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November 28, 2022

Getting the Story of Lehman Brothers to Broadway Should Be Jim Turley’s Post-Retirement Passion Project

Ernst & Young Global CEO Jim Turley is being recognized for his work with the National Corporate Theatre Fund (NCTF) and he wrote a blog post over at Bloomberg BusinessWeek explaining how he became such a theatre buff:

“I grew up in St. Louis. From the time I’m old enough to remember, I was lucky enough to go to musicals. They would come through the St. Louis Muny—a big outdoor theater—and I remember loving all the big shows. I was mostly into sports in high school, but I also got to be in a couple of plays. At one point they were short a man, so I ended up being the lead in a barbershop quartet in The Music Man. “I got involved in the National Corporate Theatre Fund shortly after I moved to New York. I was out with the previous chairman, Irwin Engelman, and one of the first things his wife said was, ‘Irwin, Jim was on the board of the Guthrie Theater of Minneapolis; you’ve got to get him on the NTCF board.’ It’s been a part of my life since.
JT goes on to explain how important supporting the arts is, and how E&Y is assisting the NCTF in reaching those who may not have easy access to the theatre, blah blah blah which is all very good. But maybe we should focus on Jimbo's personal experience in the theatre for a second. When Enron came to the stage, it flopped. This was disappointing because 1) such a spectacular accounting-related failure should really thrive on the stage and 2) it did not bode well for future accounting-focused productions. Now. Because the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers even bigger and grander than that of Enron, it may require the deciders of theatre production to take a second look at snappy show tunes explaining obscure accounting rules. Enter Lehman Brothers The Musical. Lovingly hateable characters, economic collapse, obscure repurchase accounting. It's a winning formula.  
And what better way to make a smashing Broadway success than to include a man with stage experience and at least the cursory knowledge of Repo 105?! Especially with retirement on the horizon, JT is going to have to fill the hours somehow. The man is fan favorite at his firm; there's no reason he can't be a darling of Broadway.

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