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B’way PR vets set own shop

Barlow, Hartman exit B'way's largest firm

Longtime Boneau/Bryan-Brown staffers John Barlow and Michael Hartman are leaving Broadway’s largest and most powerful public relations house to hang their own shingle.

The two press agents rep “Closer” and “The Iceman Cometh,” both Tony-nominated for best play, as well as the Judi Dench starrer “Amy’s View,” “Art” and Radio City Entertainment’s “The Scarlet Pimpernel.” They will set up their new shop on June 28, after the Tonys.

“When employees leave a company on a venture such as this, it is never easy or clear how either side should respond,” Hartman said. “The support of Adrian (Bryan-Brown) and Chris (Boneau) is a testament to why they are as successful as they are.”

According to Broadway PR insiders, Barlow and Hartman had agreed to rent space inside the soon-to-move Tony Origlio praisery’s new home at 333 W. 39th St., leaving Broadway tongues wagging last week that a departure was looming.

“It’s hard, because it’s mixing business and family,” said Chris Boneau. “It’s hard not to have a lump in your throat when you see your family go. But I understand, since I started my company when I was 30, too.”

While Barlow, 30, and Hartman, 34, maintain that they have “no formal or exclusive relationship with any producer or institutions,” Barlow spent much of his 10 years at B/B-B servicing theater accounts such as Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group, longtime David Mamet producer Carole Shorenstein Hays and the informal producing partnership of Robert Fox, Scott Rudin, Roger Berlind, ABC Inc. and the Shubert Organization. Insiders speculate that those relationships will likely play a part in their shop.

B&H PR has already requested meetings with top-level Shubert execs, according to an insider at the org. Both Barlow and Hartman declined to comment about future biz.