Sunday, March 01, 2015

My PLAYBILL bio -- aren't you impressed?

One of my plays was produced in Los Angeles last year.  Who knows?  Maybe someday I'll get to Broadway.   When (if) I do, I'll be asked to write my bio for the PLAYBILL.   The trouble is, if I list that I am primarily a TV writer it’s like putting a big target on my chest for New York theater critics. So I thought I’d fudge, tailor it a tad for the Broadway theater crowd. What do you think of this?


Ken is the adopted son of Stephen Sondheim. His godfather was Bob Fosse who he met while walking Gwen Verdon’s dog. He spent his formative years building the sets for LES MISERABLES. A Peace Corps stint followed where for two years he introduced the Broadway musical to poverty stricken villages throughout Cambodia.

Ken returned to New York where he walked Carol Channing’s husband. He became somewhat of a play doctor, coming in uncredited to save A CHORUS LINE, PROOF, SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE (originally titled: SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH SHLOMO). WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?, AVENUE Q., AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’ (additional dialogue), GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS (talking Mamet out of the dance numbers), and THE ODD COUPLE (originally titled: TWO AND A HALF MEN).

An experimental work of his own played two nights in Boston and two nights in St. Louis. It was called the 2004 WORLD SERIES.

He has never seen a television show, watched a movie, or read any book not written by John Simon or Frank Rich.

18 comments:

Ray Barrington said...

You missed the Law and Order credit.

Carson said...

That is beautiful. I dare you to do it if/when "A or B" makes it to Broadway. Or any of your plays, ever. And if that never happens, that needs to be in your obit - that is if you ever die. Some guy is two years away from putting your head on someone else's body, so who knows?

Wendy M. Grossman said...

I think you need to make it "whom he met" or the critics will never take you seriously.

wg

Oat Willie said...

Did a guest voice on The Simpsons but only when it was 21st century sucky.

AlaskaRay said...

When working on Ave Q, are you the one who decided that the Internet is for porn?

Mike Botula said...

Planning to update my resume. You've given me some great ideas for my own bio. "...born of poor, yet proud parents...."

Canda said...

I believe there is a big difference in saying you wrote for M*A*S*H, CHEERS and FRASIER (which co-starred one of Broadway's favorites, David Hyde Pierce), and not GROWING PAINS or PERFECT STRANGERS.

New York critics love and respect the first three.

Diane D. said...

Oh, the pathos!

Barefoot Billy Aloha said...

I love it!

Perfect for the snooty "thea-tah" Brahmins who might judge it to be almost insufficient.

Smurch said...

Remember to say "Playbill" instead of "Play ball"...

Janice said...

A Friday Question:

You recently wrote about whether writers know where they want their characters to end up. I watched the first few seasons of FRIENDS but opted out of the last few. But I had to tune in for the final episode because I was certain Rachel would end up back with Ross (which of course, she did). My reasoning was that it would be terrible for syndication if everyone knew they never did get back together, and ultimately perfect if they knew they did. Would you say that money will always win over creativity in such an instance?

Morris Nunavut said...

You need only mention that you mentored both Brian Williams & Bill O'Reilly and you're a lock.

DBA said...

I enjoy it from a comedy perspective, but I'm pretty sure several actors used to (because they write their own bios) do basically this, intentionally making things up for comedic effect, not actually trying to dupe anybody.At some point it was realized... I forget who but I think it was a fairly well known person who did it, had been doing it for a while, and somebody put the kibosh on that practice and these things now get fact-checked, or least a tertiary once over. Basically, 20 years ago, you could totally get away with exactly that bio in an actual Playbill, but now, you probably can't.

Johnny Walker said...

You just need to add a tasteful, understated quote:

"Ken Levine taught me everything I know" - Neil Simon

DrBOP said...

Weren't you Nathan Lane's dresser?

Put it in.

cadavra said...

"He was once part of a song-and-dance act with Adele Dazeem."

DBenson said...

"He wishes to dedicate this performance to his mother in appreciation of her love and support. So you know any critic who pans it hates her."

Chris said...

I loved the fact that David Merrick, after the monumental failure of the musical "Breakfast at Tiffany's," listed it as his only accomplishment in his Playbill bio for the very next show he produced.