the take

Randy Quaid Banned for Life by Actors’ Equity

Photo: Getty Images

Michael Riedel reported yesterday that Randy Quaid’s antics on the musical Lone Star Love — which, despite a fantastic Off Broadway production, was such a fiasco in its Seattle Broadway tryout last fall that the show was scuttled before it ever reached New York — have gotten him fined $81,000 and banned for life from Actors’ Equity. Apparently the entire rest of the cast— 26 actors, many of whom had been with the show through its development — filed an Equity grievance against Quaid, claiming that “he physically and verbally abused his fellow performers and that his oddball behavior onstage and off forced the show to close, thus depriving them of their jobs.”

In the most awesome twist yet to this story, a six-hour Equity hearing on January 25 was highlighted by Quaid’s wife apparently getting into a tussle with a 76-year-old Equity receptionist that ended with the receptionist bleeding from the shins and Evi Quaid’s finger broken. (How badass is that 76-year-old receptionist?!)

We highly recommend reading the entire Riedel piece for more lovely details of Quaid’s (alleged! But agreed to by 26 other actors!) wrongdoing, including threatening to have an actor fired if he looked Quaid in the eyes. But this begs the question: Why was Randy Quaid really necessary to get this show to Broadway? It’s a very funny, very catchy show that, we would think, would appeal to the out-of-town and group-sales audiences. Jay O. Sanders was great in Quaid’s part in previous iterations of the show. We understand that sometimes you need stars to get butts in seats, but we’re not talking about Tom Cruise or even Liev Schreiber here. This is Randy Quaid. At what point is a star so unstarry — or so crazy — that it’s not worth casting him?

Union Bans, Fines Quaid [NYP]

Earlier: Report From Seattle: Why ‘Lone Star Love’ Got Canceled Before Its Broadway Run

Randy Quaid Banned for Life by Actors’ Equity