January 6th, 2010 5:33 pm | by KELLY CLARKE News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, CLEAN UP

Crazy Again: Will Storm's NYC production boots PCS' Coleman from director's chair?


When Storm Large's Drammy-winning one woman show Crazy Enough, which premiered at Portland Center Stage last March, hits New York stages, the production will not include Crazy Enough director Chris Coleman.

The buzz from theater industry sources is that negotiations with New York producers to stage the one-woman show have hinged on booting the director from the production, a development that's reportedly got Coleman, PCS' artistic director, fuming.

It would also be a surprising move, since it was Coleman who convinced the charmingly foul-mouthed, vagina-touting, former reality TV rock star to do the show in the first place.

Storm explained the show's genesis to WW's Ben Waterhouse last April this way:
Chris [Coleman, PCS artistic director], he talked about doing a one-woman show with music. I thought, well, you know...it's kind of a one-woman show with [the Balls]—we play some songs and then I tell a funny story or a disgusting story and, yeah, I could do something like that. Maybe like a Bette Midler but dirtier and more opinionated....And then he said, “No, I'm actually really interested in the stories you've told me about growing up and your mom being mentally ill and whatever.” And I'm like, “But that's a fucking sad story. No one wants to hear that.” [But] James Beaton, my piano player in the Balls and my music director for the show, called me a chickenshit and said, “You should do it...what's the worst that could happen? It flops.” So I ended up writing, writing, writing, writing, and finding the story in all of these different stories that we put together. Hopefully it turns out that it doesn't suck.

Apparently, it didn't suck. Coleman directed the very successful March-June August 2009 run of Crazy Enough, which garnered enough interest to land Large an audience in New York earlier this month.

Large performed a pair of successful one-hour producer showcases on Tuesday, Dec. 1 at Joe's Pub for a packed audience of Big Apple movers and shakers. According to PCS' PR and Publications Manager Trisha Mead, both New York Theater Workshop as well as Public Theater are interested in remounting the show, although she denies there's a firm deal with any party. The rumor, according to other sources, is that at least one of the interested parties wants to remount the show with a new director.

Mead says she hasn't heard about the director-swap, but a shake up wouldn't be all that unexpected, at least from a theater perspective.

"With a traditional stage play, there isn't an expectation that when a play is produced by another company they will hire the same director—they can hire a new design team, a whole new cast," she says. "Sometimes in a one person show, you will have packages where the performer insists on bringing on the original director—same set, same everything.... [Crazy Enough] is unique, [Storm']s the playwright and performer. I can't speak to what Chris' expectations were but PCS' [goal] was that the project that was created here had a life beyond Portland."

Coleman did not respond to repeated attempts for comment. And as for Storm, she's staying mum on the subject for now: "Thanks for asking, but I really can't comment at this time about any of this as nothing is in stone," Large wrote WW recently.

Photo: Chris Coleman and Storm Large in rehearsal for PCS'
Cabaret in 2007 by http://www.chrisryanphoto.com.
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