Inside D.C. entertainment

Dan Snyder readies legal team for night of musical theater

April 1, 2011 - 02:25 PM
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The villanous Benedict Arnold fences plucky young revolutionary Emily Andrews in Ford's Theatre's 'Liberty Smith.'

Summoning Dan Snyder's crack legal team — have we got a frivolous and unwarranted lawsuit for you!

Ford's Theatre just debuted the new world premiere musical Liberty Smith — a Forrest Gump-esque romp through history with the title character, a now-unknown figure who influenced the Revolutionary War's most pivotal events. During a scene in which various revolutionary societies (one of which calls itself "The Brookings Institution") gather in a Boston pub to discuss their strategy against the British, they do so in festive costumes of clergy, Roman mythology, and Native Americans. And in a nod to this D.C. premiere, the backs of those Native American costumes are decorated with the Redskins logo, which elicited a good laugh from the audience on Wednesday night.

Lauren Beyea, the publicist for Ford's Theatre, says that the costume team didn't ask for permission to use the Redskins' logo in the show: "Since the scene is costume party parody, permission wasn’t requested — usage is covered by fair use laws."

But it's not like piddling "fair use" would ever stop Snyder! This is the guy who told the Washington Post that they could not use the word "Redskins" in a blog about the Redskins to "protect" the brand. Meanwhile, his lawsuit against the Washington City Paper perseveres, with local restaurants hosting fundraisers on behalf of the paper's legal defense (Tonight at Madam's Organ! Dan Snyder piñata and an "anatomically correct nude Daniel Snyder cake" with a small penis).

Ford's Theatre wasn't able to provide a photo of the costumes, so we'll leave that one up to the legal research team. Good luck protecting your brand from patrons of historical and educational musical theater, you guys!

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