A Mass for the Author of Mass Appeal, Bill C. Davis. RIP.
Several years ago, when I was on the hunt for star-driven revivals with big topics but small budgets (a strategy I have since abandoned, by the way, because of the still-high-risk, but limited-returns, including artistic), I stumbled upon Mass Appeal.
Mass Appeal was a play I knew from when I was a kid. And my local community theater did a production. And my non-Catholic dad showed me the movie.
And as soon as I re-read the play, I was interested in producing it.
When I met Bill, C. Davis, I definitely wanted to produce it.
Bill was a man who loved the theater. And we would do anything to get his shows up, no matter where (he found a lot of success in Europe). He worked the phones himself, looking for starts, and was constantly calling to check in and see what he could do to move his own production along. (The work never stops, just because you finished writing it.)
We got all the way to a couple of readings, including one with Michael McKean and Alfred Enoch (who were both fantastic, btw). Watching Bill watch his own play read by such terrific actors, even in a reading, was like watching a kid see a rainbow for the first time.
We lost Bill this week, which is a shame for so many reasons. One of them being that I knew he had another great play in him.
RIP, my friend.
Read more about Bill here.
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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.