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Nods ‘bittersweet’ time for Drabinsky

Disgraced former Livent Chairman won't risk arrest by attending Tonys

NEW YORK — Disgraced former Livent chairman Garth Drabinsky on Monday called the 17 Tony noms for “Parade” and “Fosse” a “bittersweet moment” and noted his disappointment at not being able to attend next month’s Tony Awards ceremony in New York.

Under fear of arrest, Drabinsky has refused to enter the U.S. since late January, when he was indicted by federal prosecutors on 16 counts of fraud and conspiracy relating to what U.S. authorities called a “massive” and “brazen” scheme to cook Livent’s books.

The irregularities that gave rise to the allegations also sent Livent into bankruptcy last November, and the company is likely to be sold in the next few weeks, with Cablevision Systems Corp. the favored buyer.

Not surprisingly, none of Livent’s current management attended Monday’s Tony nomination ceremony.

Livent artistic director Todd Haimes said he was “personally happy that in spite of all the legal and financial problems this past year has had for Livent, the quality of the artistic work was recognized.”

Drabinsky, who is credited as being largely responsible for Livent’s artistic vision and developed both nominated shows, was also grateful for the recognition for Livent’s “body of work,” he said through a spokesman, who added that Drabinsky believes the noms are “a testament to his dedication and quest for excellence.”

“He would have wanted to be at these ceremonies to share in the excitement with each of his collaborative artists,” the spokesman said, noting Drabinsky was choosing to defend his legal position in Canada.

Authorities in Canada have not yet charged Drabinsky with anything, however.