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Last Updated: Friday, 14 November, 2003, 11:54 GMT
Boy George musical savaged in NY
Boy George and Rosie O'Donnell
Boy George and Rosie O'Donnell launch the show
The Boy George musical Taboo, backed by the former chat show host Rosie O'Donnell, has opened to poor reviews in the US.

The Broadway version, which tells the story of the pop star's life and stars George as performance artist Leigh Bowery, opened on Monday.

The New York Times said the musical was "a disastrously overcrowded tableau of a show".

The Washington Post and The USA Today also slated the production.

The Post described it as "a production with such an acute case of meaning-deprivation that you almost forget what's happening as it's happening".

The American national paper USA Today said the musical was "a delightful experience" but added "that is, if you leave after the first act".

It said the show - about the hedonism in the 80s London club scene - turned into "preachy melodrama in which drug abuse, Aids, gay-bashing and the perils of fame are explored with all the imagination of a TV movie-of-the-week".

'$100-a-seat show'

The play, which opened in London in January 2002, has been funded to the tune of $10m (6.36m) by O'Donnell, who was recently in court in a civil trial brought by the publishers of her now-defunct magazine Rosie.

She decided to bring the show to New York's Plymouth Theatre after seeing it in London last year.

The play ran at London's Albermarle Theatre from January 2002 to April 2003, with Shooting Stars comedian Matt Lucas playing Leigh Bowery for part of the run. The musical received positive reviews during its London run.

"Taboo is a legitimate, knock-'em-down, leave-'em-screaming, worth-a-$100-a-seat Broadway show," she said.

The musical, which was penned by George, has been rewritten by US playwright Charles Busch to make it appeal more to US audiences.

Actor Euan Morton, who appeared in the British version, has reprised his role as Boy George for the US run.

O'Donnell takes Taboo to Broadway
04 Sep 03  |  Showbiz
George breaks 80s Taboo
01 Feb 02  |  Reviews

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