EXCLUSIVE: A promising Broadway courtroom drama appears to be closing out of town.
Scott Rudin and the University of the South have agreed in principle to settle the University’s lawsuit alleging that Rudin’s production company failed to pay royalties on his Glass Menagerie revival starring Joe Mantello and Sally Field. Lawyers for both sides filed papers in Federal Court in Tennessee disclosing the tentative deal yesterday, exactly a year after the play began previews at the Belasco Theatre.
“The parties are therefore requesting an additional month to document and execute the settlement,” said the lawyers, who didn’t return calls and emails seeking comment.
When he died in 1983, Tennessee Williams bequeathed his estate to the small Tennessee institution as a memorial to his grandfather, Rev. Walter E. Dakin, who studied at its school of theology. According to offering documents for the revival, which was capitalized at $3.35 million, the University was due royalties starting at 5 percent of adjusted box office, rising to as much as 10 percent should the show recoup. It ran 15 weeks including previews and appeared to lose money every week, given projected running costs of $437,500. It closed six weeks earlier than planned.
Field received a Tony Award nomination for the Sam Gold-directed revival, which divided critics. John Tiffany directed a lauded Broadway revival of the classic just three years earlier.
In the breach of contract suit, which was filed on Dec. 21 and first reported by Marc Hershberg in Forbes, the University sought at least $305,383.78 in royalties, plus interes. The suit said the company producing the 2017 revival, Laurette Broadway LLC, didn’t pay any royalties or place an advertisement in the Playbill for the University, violating its contract. The production company also failed to provide the University with weekly box office statements, according to the suit.
A Rudin spokesman declined immediate comment.
Editor: Alice Scovell