Will Garth grab the spotlight again?
Since Garth Drabinsky was granted day parole to finish out his fraud sentence, we ask: how can the theatre impresario close the curtain on his criminal conviction and start his second act?
At the peak of his career, Garth Drabinsky brought such hits as Show Boat and Ragtime to Toronto
EVERYONE LOVES A GOOD COMEBACK
I do believe we live in a society where a person’s high-profile art can often make their tainted record seem like a hazy footnote, as we have all seen with artists that have crashed and risen again. Garth will never escape the postscript that is his conviction, but he will also be judged by the next theatrical production or film he produces. Not unlike Tiger Woods or Jeffrey Archer, if the art is captivating, the media will fall over themselves to label it as a Phoenician-like return. Everyone loves a comeback as much as they love a humbling fall from grace.
Barry Avrich director of documentary Show Stopper: The Theatrical Life of Garth Drabinsky
TRY THE BOOB TUBE OR SILVER SCREEN
When Mr. Drabinsky went head-to-head with Mirvish Productions, the result was lively theatre. But times have changed since Mr. Drabinsky had to stop producing. The day of his kind of mega-musical is over. Theatre in Toronto has survived nicely without him. Closing the curtain and starting his third act (his last two companies failed because of mismanagement) will be easier than one thinks. Because he is forbidden to own a company or manage other people’s money, Drabinsky’s kind of grand ideas are better served in film and television.
Lynn Slotkin former theatre critic for Here and Now, on CBC Radio One, and publisher of The Slotkin Letter
PUT BUMS IN SEATS
Garth Drabinsky may have found himself in a spot of hot water concerning cash flow, but the real currency of his business — the impresario game — is ideas, something he’s never been short of. If he can come back with a killer notion or two, I’m sure he’ll be able to find someone to fund his projects. Showbiz is all about second and third chances and can be very financially forgiving when you put bums in seats.
Richard Crouse film critic for CTV
TAKE A SUPPORTING ROLE
Conrad Black has established the template for high profile offenders successfully reintegrating into Canadian society. Maintain your self-esteem and dignity; involve yourself in productive and public ventures; and be unburdened by your past misdeeds. Garth Drabinsky should follow Black’s commendable example. Canadians have a genuine capacity to be
forgiving and grant second chances. Garth will need to accept that his role as the theatrical heavyweight attracting large-scale investors has ended. A viable future awaits him in the supporting cast as the second act of his life begins.
Steven Skurka lawyer and author of Tilted: The Trial of Conrad Black