Karen Ocamb

Super-Duo Craig Zadan & Neil Meron on Lifetime Achievement Award

Filed By Karen Ocamb | November 21, 2011 3:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Marriage Equality
Tags: Craig Zadan, Hairspray, Lifetime Achievement Award, Neil Meron, New York Musical Theatre Festival

LA-based Craig Zadan and Neil Meron are the epitome of success. Not because of all their accolades - and there are many, which the Broadway World exclusive interview duly notes. But in my mind they are a success because the openly gay producing team has heart, love for what they do, an authentic sense of responsibility to the greater good while still entertaining – and never forgets where they come from. (See Craig Zadan's speech remembering his late friend Vito Russo here.) I personally thought producing the revival of Promises, Promises starring Sean Hayes was brilliantly subversive.

Craig Zadan and Neil Meron

In this interview with Richard Ridge - sprinkled throughout with clips from their hits and an interview with Daniel Radcliffe - the producing super-duo quietly, dare I say humbly, demonstrates their absolute love for theatre and film. At one point, Craig talks about how they wanted to produce the film version of Hairspray so badly, they were willing to do whatever it took to get the job. And then they got to produce the movie they wanted to make.

After the break is the introduction from the Broadway World interview, conducted one hour before the team was given a Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York Musical Theatre Festival. Also included: video from the interview.

Today, Richard talks to Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, producers of critically acclaimed and award-winning feature films, television movies, series and Broadway productions. The dynamic duo spoke to Richard Ridge backstage before being honored at The New York Musical Theatre Festival Gala earlier this month. HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS and HARRY POTTER star Daniel Radcliffe was on hand to present Neil and Craig with their award and spoke to us exclusively as well about how they got him involved with the production and more!

All totaled, their films and television movies have garnered six Academy Awards, five Golden Globes, eleven Emmy Awards, and two Peabodys. For their work in television, their movies have amassed 69 Emmy nominations. Their work in theater has received 12 Tony nominations, including 2 wins. Their work has also received five Grammy nominations, including one win.

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For some snark: I can't forgive them for Hairspray. I thought the movie adaptation lost the punch and edge of the Broadway production (and I know, Waters' even edgier original film), particularly with the redesign of Edna Turnblad as a sweet-and-plump housewife, rather than the crude drag version on stage. And Amanda Bynes? Really? Terrible.

That aside, good for them! :)