Hollywood Elsewhere is offering a raised-fist salute to actor John Lacy, who was canned three days ago (i.e., Saturday) for stopping a performance of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof at Newhall’s Repertory East Playhouse in order to deal with a drunken bigot who was heckling the show with homophobic slurs. Lacy reportedly jumped off the stage after the drunk wouldn’t shut up (the guy reportedly shouted “fag” more than once) and physically ejected him from the theatre.
This is how all drunken assholes should be dealt with. Lacy is to be applauded, not fired. He sounds to me like a guy Denzel Washington might portray in a film. A man of slow-burning conviction who doesn’t take shit.
The show reportedly continued following the incident and concluded to a standing ovation. Lacy was fired right after the performance. The REP authority figure who did that (probably executive director Ovington Michael Owston) should be ashamed of himself and offer apologies all around. The theatre has since announced the closing of the Tennessee Williams play “due to casting loss.” The REP’s official statement notes that “cast members” have left the show, which indicates some of Lacy’s fellow cast members resigned in protest when he was whacked.
Here’s what the REP statement says:
“Due to unforeseen circumstances, the run of the Tennessee Williams’ drama Cat On A Hot Tin Roof at the Repertory East Playhouse in Newhall has been suspended and the show will not be completing its projected performance schedule. The show was originally scheduled to end June 14. However, an incident during the May 31st performance has resulted in cast members leaving the show with no time to adequately re-cast their parts and provide the quality theater experience patrons have come to expect from the REP.
“During that evening’s performance, an unruly patron allegedly made discriminatory comments that distracted audience members and a confrontation occurred between a member of the cast and the disturbing party. The management of the REP regrets that this situation was not brought to their attention sooner and would like to assure future audiences that disruptive behavior, including disparaging remarks from the audience, incidents of bullying or hate speech, and racial, discriminatory or homophobic utterances, will not be tolerated and offending parties will be asked to leave the theater.
“’We are committed to provide groundbreaking subject matter and professional performances to our audiences,’ said Ovington Michael Owston, Executive Director of the REP. ‘We are extremely sorry that our patrons experienced this disruption and will do our best to make it up to those holding reservations for cancelled performances.'”