Friday, November 26, 2010

Brendan Fraser's Broadway Debut Lasts A Week


Brendan Fraser waited his whole life to appear on Broadway. He got his wish last Sunday and by this Sunday it will be over. His play, Elling, about two released mental patients in Norway received decent reviews but was playing to empty houses this week and losing money fast. So, it will close after just nine performances.

Also closing really early is Patrick Stewart's play which also starred TR Knight. No one was bothering to show up at their play either. I think sometimes people think that just be throwing any name up on the marquee that you will sell it out. I think this is true for a day or two, but if the play is not good then people will stay away. Oh, unless it is Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig and they could probably say anything and people will still come.

35 comments:

*Miss_P* said...

I saw him in 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof' on the West End a few years ago and thought he was brilliant!

rebellious, contrary and nice said...

Jesus, it's gonna be a slow, gossip day.

rose said...

Miss P, which one?

sunnyside1213 said...

I always liked him.

Kristen S. said...

If I went to see a play or musical I would see something with a story I was interested in, not necessarily a big name. A story about two mental patients in Norway sounds deadly dull to me.

Rickatoo said...

why would they open 2 plays on Thanksgiving week?

timebob said...

I wonder if TR still feels all uppity after quitting Grey's.

Funny how him and Isaih Washington are both in the same place career wise.

Miss X said...

I used to have such a crush on Brendan Fraser. Now I find him slightly creepy.

Mark said...

>Rickatoo -- why would they open 2 plays on Thanksgiving week?

I think executives scheduling plays and movies do this when they know they've got a flop but still have to release it for a star or for tax reasons or to try and make even a little. Release the lame crap in a terrible slot so you save the good slots for good shows.

Disney just release an animated film with Mandy Moore's voice [hahaha] while Harry Potter was still in its first or second week.

So now Brendan can say he "did Broadway" and some poor schmuck is only out a few million and the good slots can still be used for real plays.

Maja. With a J. said...

I saw the movie "Elling" a while back, it was really funny. It's a good story with awesome characters.

Tania said...

That's a pity.
I saw 'Elling' in London, with John Simm in the title role. It was a hit here. I really enjoyed it - Simm was awesome.

nunaurbiz said...

I just saw "Gods and Monsters" for the first time last night. Brendan was terrific!

Sad to say, but the current American theatrical audience is so snobby. Something has to be a "hit" before most people will consider seeing it, instead of being innovative and wanting to see as much as they can. Of course, the suckky economy doesn't help, either! Wonder how much ticket prices were? I'd have gone to see Brendan if I were in NYC!

Green Tara said...

I have to give Brendan Fraser props for at least trying, especially if it is something he has always wanted to do. He has certainly struggled career-wise in the past several years (and personally as well).

jfwlucy said...

People won't consider plays for a night out because a certain segment of theater culture makes it too big of a deal. Unless you want to get dressed up, sit perfectly still and absolutely quietly for two-plus hours, and hire an expensive babysitter or risk public shame (God forbid you forgot to turn off your cell phone), and clap in forced reverence for ten minutes, forget it. I'd rather have fun with my kids, and be somewhere where I won't feel ashamed for sneezing.

I like theater, and I love plays; but until the entire live theater snobbery crowd gets over themselves and stops trying to shame people publicly, forget it.

PS -- go see some live theater performances in other parts of the world like China or India or Singapore. People get up, walk around, chat, eat, etc., and have a good time, all while thoroughly enjoying themselves.

Mark said...

>nunaurbiz -- I just saw "Gods and Monsters" for the first time

I just want to second the plug for Gods and Monsters.

That movie is so effing good! For people who don't know, it's the story of a homosexual relationship of a young lover and James Whale, the oddball director of the original black & white "Frankenstein" movie.

The oddballs from the Golden Age of Hollywood seem to be so much more interesting than the headcases we get nowadays.

braverwoman said...

4 Words: George of the Jungle.

Little Miss Smoke and Mirrors said...

I wonder if TR Knight is enjoying the poverty that goes along with unmitigated smugness?

I wonder if his buddy HAGl is subsidising his lack of income?

Jamie's Girl said...

He should have realized, like Russell Crowe did with Proof of Life, that people don't want to see something depressing at Christmas. They want funny, action or romance.

lollydarling said...

Good Lord, jfwlucy, I for one can tell you that you're not missed at the theatre! It's not snobbery to expect adult human beings to be able to sit still in silence for a couple of hours while actors onstage work hard to entertain you. It's simple good manners to your fellow theatregoers (who didn't pay to listen to you talk, open packets of sweets, or kick the back of your seat) and to the poor actors who aren't exactly getting rich up there. Please do us all a favour and never change your mind. You sound like a spoilt child.

And you won't be missed at the movie theatre either.

*Miss_P* said...

@rose
I saw Brendan Fraser in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

nunaurbiz said...

@jfwlucy: You've never been to a play like "Wicked" or "Les Miserables" or any of many where you just want to jump out of your seat because you're so into what's going on onstage. Live theater is a thrilling experience. I hope you do get to go see a vibrant play sometime and experience this.

Also, for those who don't think BF can act: Rent "The Passion of Darkly Noon." Wow. Sidestep that Ashley Judd is in it, but Viggo Mortensen is also in it and he plays evil to the hilt! It is well worth renting, if you want a movie that makes you think.

Also, for those who didn't know what "Elling" was about, this from the official site: Based on the Oscar®-nominated film, ELLING is the story of two wildly different roommates—one a tightly wound wannabe poet, the other a gentle giant with girls on the brain—and their unusual approaches to life, love, friendship and food. Hysterically funny and very moving, ELLING follows this lovably odd couple as they try to embrace their independence and experience the world. They'll have the time of their lives, if they can just get out of the apartment! Through a series of hilarious misadventures—involving an inquisitive social worker, an eccentric artist, and a very pregnant neighbor—this rare pair discovers a little about life and a lot about each other.

I'd have loved to have seen it.

yellow said...

Enty should add to the names of people who can sell out Kate Walsh. Her off-Broadway debut was extended a week before opening night.

sunnyside1213 said...

@ Miss P, how was he in Cat On A Hot Tim Roof. Love that play.

Selock said...

We were in NY seeing PeeWee Herman last week (so fun) and when I told my sister (who used to be quite the Fraser fan) he was in a show, as listed in the Playbill she groaned "Oh that sounds AWFUL." Based on nothing but him being in it. It was funny, but we felt bad. :-/

Selock said...

@jfwlucy - where on Earth are you getting this impression of live plays in America/the West? I can't remember the last show I saw that was that staid...and I go to a lot of them.

U CUM QUICK said...

if this was all you could do friday, you should have left well enough alone...i hate premature ejaculators!!!

Theresa said...

I think part of the problem right now on Broadway is the ticket prices. They are through the roof-and I say this as someone who loves the theater. I feel like they just hiked them again and the deals have been few and far between. It's just a really bad business model that most plays have right now that I think causes the shuttering of plays. They count on the name to bring people in because it's an intimate experience with a star that you won't get in the movie. And I do believe that Elling was also starring the wonderful Denis O'Hare (who had a great year in True Blood playing Russell). Maybe the shows would've done better at BAM or something.

Oh and to the person who made fun of Tangled being released a week after Harry Potter-from what i've read it got great reviews and is doing well in the box office.

stephani said...

It's the economy. I was raised by a pair of avid theater-goers. We'd go to a least 5-6 productions a year: whether they were big shows like Cats or Les Miserables, or the edgier sort of fare you might find on a cramped stage. Sadly, with my husband working on reduced wages and me only able to secure a part-time job since losing my full-time one over a year ago, I haven't been able to do the same for my own children.

And actually, this whole issue was brought home for me a few days ago when I had read that the Chicago production of Billy Elliot had to close early, and it was a production my eleven-year-old daughter had expressed interest in seeing, but I just couldn't spare the money for the tickets. I will, however, make good on my promise to take her to see the Joffrey this Christmas.

Oh, the cell phone thing is just good manners. Not just at the theatre but everywhere. I was a student concert at my son's school, and someone's bozo parents phone went off during one of the solos.

kathrynnova said...

broadway is nothing more than a franchise and a total piece of shit.

here are my suggestions for what will now make a successful broadway play or musical:

"snooki"
"the real housewives of orange county, the musical"
"the lindsay lohan story"
"how dina met michael: a love and hate story, the musical"
"the obama affair"
"the past 8 years: george w. bush, the musical"
"keeping up with the kardashians, the musical"

ah, modern times. aren't they so classy!

Rickatoo said...

@jfwlucy - dressed up?

have you been to broadway since 1960?

Dawn said...

Yeah @jfwlucy - I have been to numerous Broadway shows here in NYC and while adults ARE expected to display proper manners, it is not how you describle.

And @kathrynnova, that's really unfair. Have you seen the Jersey Boys? Superb. Lion King? Hairspray? Some are old classics and some are new, but they are classics nontheless and very high quality.

kathrynnova said...

sure - julie taymor is AMAZING - the lion king is definitely a work of art. haven't seen jersey boys, hear that's good too. don't need to see 'hairspray' - i mean, how often should i see it? saw both versions of it in the movies.

i'm just tired of the movies-turned-to-broadway-musicals trend, but i think that's here to stay. but at least they're reviving what's left of actual broadway masterpieces, such as anything by sondheim.

but come on, i already saw the movie 'legally blonde'. i DO NOT need to see 'legally blonde: the musical'. but, it's running which means it's selling. ugh.

RocketQueen said...

Was going to respond to jfwlucy, but see y'all have done an admirable job :)

*Miss_P* said...

@sunnyside1213
Fraser played Brick, Frances O'Connor played Maggie, Ned Beatty played Big Daddy and Gemma Jones played Big Mama.
It was brilliant!
I can't believe it was back in 2001, though it wasn't as long ago as that.

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/theatre-dance/reviews/cat-on-a-hot-tin-roof-lyric-theatre-london-669951.html

sunnyside1213 said...

Wish I could have seen him in Cat. He went off the rails somewhere. He went from George of the Jungle type roles to really serious solid stuff. Then, around the time of his divorce it all went to hell in a hand basket.