According to Page Six, Barry Manilow and his partner of 39 years, husband and manager Garry Kief, are experiencing some drama over his current Broadway show. Drama’s usually a good thing when it comes to live theater, but not this kind of drama. With all the options of shows to see on The Great White Way these days, you’ve really got to hook the audience with something original they’ve never seen before like Beetlejuice, Aladdin, Mean Girls, or Frozen. Unfortunately for Barry, it seems nobody’s willing to risk their vacation dollars on an unknown kid with a song in his heart and a yellow feather tucked in his hair. Sales for Manilow Broadway are reportedly lower than the cut on Lola’s dress. And it’s causing marital strife.
Page Six Reports:
We’re told that the trouble began because Manilow wanted the run to be very short — similar to Morrissey’s 10-day blitz at the Lunt-Fontanne in May, which reportedly made $1.9 million — perhaps even just a week long.
Apparently, Garry had other ideas and wanted Barry to do a longer “months-long residency similar to Bruce Springsteen’s stretch from last October to December”. They compromised at a three-week run but poor Barry’s been playing to an “ocean of empty seats”. Here’s a peek at what $79-$229 Barry Bucks will get you.
In other words, a concert and a commemorative glow stick.
The Post’s Richard Morgan wrote in July that while opening night at a Saturday show early in the run were nearly sold out, “about half the seats for the next three weeks … are still empty.”
“If he weren’t his husband, Barry would have fired Garry by now,” said a backstage source.
Sources say Barry and Garry (cute) are “fighting almost daily” and there have even been some “backstage blow-ups”. Page Six also says that Barry’s getting the short end of the stick because he only gets paid based on a percentage of the door and has to pay for the production costs (possibly why it looks like he’s skimping on rehearsals) while Garry is being paid a salary for his managerial duties.
Said a source, “It’s terrible. Barry’s up there at 76 years of age, and Garry’s sitting in the back of the theater eating bonbons.”
Sounds like there’s a fantastic Broadway show in there somewhere. They just need to hire a dramaturg to write up all this backstage drama. I would definitely pay good money to see Barry: After The Glow-Sticks Fade on Broadway! Well, I’d pay for a matinee at least.