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6 items from 2003

O'Donnell To Provide 'Taboo' Boost

1 December 2003 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Comedienne Rosie O'Donnell has signed up for a starring role in troubled New York musical Taboo, in a bid to bring theatre-goers to the show. O'Donnell - who's producing the Broadway musical based on British pop star Boy George's experiences in eighties London - will take up the part of Big Sue when heavily-pregnant actress Liz McCartney takes maternity leave next month. Reports suggest O'Donnell's move is a desperate attempt to help the struggling show attract larger audiences and alleviate its financial problems. Taboo has also been plagued with scathing reviews since it transferred from the West End, London stage to Manhattan. An insider says, "Rosie's been working with a voice coach." »

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O'Donnell Faces Financial Ruin from 'Taboo'

19 November 2003 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

American comedienne Rosie O'Donnell could lose an incredible $20 million after promising to keep flop show Taboo on the Broadway stage until January. The League Of Their Own star has personally invested a huge $10 million in developing and staging the Boy George-penned musical, which is loosely based on the singer's life in early-eighties London. And Rosie - who insists the show should carry on despite dismal reviews and poor ticket sales - could double her loss. A source tells the Pagesix website, "On opening night and after the awful weekend, Rosie still says she will single-handedly keep the show open until January. She thinks people just need to warm up to the show, but on Saturday night only 250 seats out of 1,050 were filled. No one wants to see the show. It is awful. She bastardized the British version, which was successful. The talk on Broadway is that she is going to lose her shirt. The show costs over $500,000 a week to run. Last week - its opening week - it only took in $320,872.49 for seven performances. So Rosie has to pay the rest of the costs out of pocket. There is nothing that will lift this production off the ground. Nothing. It's not even farce-bad. This is just tedious. On a good note, Rosie is very committed to the show and cast." A representative for Taboo says, "We've played 21 performances to date and have received 21 standing ovations. There is every reason to believe that Taboo, like most new musicals, will find its audience." »

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Broadway 'Taboo' Slammed by American Critics

17 November 2003 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Eighties pop star Boy George's musical Taboo has been mauled by critics after opening on New York's Broadway. The spectacular show, which is backed and produced by former talk show host Rosie O'Donnell, tells the singer's life story and features George as performance artist Leigh Bowery. Taboo moved to New York after a successful spell in London, but Big Apple critics were unimpressed by preview shows. The New York Times wrote it is "a disastrously overcrowded tableau of a show", the New York Post described it as "a production with such an acute case of meaning-deprivation that you almost forget what's happening as it's happening" and national newspaper USA Today called it "a delightful experience... if you leave after the first act." O'Donnell invested $10 million of her own money in the show - after spotting it in London - and she is unmoved by criticism: "Taboo is a legitimate, knock-'em-down, leave-'em-screaming, worth-a-$100-a-seat Broadway show." »

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Palm lands 'Bowery' docu

10 October 2003 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

NEW YORK -- Chris Blackwell's Palm Pictures, and in-house label Arthouse Films, have acquired worldwide distribution rights to Charles Atlas' documentary The Legend of Leigh Bowery. The film follows the life of fashion designer and '80s gay club icon Bowery, who played host at legendary London boite Taboo. Palm is planning a Nov. 21 release in New York for the film, which explores Bowery's outrageous and rebellious lifestyle as an artists' muse, Taboo habitue and costume designer for the Michael Clark Dance Company, juxtaposed with his strict religious upbringing. The helmer Atlas currently can be seen in Taboo, Rosie O'Donnell's Broadway production about Bowery and Boy George. The docu Legend includes interviews with Boy George, Damien Hirst, Michael Clark, Rifat Ozbek, Bella Freud, Cerith Wyn Evans and the Royal Academy of Art Norman Rosenthal. The deal was brokered for Palm by its head of acquisitions and production David Koh, and Arthouse's general manager Jose Martinez, Jr. The film was acquired from Atlas Films and One Canvas Prods. »

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O'Donnell: Me and Boy George "Love Each Other"

29 July 2003 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

American comedienne Rosie O'Donnell has laughed off reports she and Boy George are arguing over the Broadway, New York transfer of the pop star's musical Taboo. The Page Six website reported last week that rehearsals had been held up because of bickering between George and producer O'Donnell. However, the former chat show queen claims the pair are actually very good friends. She says, "He writes me e-mails every day. We love each other. I knew that if we met we would get along. We're both from working-class Irish-Catholic backgrounds. I knew all his songs. The guy loves me, and he should. I'm rich enough and strong enough to take Taboo and frame it in the proper way." »

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Rosie O'Donnell Causes 'Taboo' Upset?

24 July 2003 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Actress Rosie O'Donnell has reportedly caused upset with her "insane" behavior on the set of the Broadway stage show she's producing. The former talk show queen is helming a production of popstar Boy George's 80s musical Taboo, which has already been a huge stage hit in London. However, according to the Pagesix website, O'Donnell's bizarre antics have left the crew bewildered. A source says, "They had this creative meeting at a studio on 42nd Street on Friday afternoon and it was a freakish nightmare. Rosie looked around at everyone on the creative team, pounded her fist on a table and started screaming at the top of her voice, 'Isn't this great? We are all gay! We are all gay! We are all gay!' No one really knew what to do or think. It was insane." The site reports that A League Of Their Own star O'Donnell is also requesting that the story - based around late performance artist Leigh Bowery's life - is completely rewritten. The source adds, "Boy George and Rosie have had fights over everything - even insignificant things. It holds up production. And Rosie still hasn't decided if she will be in the show and it's supposed to open this fall." However, O'Donnell's representative Cindi Berger refutes these claims, stating, "Clearly someone is trying to sabotage this project. This couldn't be further from the truth. The read-through and meeting that followed went great. The energy was incredibly positive... it couldn't have gone better. People walked away filled with emotion, elation and laughter." »

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