Zolotow put it, "scratched". 2 No matter how good the script and the music, this, if I want to show what I have to another producer, is lethal publicity. Much as I dislike to put any of you to the trouble of reading the thing again I don't see any other way out of it. I should never have sent you that abortive first draft--but then if I hadn't I wouldn't have known how far I was wrong. I'll just have to ask you to forgive me and try to look at the new version as if there had been no former one. It may even happen, as I think in hopeful moments, that this one can set a new pattern for musicals.
The basic change I have made is this, that Danny, the lawyer hero, is not a fool. He has been poor, he is tempted by easy money, he takes it, he finds himself involved in a crime syndicate, and he fights his way out of it, bagging most of the mob in doing so. This doesn't sound very different, but it is. In the former version he was so easily deceived that he was laughable and not likeable. The compromise philosophy has been discarded. This is the old story of good, evil, temptation and error retrieved. Or corrected. And we have invented a new set of circumstances, both more convincing and funnier.
I have been offered a couple of pictures to do--you remember pictures?--so I could live if I stayed out here, but I'm hoping the musical is good enough to take me east. People are piling into this region like lemmings. I don't know what attracts them unless it's hope of a hydrogen bomb.
Give my regards to the men and boys at the office, and tell them I wish I were having the same. 3