as producer for Best Musical Show Album. His conducting credits include the revivals of Grease and Chicago on Broadway, the 1993 reunion of the original Broadway cast of Company in concert at Lincoln Center, the U.S. tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Starlight Express, off-Broadway’s Blame It On the Movies, as well as solo performances for such esteemed artists as Cab Calloway, Shirley MacLaine, George Burns, Frederica von Stade and Al Jarreau. Mr. McDaniel’s arranging credits include Patti LuPone on Broadway, Annie Get Your Gun, the revival of Applause, and Busker Alley (for which Mr. McDaniel also conducted the pre-Broadway tour). He also arranged music for the Tony Awards in 1997, 1998 and 2000. His most recent arranging and conducting credits for television specials include “A Rosie Christmas” for ABC and the “Friar’s Roasts” of Jerry Stiller, Rob Reiner, Hugh Hefner and Chevy Chase, all for Comedy Central. In 2003, Mr. McDaniel produced and conducted a new CD, The Maury Yeston Songbook, for PS Classics and has recorded three solo CD’s, John McDaniel at the Piano: Broadway, John McDaniel at the Piano: Christmas, and John McDaniel at the Piano: Compositions. Other recording credits include the Broadway cast album for the revival of Annie Get Your Gun on Angel Records, the new Broadway cast recording of Grease on the RCA/Victor label, Patti LuPone Live! on RCA/Victor, as well as Davis Gaines’ release, Against the Tide, on LAP Records. He is the recipient of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for his music direction of Chicago, as well as multiple Drama Logue awards. Mr. McDaniel received the Board of Director’s Award from the Manhattan Association of Cabaret in 2000 and was elected to The Television Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Board of Governors in 2002.
STEVE MARGOSHES (Orchestrations) is probably best known as the composer of the international hit musical Fame, which has been performed in English, Swedish, Spanish, Hungarian, Dutch, Danish, Polish, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, and Italian. Recently, he's been composing romantic symphonic music and theatrical scores including 2 cds with the Budapest Symphony, Kisses, Bites & Scratches (a new musical), "Sawing to New Heights", (a CD of original melodies for the saw) as well as an upcoming 3 CD version of the epic musical Sun (with Hair authors James Rado & Gerome Ragni). Steve's numerous credits as orchestrator include: Aida, The Who's Tommy, Big River, Tommy Tune's Grease (with Rosie O'Donnell), Smokey Joe's Cafe, and the Jim Steinman/Roman Polanski Dance of the Vampires (now in its 5th year in Germany). He received Drama Desk Awards for his orchestrations of Big River and Tommy.
EUAN MORTON (‘Boy George’) earned an Olivier Award nomination for originating the role of Boy George in the West End production of Taboo. His recent theatre work includes the part of Mercury in We Will Rock You (the Paul McIntyre Workshop/Queen), the critically acclaimed The Silent Treatment at the Finborough Theatre, Terry in The Matchstalk Man at the Tristan Bates Theatre, Kevin in The Sexual Life of the Camel at the Man in the Moon Theatre, Antoine in An Empty Table at the Café de Garnd Boeuf at the New End Theatre and Approaching Zanzibar at the Southwark Playhouse, directed by Brennan Street. His television credits include The Bill, Taggart, Sword of Honour, The Knock, Going Out and London’s Burning. Euan also appeared in the films Captain Jack and Wednesday’s Child.