the pitfalls of artistic collaboration

Show business is buzzing this week about Broadway director Julie Taymor suing the producers of Spiderman for conspiring to take the show away from her behind her back, throwing her out on her ear, and then continuing to use her work without paying her. This is news because the lawsuit has the potential to stop the show should Taymor’s side prevail.  Even so, I’m Team Taymor based on what I’ve heard so far– fire her, fine, but pay her for her work. has a link to the lawsuit in its entirety, which should be splendid reading for a theater geek like me. For non-theater-geeks, the juiciest detail is that the show’s composer, better known as Bono, showed up really late to one meeting “drunk on beer” and accompanied by several supermodels. Way to live the dream, Bono, though I’ve come to expect more from a humanitarian rock star.

Still, anytime two artistic geniuses that large are in the same room, there’s going to be friction, and I should know, because yesterday morning’s 7:40 a.m. performance of “A Really Good Show Mom” in my very own living room was closed on opening night morning, before curtain time, when the show’s stars and co-writers came to blows over whether the post-show “backstage tour” would take place in Seamus’s bedroom, or in Maggie’s.

Here, the artistic collaborators in happier times. Their visual arts presentations, as you can see, hum with mutual admiration, cooperation, and goodwill towards all. (They are seen here posing with their sculpture “Empire State Building,” gift from private collection, Magna-Tiles, 2012).

I hope my children/artistic geniuses can patch up their differences and get back together, because my kids’ theatrical collaborations can be magical, as anyone who saw the one-matinee-only engagement of Underwater All The Animals At The Circus Show can attest. (Thank goodness we have Aunt Mollie’s review as keepsake.)

But right now, my kids are in a Taymor/Bono détente, and there’s the only thing they can agree on:  “Turn Off the Dark” is the stupidest subtitle for anything ever. (Seamus: “It’s dumb because all that means is ‘Turn On the Light,’ and you don’t need Spiderman to do that.”

What has been your children’s most memorable artistic collaboration?

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Juliekramer1 March 8, 2012 at 8:12 pm

This may be my favorite post ever.


The Mommy Psychologist March 9, 2012 at 6:44 am

It’s hard to decide. At the moment, my favorite are all of the re-mixes we are having each evening in a series we like to call “Naked Baby.” It is a one man show performed by my son as he runs out of the bathroom after his bath without any clothes on. Then, uses his gymnast skills to bounce onto the couch where he begins to sing into his fake microphone a random selection of songs while he lets loose his most recent dance moves. Tonights rendition included verses from “bootie, bootie, bootie, rocking everywhere.” Definitely one of my favs.


Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom March 9, 2012 at 12:46 pm

You’re so funny. I love the “gift from private collection” line! My kids collaborated on coloring cardboard boxes yesterday, filling them with stuffed animals, and then launching them off island in the kitchen onto the hardwood floor. At which point I shut down the production because for some reason unbeknownst to me, cardboard boxes sliding around on our hardwood floors actually scuffs the crap out of them.


Zimstuff March 15, 2012 at 2:55 pm

I love this! Boy have we had many artistic collaborations go wrong over here, chez Zim Wex!


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