Last year, we reported that Fayetteville native Jason Moore, who gained fame in the theater world for directing the ribald puppet musical “Avenue Q,” would be directing “South Park” co-creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s “The Book of Mormon.” But as the musical got closer to its debut — and ultimately received glowing reviews and a boatload of Tony nominations — Moore’s name was no longer mentioned among the production team.
An article in yesterday’s New York Times about the twisty road “The Book of Mormon” took to the stage paints Moore as a hired hand who was used and quickly tossed aside.
Early in the production, according to the Times piece, producers Scott Rudin and Anne Garefino urged Parker to hire Moore to direct. But by last spring, the producers forced Parker on Moore as co-director.
“I wasn’t entirely happy but I understood, because Trey is great at directing his own work.”
Little did Mr. Moore know that he would soon receive a contract offer from the “Mormon” producers that included, Mr. Moore said, one-third of his usual royalty. This, despite assembling much of the cast and design team and overseeing two years of work. The message clear, Mr. Moore exited in June.
Moore told the Times he hadn’t yet seen the production, but was keeping his options open for redress for not receiving any take-away pay for his contributions.
Meanwhile, he’s been working in San Francisco with The Scissor Sisters’ Jake Shears on a musical adaption of Armistead Maupin’s “Tales of the City.”
It launches this month, the New York Times reports, as a “$2.5 million production that includes a company of 21 actors, nearly four dozen characters, at least two pairs of knee-high patent-leather go-go boots and more than 200 other costumes. (And God knows how much polyester.)”