The White House is poised to nominate Rocco Landesman as chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. At first glance it sounds like good news that the fiery producer of Angels in America is going to head the government's most powerful arts agency. It's hard to imagine the opinionated Landesman caving to grandstanding politicians opposed to gay or avant garde artists. Yet is it slightly odd to think of this important nonprofit being taken over by the man who pioneered the $480 per seat VIP ticket for The Producers? He has zero experience running nonprofits, but he does own racehorses, two minor league baseball teams, and five Broadway theaters.
The appointment of Landesman, who is married to a woman and has three children, inspired Tony Kushner to tell the NYT:
Others were less certain. Robert Brustein, the founding director of the American Repertory Theater and Landesman's former teacher at Yale, said, "It's an odd choice."