Monday, July 19, 2004

Duncan Disses Broadway

Perennially perky Sandy Duncan is slamming what she considers the sorry state of Broadway musicals.

Duncan currently is starring in a six-month nationwide tour of The King and I. The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical marked her professional debut as a 12-year-old in Dallas.

But now, at 58, she said an industry once run by producers with vision and heart has devolved into a business run by "money men who don't have an eye for the product."

"It used to be that producers would make a profit with the idea that they would put that money into a new show," Duncan told the St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press.

"Now, they want to make a killing, and so they're flogging these shows into 10-, 12-, 14-year runs. It hurts the whole creative community."

She said audiences in the rest of the country are being cheated by productions that claim to be Broadway musicals but are pale imitations, with diminished technical qualities and less-experienced, nonunion actors.

"A lot of what's coming out of New York is dreck; they should be touring them in theme parks," Duncan said.

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