Will They? Won’t They? Placing Bets on Theater J and Imagining Madoff
In today's Washington Post, Jane Horwitz breaks out the theatrical tea dregs: She writes that Theater J will stage a reading of Deb Margolin's work Three Seconds in the Key as part of a series at the Lincoln Theatre next week, as sure a sign as we've seen that company and playwright are moving toward bringing Margolin's Imagining Madoff to the stage. Imagining Madoff, you'll remember, was set to open Theater J's 2010-2011 season until one of the men fictionalized in the work, humanitarian icon Elie Wiesel, took issue with his portrayal and threatened legal action. Eventually the playwright withdrew the work after initially agreeing to change the Wiesel figure's name. (The falling out centered on whether Wiesel's foundation ought to have been allowed a look at the revised script. To Margolin, that felt like giving him a veto.)
In today's piece, Horwitz quotes Margolin and Theater J artistic director Ari Roth, who hint, but don't confirm, that a Theater J production of the work may indeed happen. "All signs are pointing toward a successful collaboration," Roth says. Margolin tells Horwitz: "Ari has been very warm and very encouraging about the possibility of producing the show at Theater J. Certainly, after everything that we went through, it would be a full circle."
Earlier this fall, Roth told me something similar: that a Theater J production of Imagining Madoff is certainly a possibility. He said he saw the production of the work at Stageworks/Hudson in Hudson, N.Y., this summer. He also told me what he thought of the production—it was the Weisel-less revision—but we were off the record. Sorry, people.
My colleague Ted Scheinman went to go see Imagining Madoff in Hudson, too. He thought it still needed some work.
Anyway, all this calls for some odds-making on whether we'll see a Theater J production. At this point, I'm thinking: 3-2.