‘Sweet’ talk turns sour

TimesTalks symposium cancelled

NEW YORK — Is it a case of biting the hand that just slapped you twice?

The New York Times announced last week that its TimesTalks symposium with the creative team of “Sweet Smell of Success” has been cancelled. Times reporter Jesse McKinley was to have moderated the panel, originally scheduled for Sunday at Lighthouse Intl.

The “Sweet Smell” talk had been on the docket prior to the show’s March 14 Broadway opening, which incurred the newspaper’s back-to-back pans by critics Ben Brantley and Margo Jefferson. In between those two downbeat notices, the producers of “Sweet Smell” took out a $95,000 full-page ad in the March 24 issue of the Sunday New York Times only to discover that Jefferson’s review in the same paper was a two-thumbs-down notice.

Spokespersons for the Times as well as “Sweet Smell” blamed the cancellation on “a scheduling conflict.”

Too bad. The symposium had been eagerly awaited by several legit ambulance chasers.

New additions …

Last week, the Times also announced two additions to its TimesTalk theater series. Reporter Peter Marks will interview Elaine Stritch April 28 at the Neil Simon Theater. The actress currently stars in her one-woman show, “Elaine Stritch at Liberty,” which opened Feb. 21 to a rave review from Brantley.

On April 29, reporter Robin Pogrebin will moderate a panel comprising the “Thoroughly Modern Millie” creative team, at the Congregation Rodeph Sholom. The Broadway opening of “Millie” is set for April 18.

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