Tuesday, 9 October 2007

NEWS: William Baker NOT FIRED

I just received a phone call from Ewan Thomson, press manager for RENT Remixed in regards to this post over at Dress Circle, and the subsequent hubbub. Upon reading this news and seeing it spread without any form of detailed source material, I started to have my doubts. Unable to find a press release or any cite worthy information, I decided to do a bit of investigation and called the press office (whose number was thankfully in my programme). After getting bounced to a couple of people, and leaving my contact details (along with this blog's address and a note of my wonderful university), I was told that I would receive a call when Mr. Thomson got back to the office. Sure enough, I received a call around 1:30 from the man himself.

First and foremost, Mr. Thomson confirmed that no, William Baker has not been fired, has not quit, and is still working with the cast, though much of the cast's time is being spent with the assistant directors so that multiple changes can be worked on at once (ie a pair of actors can work on entrances/exits while others are with an MD or AD on new music adjustments). No performances are being canceled, and press night is still on for the 16th of October (when the RZ will hopefully be at first preview for Desperately Seeking Susan). Mr. Thomson was unsure of why a cast member would supposedly say that the director is on his way out, but repeated that it was false information.

In addition to the nature and hubbub of previews, the internet, etc. we also discussed thoughts on the show, and agreed that yes, it is in a fixable place, that things are (and should be) changing, and I was informed that Mr. Baker is taking the approach of "putting everything into the cake, and then weeding things out."

Lastly, the subject of Jay Webb's lip syncing and the use of click track in the show was covered. Mr. Webb is indeed suffering from tonsillitis, and performing on antibiotics every night as the understudies will not be rehearsed until the show is frozen. Once recovered, Mr. Webb will be singing live, but for now is performing with a fever and speaking as little as possible.

The RZ would like to thank Mr. Thomson and the Borkowski Agency for taking time to deal with the alternative press (in his words, "it's where it's at"), and for his insights into the show and its current status.

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