2004_11_artsgemocean.jpgGothamist always finds it fascinating how some truly non-commercial playwrights will always get their new shows produced on Broadway. It's as if some producers and investors genuinely don't care about making money with some of the works they are essentially subsidizing. One such writer that falls in this category is two-time Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson, whose new play Gem of the Ocean, was scheduled to begin previews Nov. 4, but was delayed when the producers had a big investor pull out and had to suddenly scamper around looking for replacement funds. The Times reports that the $2.1 million project is now back up and open for business, with previews going on now. A very rich angel has come to the rescue in the form of Carole Shorenstein Hays, a San Francisco real estate heiress and Broadway producer, whose previous producing credits include Take Me Out and Caroline, or Change.

Guess she can afford to take the probable loss, being said to own half of San Francisco. Bear in mind that even Puff Daddy was approached to help save this show, and even he passed on making the investment. Mind you, the play actually sounds interesting. The Times reports that it is set in 1904 and stars Phylicia Rashad as "a 287-year-old woman leading a troubled young man through a surreal world." We hope it does well. But either way, we won't worry about Hays - she's also producing Julius Caesar starring Denzel Washington on Broadway in the spring, which should be a box office colossus, to say the least.