Friday, April 4, 2008

Episode 9: Murdering Patsy Cline, Part 2

The Patsy Cline story gets even worse. Here are a few more tidbits from their time in the Ivory Theatre…

During the first two weeks of the run of A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline, Horror Show bounced quite a number of checks to the actors, musicians, tech personnel, and staff. The Patsy Cline people had to insist that they be paid in cashier's check or cash from that point on (and so Horror Show would sometimes deliver big piles of cash to the actors' hotel). Some of the staff demanded to be paid in cash as well. Apparently, Horror Show had bounced checks to venders before this, which made it difficult to get the technical equipment they needed for the show. This problem forced them to delay opening night -- which Horror Show blamed on the actors.

Horror Show couldn't find the production staff she needed until very late because stories about her abuse and tantrums had already been circulating among the theatre community. She actually hired a stage manager through the drive-in window at Starbucks, without seeing a resume or anything. But the stage manager insisted that Horror Show meet with her, talk to her, and look at her resume before being hired.

Horror Show asked production staff to sign contracts with false dates and other information on it. Though the actors and stage manager were all members of Equity, the actor and stage manager union, Horror Show did not note this in the program, as she is required to by the Equity contracts. She told Equity they would reprint the programs later in the run, but never did. She also sold program ads that she never put in the program. (Isn't that called fraud?)

She was habitually late to production staff meetings, sometimes as much as several hours, with no explanation or apology.

One night, Horror Show picked a fight with the stage manager and, in front of cast, musicians, and staff, she yelled, "I can take a big shit on stage if I want to! I am the producer and can do whatever I want!" Later, Horror Show would file a formal complaint with Equity against the stage manager. But the Patsy Cline people would also contact Equity to tell them what a great job the stage manager had actually done.

Horror Show had bought a very old lighting board to save money when the Ivory opened, and it wasn't adequate for the Patsy Cline light plot. So Horror Show went to Cine Services to buy a new board. Then the checks to the artists started bouncing. So she called back Cine Services and told them that she thought she was only renting the board, not buying it. Which they knew was a lie.

After the show finally got a couple reviews late in the run and attendance improved, Horror Show double-sold seats and over-sold the house, selling seats that did not exist. She sold wheelchair seating to non-disabled patrons and sold patrons with wheelchairs regular seats. And because the numbers on the audience seats were very flimsy stickers (that often came off on people's clothing), many of the seats were not numbered after a while. This led to multiple fights among patrons over where they were sitting during the last week of the run. And of course, Horror Show never held back "house seats" for emergencies, the way every other theatre does.

Everyone heard later that the staff at Metrotix hated Horror Show as much as the theatre companies did. All through the run of Patsy Cline, Horror Show would call Metrotix and she would scream at them that she wanted her money, conveniently forgetting that they had told her it takes a week for Metrotix to process settlement checks. Yet it would happen a day later all over again, more yelling, more threats. It was kind of like Horror Show had no short term memory. Like an Adam Sandler movie. Except the real reason was that Horror Show is a crazy bitch.

Almost impossible to believe, isn't it? But there's more...

Sic Semper Tyrannis!
An Ivory Survivor