Personal Best Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach 2007 - Richard J. Simon
Richard J. Simon, artistic director for Plantation's much-lauded Mosaic Theatre, seemed doomed to a life of greasepaint and footlights from the day he was shipped off to summer camp in Pennsylvania as a tot. He starred there in Oliver and Pippin and got utterly hooked on the sheer showbizzery of it all. Of course, Oliver and Pippin are not in his current repertoire. Far from it. This year, his production schedule includes Red Light Winter, Rabbit Hole, Glengarry Glen Ross, some of the most seethingly magnetic theater around.
New Times: Favorite play, outside of Mosaic Theatre, that you saw this year?
Richard J. Simon: Oh. Um . . . Glengarry Glen Ross. Oop. You said outside of Mosaic? OK. It would have to be ? Rabbit Hole! Damn it! Sorry. Seriously, it would be Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at Palm Beach Dramaworks. The acting of Lisa Morgan and Gordon McConnell is heaven on a popsicle stick.
What does the local culture need more of in order to create a good arts-incubating environment?
Too easy. Money. Philanthropy. Collaborative spirit. Stronger leadership. Arts education. Community involvement. Cultural facilities. Democrats
What does the local culture need less of?
Cuts in arts funding. Wasted tax-dollars on superfluous sporting arenas designed to make the rich richer. Greed.
What's your favorite exotic getaway spot?
Vegas, baby. Only in Sin City can a producing director get a lot of work done and truly focus on show business.
You go to Vegas to work?
Where else would you want to bring your laptop? You sit in a musty hotel room all day and night, crunching numbers, fine-tuning your strategic plan, drafting contracts, reading plays, totally, like, absent from all distraction.