Sandy Duncan Laments Broadway Musicals

St. Paul, Minn. (AP) -- Perennially perky Sandy Duncan is slamming what she considers the sorry state of Broadway musicals.

Duncan stars in a two-week run of "The King and I" starting Tuesday.

The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical marked her professional debut as a 12-year-old in Dallas.

But now, at 58, she said an industry once run by producers with vision and heart has devolved into a business run by "money men who don't have an eye for the product."

"It used to be that producers would make a profit, with the idea that they would put that money into a new show," Duncan told the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

"Now, they want to make a killing, and so they're flogging these shows into 10-, 12-, 14-year runs. It hurts the whole creative community."

The result, she said, can be seen in the lack of new titles on Broadway and on the road. Her six-month tour as Anna in "The King and I," she said, just proves her point.

"Shows like this are being done to death because there's no new product," she said.

Duncan's Broadway credits include "Peter Pan," "My One and Only" and, most recently, "Chicago." She said audiences in the rest of the country are being cheated by productions that claim to be Broadway musicals but are pale imitations, with diminished technical qualities and less-experienced, nonunion actors.

"A lot of what's coming out of New York is dreck; they should be touring them in theme parks," Duncan said. "And then on top of that, they do it on the cheap so they can make more money. It's immoral, and it tricks the public."


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