While Disney has already made a commitment to Broadway with legit musical “Beauty and the Beast” and a plan to refurbish 42nd Street’s New Amsterdam Theatre, similar plans are being made by the studio’s most valuable TV asset, Wind Dancer Production Group. Sources said Wind Dancer, whose principals Matt Williams, Carmen Finestra and David McFadzean are responsible for TV’s top comedy “Home Improvement,” are shopping for a theater with up to 500 seats to buy and refurbish. One of their prime stops will be 42nd Street.
Williams, who began his career writing for the stage, is moving back to New York this fall. His Wind Dancer Production Group has launched its first Off Broadway play, “Camping With Henry & Tom,” and sources said Wind Dancer’s new Disney deal called for the establishment of Wind Dancer Theatre Prods., a new entity that has millions to spend on the theater.
It’s part of an expansion effort for Wind Dancer that has led the company to sign with Creative Artists Agency for representation in features and TV. Although the Agency for the Performing Arts commissioned “Home Improvement,” the company has been virtually agentless since March 1992, when Rick Leed, who repped Williams and McFadzean, exited APA to become Wind Dancer president.
Plans to get aggressive in the film division led Wind Dancer to retain CAA, which will have Bob Bookman heading up the company’s feature aspirations, and Lee Gabler leading a team to handle TV.