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ATW - Downstage Center

357 EpisodesProduced by American Theatre WingWebsite

The American Theatre Wing presents Downstage Center a weekly theatrical interview show, featuring the top artists working in theatre, both on and Off-Broadway and around the country.


Tom Viertel (#226) - October, 2008

Prolific producer Tom Viertel, who with his partners Richard Frankel, Steve Baruch and Marc Routh have been responsible for such shows as "The Producers", "Hairspray", and the John Doyle-directed "Company" and "Sweeney Todd", talks abut producing on Broadway and the pending closing of the long-running "Hairspray". He relates his own theatrical heritage -- his grandfather was a contractor who built the Mark Hellinger Theatre, among many others, and his father was a playwright -- and how he began his own theatrical career as a hobby while working at the family real estate concern. Among the shows he discusses are his first theatrical foray with two magicians he first saw in a 50 seat theatre in Los Angeles -- Penn and Teller; the extraordinary auditions of two now well-known actresses, Donna Murphy and Laura Benanti, for "Song of Singapore" and "The Sound of Music" respectively; the counterintuitive decisions that led him to produce Theatre de Complicite's "Mnemonic" as a commercial production and to revive "Gypsy" with Patti LuPone on Broadway only five years after the prior production; the travails of producing "Smokey Joe's Cafe"; and why in his spare time he's so committed to his volunteer role as chairman of Connecticut's Eugene O'Neill Theater Center. Original air date - October 31, 2008.

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