News Article

Bye George

Rosie O'Donnell pulls the plug on ''Taboo.'' She sank $10 million into the Boy George musical, which ran two months

You can't accuse Rosie O'Donnell of having a sentimental attachment to her own work -- or to the work of her employees. She pulled the plug on her successful talk show before it jumped the shark, and she folded ''Rosie'' magazine after little more than a year of publication. Now, having singlehandedly produced and financed the Broadway musical ''Taboo,'' she's bringing down the curtain after a run of less than three months.

On Tuesday, she announced that the show's last curtain call would be Feb. 8. That'll mark about 100 performances for the play, which opened Nov. 13 to generally poor reviews. A drama about the 1980s London club scene that produced Culture Club (Boy George composed the score and acted in the play as another character), ''Taboo'' played to half-capacity houses. O'Donnell struggled to keep the show going, ultimately sinking $10 million into the play.

Her woes as a rookie producer led to much snickering at her expense, even from pals like Nathan Lane, whose script for his current return to Broadway's ''The Producers'' contains a new reference to O'Donnell's debacle. Lane's shady Broadway mogul Max Bialystock now tells knowing audiences: ''Everyone knows you shouldn't invest your own money in a Broadway show. That's taboo.'' Still, O'Donnell remains unrepentant. '''Taboo' was by far the most fulfilling experience of my career,'' she said in a statement on Tuesday. ''Many lessons were learned, and so it goes. For this experience I am profoundly grateful and have no regrets.''

Originally posted Jan 14, 2004