Will Woody Allen controversy affect ‘Bullets Over Broadway’ musical?

Woody Allen is scheduled to open his new musical "Bullets Over Broadway" in April in New York. The show begins preview performances in March.
(Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times)

Timing is everything in showbiz. And so it is with public controversies too.

The resurrection of the 20-year-old Woody Allen controversy surrounding his adopted daughter Dylan (also known as Malone) Farrow comes as the prolific writer-director is riding a surge of critical and commercial success, capped off with his Academy Award nomination this year for “Blue Jasmine,” the 24th nod of his career.

It also comes as Allen is nearing the opening of one his most significant projects yet — his first-ever Broadway musical. “Bullets Over Broadway,” which is based on his 1994 movie, is scheduled to begin preview performances in New York in a month at the St. James Theatre.

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Tickets for the musical are already on sale and are being heavily promoted in the New York area. Allen adapted the musical from his own screenplay, but he isn’t directing the show. (That job belongs to Susan Stroman.) The stage musical is being produced by Allen’s longtime movie producer (and sister) Letty Aronson, along with Julian Schlossberg.

Rehearsals for “Bullets” are already well underway. Actor Zach Braff — who plays the lead role of David Schayne, a struggling playwright who strikes a Faustian bargain with the mob — has tweeted photos from behind the scenes at the musical, as has actress Marin Mazzie, who plays Helen Sinclair, the role originated on screen by Dianne Wiest.

Last week, Dylan Farrow, who was adopted by Allen and Mia Farrow, wrote an open letter published online by the New York Times that reiterated her claims from two decades ago that Allen sexually molested her when she was 7 years old.

Allen was never charged with any crimes in the matter.


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Allen’s representatives this week denounced the young Farrow’s letter, calling her claims “untrue” and “disgraceful.” In an article recently published by the Daily Beast, filmmaker Robert Weide — who directed the recent PBS documentary on Allen — cast some doubt on the young Farrow’s claims, citing inconsistencies in testimony given by the young and elder Farrows.

“Bullets Over Broadway” is scheduled to begin preview performances March 11. It is set to officially open April 10 in New York.

The original “Bullets Over Broadway” movie was released in 1994, the same year that Allen and Farrow were engaged in their acrimonious court battle. Twenty years later, “Bullets” will open with Allen and Farrow again fighting in public.



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