Eileen Burns Bridges (Literally!)
Gentle reader, you might have realized by now that your humble backstage baby has grown OBSESSED with the Houston/Levitt Marilyn project, newly titled "Bombshell." Well, wait'll you hear THIS bit of weirdness: veteran producer Eileen Rand is rumored to have burned - literally BURNED - her contracts with her principal investors in a bar on New York's Lower East Side. I know, I can barely believe it either, but I heard it from a tiny woodland creature that Rand has thrown them aside in favor of a single investor, '70s rocker Randy Cobra (probably not his real name). Remember Randy Cobra? Of the seminal punk band The New York Cobras? Sang that one song about the pizza at CBGBs and has been living off the royalties from that song "Punk Christmas" for the past 30 years? Me neither, but he's on Wikipedia.
It looks like the dispute arose over absent action star Rebecca "Casual Friday" Duvall, who's stuck in... Cuba (?!). My little woodland creature source says that, in Duvall's absence, the role went to the new understudy, Karen Cartwright, that buzzy newcomer with ZERO Broadway credits. No news on what the disgraced Ivy Lynn is doing.
And OH YEAH BEFORE WE FORGET! Backstage Baby heard an unconfirmed rumor that superdirector Derek Wills was ASSAULTED by none other than Cartwright's boyfriend! We don't know why, but we've been following Derek since SARS was a thing, so we can guess. Keep your hands to yourself, Derek! Maybe they'll be needing Ivy after all.
Ivy's Onstage Meltdown
***OH NO SHE DIDN'T***! Houston and Levitt's untitled Marilyn musical is officially in limbo, and with it Ivy Lynn's status as Marilyn - but your humble Backstage Baby can hazard a wild guess as to Lynn's status, and her career in general - it is OVAH.
Sources say that Lynn completely fudged up a performance of the Houston/Leavitt tuner HEAVEN ON EARTH, for which she has been in the ensemble for the show's entire run. Drunk - or something (if she was a bigger star she'd have a publicist call it "exhaustion"), Lynn stumbled through the show's climatic number, leading Tony-winner Norbert Leo Butz to personally kick her off the stage. Bye-bye, Ivy! Nice knowin' ya! I know a ballet school in New Jersey that needs a teacher in case you're looking at next steps.
Speaking of next steps, is Eileen Rand interested in moving the musical forward? The Great White Rumor Mill says she's looking for a star to play Mariyln - word on the street is Billy Crystal, but that can't be right.
But even if they do get a star to play MM, what about Julia Houston's rumored personal issues? Will they force the book writer to drop out altogether? Watch this space!
One Hot Ticket
EXCUUUUUUUZE ME while I catch my breath! Everyone calm down! I'm typing as fast as my manicured manos will type! Did I sneak a peek at the workshop? MAYBE. Or did I just have the world's best spy? ALSO, A MAYBE. As I've said before, my sources are nameless - BUT MY GOSSIP IS SHAMELESS!!! And shameless is undoubtedly the word to describe the post-workshop throw down for Eileen Rand's big booming Marilyn production! My SASHAYING SOURCES have told me that while Ivy Lynn sparkled as Marilyn, Miz Corn Husk herself, Karen Cartwright, dared to steal the spotlight by FALLING OFF THE RISERS during one of Lynn's vocal triumphs! That's embarrassing, but was it... intentional??? PAGING TOM LEVITT? I have someone on the line for you. It's TONY. Seriously, I hear the music was PHENOMENAL, but the book? Hmmmm. SOME PEOPLE HAVE BEEN SAYING that Julia Houston was a taaaaad preoccupied with matters outside of the workshop. Word has it that Houston and director Derek Wills were butting heads up until the very last minute! No doubt that friction made its way into this wee little workshop.
This workshop was definitely ONE HOT TICKET- and I mean that literally. Miz Rand? Before you fill the seats, maybe FIX DA HEAT? Can I get a HELL YEAH?! And while the audience was swooning to Swift's crooning as Joe DiMaggio - I head whispers that he may get the boot? Say it ain't so! Or will it be ye ole TUMBLEweed Karen Cartwright? Or Miss Marilyn herself - Ivy Lynn? They say the road to Broadway is paved with broken hearts, so who's gonna need a box of tissues??