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The RENT Settlement

Sources close to the litigation which had threatened to close down all further productions of Rent have told Talkin' Broadway that, as of today, the case has been settled. The heirs of Jonathan Larson finally have addressed the claims of Lynn Thomson regarding credit, royalties, and other issues concerning her participation in the writing and rewriting of Rent's script. The terms of the settlement are confidential and may not be disclosed by either side, pursuant to a court order. Nevertheless, it is safe to say that Lynn is glad the litigation finally is over. This marks the successful end of a heroic battle by a dramaturg who rightfully has been called the "Rosa Parks" of the theatre industry. Like Parks, Lynn Thomson refused to give up her place, either on the title page or in the royalty pool. To Lynn from Talkin' Broadway: Congratulations and best wishes for the future. We'll be watching for your book!

Laurie Beechman - After introducing The Laurie Beechman Memorial Act -- a package of two bills designed to battle ovarian cancer -- in July, U.S. Congressman Jon Fox (Pa.) has set the date for a tribute concert to the Broadway star. The event will take place on November 30th, 1998 at the Walnut Street Theater in Philadelphia. Now that the date is set, Laurie's Broadway colleagues will be able to decide if they can commit to the concert. Already there is a great deal of interest from performers, many of the best talents in the theater. It should make for an historic night in the City of Brotherly Love. (Contact Tony Swanick via e-mail if interested: Tony.Swanick@mail.house.gov). More details as the event shapes up and stars sign on. Stay tuned.

The Iceman - Kudos to Michael Riedel for his series on Ice in the New York Daily News. Ice is all about scalping Broadway show tickets from within the Box Offices themselves. It's been going on for years and the N.Y. State Attorney General is winding down a two year investigation. What's it mean to you? Very simple. The best seats to shows are nearly impossible to get because House Seats, when not used by those to whom they have been designated, are illegally sold to brokers rather than at the box office 2 days before the performance. Perhaps with the heat on you'll have some luck. Head over to a box office around 6 P.M. when the seats are released. I've often gotten 7th row on the aisle. Now that McHales on 46th is closed, I wonder where the Iceman does his laundry? ;)

For those of you who love talkin' Broadway, there's a new book on the horizon, It Happened on Broadway, an oral history of the Great White Way, by Myrna Katz Frommer and Harvey Frommer. You'll find out what everyone, from Billie Allen to Jerry Zaks, has to say about their experiences on Broadway. Actors, dancers, musicians, playwrights, columnists sit around, talking, and telling what "their" Broadway was and is like. From the pages of the New York Post to the little bar at Sardi's to the rehearsal stages and dressing rooms of your favorite theater, you'll get new insights on how it works and what makes Broadway what it is. Wonderfully informative and a truly great read. Coming to bookstores in November; published by Harcourt, Brace and Company. More on this as the date nears.

See you Sunday!


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