There was an engrossing article a few days ago in the New York Times.
Titled ‘A Frankenstein’ that Never Lived, the piece’s top-line summary runs, “On Jan. 4, 1981, the effects-heavy production opened and closed on the same night. Forty years later, the creators revisit a very expensive Broadway flop.” According to the article, hopes for success of the show ran high, but were dashed in large measure by a dreadful review in the Times, full of arch sarcasm and lines such as, “we feel nothing except the disappointment that comes from witnessing an evening of misspent energy.“
In reading the article, I felt a queasy sympathy for everyone that had worked on the show and then read the review. At the end of the last century, Fred Adams and I were riding high on the end of the cosmos. Our trade book — The Five Ages of the Universe — had, to our great thrill, just come out, and we were enjoying the modest acclaim that had proceeded from dividing the entire past and future of the Universe into five thumbnail-friendly eras of time.
The sales, the buzz, idle dreams of Carl Sagan-style pop-culture stardom, all came to ...