Martin Scorsese’s Weirdest Projects

The Broadway show The Act

New York, New York, Scorsese’s much-hyped 1977 follow-up to Taxi Driver, was a critical and commercial disappointment, and the trouble it caused its director continued well after the picture wrapped. During production, the married filmmaker began an affair with his leading lady, Liza Minnelli; the pair’s relationship became an open secret, as did the copious cocaine that was fueling both of them. Perhaps the dancing dust can explain Scorsese’s decision to direct Minnelli in The Act, a new musical from Kander and Ebb (Cabaret, Chicago). But the production was troubled from the beginning, thanks to the unreliable star and her inexperienced (when it came to musical theatre, anyway) director, who was quietly replaced before the show made it to New York. In spite of $2 million in advance sales and a shockingly high price of $25 for orchestra seats (imagine), The Act failed to recoup its costs, and Scorsese would never again direct for the stage.