UPDATE, Sunday 1 P.M.: Adds more on Miramontez’ responsibilities and reaction from Finding Neverland‘s press rep, in second paragraph below.
EXCLUSIVE: Whether Harvey Weinstein fired Broadway press representative Rick Miramontez or Rick fired the producer of Finding Neverland is now officially moot. Miramontez’s O&M Public Relations Company is back on board with the team just as Broadway folks start popping massive amounts of Xanax in anticipation of Tuesday morning’s announcement of the Tony nominations.
Miramontez will oversee Neverland’s overall Tony Awards strategy, according to Weinstein Company spokesman Brad Thompson, which of course presumes the show will get Tony nominations on Tuesday morning.
Miramontez may also find himself in the somewhat awkward position of promoting three Tony-contending musicals. His company already represents two of the most acclaimed musicals of the season, Fun Home and The Visit. (It’s not at all unusual for Broadway’s leading press agents to handle competing shows, but the awards season adds considerably to producers’ need for hand-holding in navigating the five-week window between nominations and awards night.)
Meanwhile, Finding Neverland press agent of record Billy Zavelson “will continue to oversee the day-to-day, overall publicity for Neverland,” per Thompson.
“I’m looking forward to working with my good friend Rick Miramontez, along with director Diane Paulus and the entire Finding Neverland team,” Zavelson told Deadline Sunday afternoon.
Miramontez’s first project, Thompson said, is promoting the June 23 rollout of the musical’s original Broadway cast album on Universal’s Republic Records label. That’s not to be confused with the concept album based on the show and featuring New Jersey rocker Jon Bon Jovi, Jennifer Hudson and, possibly, Taylor Swift and Alicia Keys. That Finding Neverland album is due in the coming weeks, though a date hasn’t been set.
“We have been a consultant to The Weinstein Company on films and other projects,” Miramontez told Deadline, “and now we’re going to help on the cast recording.”
Miramontez, who heads one of Broadway’s busiest publicity offices, had been handling Finding Neverland during its bumpy journey from the UK to Cambridge, MA, and finally to Broadway. His relationship with Weinstein and company ruptured in late January during a meeting about promotional plans leading up to the show’s Broadway opening. Apparently some four-letter words came into play, and possibly projectile crockery as well.
At the time, Weinstein admitted that he’d acted hastily and told Deadline, “I’ll probably be begging Rick to come back tomorrow morning — and thanking him at the Tonys.” For his part, Miramontez emailed Deadline, saying, “Broadway to Harvey Weinstein: Drop dead!”
Thompson said that Miramontez’s replacement, Zavelson, will continue to handle press for the show. What kind of work they all have cut out for them will be determined Tuesday morning, when both certainly will be sewing on Harvey Weinstein’s shadow and learning to crow.
The Tony Awards will be handed out on June 7 during a live CBS telecast.