Harvey: The Off-Broadway Play?
Leslye Headland worked as a personal assistant at Miramax and The Weinstein Co. and insists that "Harvey [Weinstein] was a great boss" who encouraged her to pursue writing full time. But you wouldn't know that from her play Assistance, which opened Feb. 28 at Playwrights Horizons in New York. Although it carries a standard work-of-fiction disclaimer, the dark comedy about office assistants jockeying for power and self-preservation is set in the New York offices of The Weisinger Co., where a giant W logo hangs on a brick wall. Company president Daniel Weisinger is never seen and the exact nature of his business never revealed, but Headland's observations are as ultra-specific as you can get without naming names. "Working for Daniel is like living the last 30 minutes of Goodfellas over and over again," says Nick, the first assistant whose promised promotion is dangled like a carrot throughout the play. Through a series of rolling phone calls, Headland paints a portrait of a demanding boss who has a hectoring manner, a tendency to cut off underlings mid-sentence and a rage triggered whenever he's put on hold. Weinstein didn't respond to requests for comment about the play, which premiered in an earlier version in West Hollywood in 2008. But he's apparently not holding a grudge, since TWC picked up Bachelorette, Headland's debut feature as writer-director, out of Sundance for release through its VOD-focused Radius label. But then maybe that acquisition is just another manifestation of Daniel/Harvey, the all-powerful mogul, at work.