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Fire Island Fundraiser Fiasco!


Theatrical moneymaker to benefit Pines firefighters deals with dastardly deeds

Art imitated life Saturday when the Off-Broadway musical Little House on the Ferry, was attacked by vandals before a performance slater to raise money for the Fire Island firefighters who fought the blaze that engulfed the Pines Pavillion several days earlier.

It may sound sinister, but the show's writer and director Robert Gould told that the cause for the crime was an old-fashioned backstage catfight, gone out of control.

The cast and crew of Ferry (a light-hearted musical about a group of gay friends on vacation in Fire Island) were stunned when midway through their run at the American Theater of Actors, they learned several buildings on the real Island were gutted by flames.

The cast members of Ferry turned their remaining shows into benefits, donating part of their ticket proceeds to FI's fire department. However, the evening before the show closed, director Gould came in to find the backstage destroyed by vandals--costumes were wrecked with bleach, sound files were deleted. The Post broke the story this morning, but we talked to Gould to find out more about the sordid ordeal.

"The whole evening was drama. Everyone talking at once, police coming in..." he said.

Placating the impatient audience with wine and free T-shirts, the crew managed to salvage the production and the curtain went up after only an hour's delay. FI's fire department was attendance that night, and received a standing ovation at the end of the performance.

So who were the culprits? "It was people in the next theater," Gould said with a sigh.

There are three separate theaters at the American Theater of Actors, one large and two smaller. Their dressing rooms separated only by an unfinished wall. Ferry's chatty cast apparently got on the nerves of the "serious" play next door and a feud broke out.

"People on the other side of the wall took it to another level" said Gould, noting that those people are the ones who tried to sabotage the show.

Gould was mum on which of the other plays did the deed, but no matter--the event raised $500 and now everyone is talking about it.

(Photo by Peter Lau/

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