Brilliant Lee Remick Performance as New York City Ballet's Nightmare
I think I recall some legal problems in getting the full details of Frances Schreuder's involvement with the New York City Ballet into the miniseries; those details can be found in the Shana Alexander document, in which Balanchine at least is mentioned as having seen her from a distance.
She wanted to buy out of her Mormon background and her skinflint bore of a father. As an unscrupulous person in the extreme, she trained her sons in crime and got one of them to kill his grandfather, her father.
With his money, she gave a huge sum to the New York City Ballet and got on their governing board, major equipment for her ambitions as a Manhattan socialite. Balanchine's most expensive ballet up to that point, 'Robert Schumann's Davidsbundlertanze', was financed with Schreuder money (it was interesting to see the ballet after knowing the story: Suzanne Farrell was still appearing in it in 1986; I doubt if any of these glorious dancers gave this another thought--although I certainly did; in any case, a number of them had known her before she was found out. Even after her trial was well under way, she would follow them up to Saratoga in the summer, I think as late as 1983.) I believe it was Lincoln Kirstein's testimony which ultimately saved her from the death penalty.
In any case, Frances Schreuder died just over a month ago.
Beautiful Lee Remick, of the ravishing smile, a hardworking and occasionally brilliant actress if ever there was one, died in 1993. This miniseries could have been a lot better if the NYCB involvement could have been emphasized and developed in some reasonable depth, but it got the essential story across, especially if you also read the Alexander account. And Remick's performance was pyrotechnical, fabulous with vitriol and every conceivable nuance of rage and hate.
Such governing boards began applying more stringent measures such as doing some research into the backgrounds of overly generous donors whose money they might not find as useful as once it has seemed when it just arrives unannounced in the mail--and an angel is not necessarily behind it...
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