Alec Baldwin Blames ‘Orphans’ Closing on ‘Tabloid Journalism’ and a Scathing New York Times Review… But is That Fair?
It was certainly an unexpected announcement that Orphans, starring Alec Baldwin, would be closing on Broadway on May 19, several weeks before its originally scheduled closing on June 30. Baldwin took the opportunity to provide some explanation for the closing in one of his columns for The Huffington Post. It’s curious to see exactly what Baldwin — who has never been shy about saying his piece (for good or for bad) — blames for the play’s early closing.
Baldwin compares the experience on Orphans to what he calls his last role in a “legit” Broadway play, A Streetcar Named Desire in 1992. Baldwin points out that during that production any bad publicity having to do with arguments or fights was swept under the rug by the producers. He writes, “Bad press about films or shows of any kind can negatively affect your chances. The opportunity to influence an audience through any kind of well-conceived or well-timed ad campaign is lost. First impressions do count. If ‘trouble’ is that first impression, it’s difficult to swim out of that riptide.” Read more
Reviews haven’t made it out yet on Broadway’s Orphans, the Lyle Kessler play that has unfortunately become most notable for the behind-the-scenes squabbles that led to the ouster of Shia LaBeouf from one of the lead roles, but star Alec Baldwin is still doing all he can to promote it. He addressed his preference for the stage in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, what he thinks his career would have been like had he moved to Los Angeles, and, of course, the backstage drama between him and LaBeouf.
Baldwin, who was born and raised on Long Island, has lived most of his life in New York City. However, despite his success in Manhattan he confesses that he thinks he could have been a bigger success had he relocated to Los Angeles. He explains, “I probably would have been much smarter if I settled out there. I just think it’s easier. You’re more available; you see people. There’s more surface area for you to connect. My agent once said something funny: ‘It’s not that people think they want to work with you or don’t want to work. The problem is when they don’t think of you at all.’” Read more
Though Ben Foster is officially starring as Treat in Broadway’s Orphans, as far as the cast and crew of Orphans is concerned Foster should probably be billed as “lifesaver.”
That is because Foster stepped into the role less than a month before previews were set to start after Shia LaBeouf was fired from the production. Foster wound up making his Broadway debut under a cloud of controversy as LaBeouf made his behind-the-scenes drama with co-star Alec Baldwin very public by posting e-mails between the cast and crew on Twitter. Foster spoke about his stepping into the role to The New York Times.
Foster was ready to jump in the role because he originally auditioned for it, but lost out to LaBeouf. He says, “I was crestfallen that it didn’t work out originally. Then I got a phone call saying, ‘Are you still interested?’” Read more
Alec Baldwin Talks About Bringing ‘Orphans’ to Broadway and the Behind-the-Scenes Drama: “My greatest regret is that the rehearsal process got exposed by the person himself”
Though it is still in previews, Orphans is one of the most talked about Broadway plays in recent memory. This is because it not only stars Alec Baldwin making his Broadway return for the first time in nine years and it is directed by Tony Award winner Daniel Sullivan, but because of the extensive behind the scenes drama that led to the exit of Shia LaBeouf from the cast and its very public aftermath.
In an interview with The New York Times, Baldwin spoke about his hand in bringing the play to Broadway and his feelings on LaBeouf making their behind-the-scenes drama very public.
Baldwin reveals that he was the driving force behind the play’s return to New York. He explains, “I knew Al Pacino was circling it. He did it once at a 75-seat theater in L.A. in 2005. I thought, ‘I have to see that,’ and flew out. Then when Al said he’d do Glengarry Glen Ross on Broadway this season, I knew Orphans was available. So I went to producers and said, ‘Let’s do it.’ You spend years tracking plays until you’re right for them and then try to make the other factors happen — getting the right theater, the producers, the money, the rights, the director, the cast. I’m at the age where, in the Tennessee Williams canon, all that’s available is Shannon [in The Night of the Iguana]. After that it’s Big Daddy.” Read more
So no hard feelings, Alec?
After one of the most public Broadway behind-the-scenes squabbles in memory, Shia LaBeouf attended the first preview performance of Orphans on Tuesday night and gave the performance a wildly enthusiastic reception.
To recap: On February 20, LaBeouf left the revival of Lyle Kessler‘s Orphans because of “creative differences” and was replaced by Ben Foster. Orphans was supposed to be not only LaBeouf’s Broadway debut but his first stage role. LaBeouf later posted e-mails between him and several other people involved in the production on Twitter that indicated behind-the-scenes friction between LaBeouf and co-star Alec Baldwin. When Baldwin went on to later attack LaBeouf for his comments about theater — with Baldwin pointing out his belief that an actor without a theater background like LaBeouf had no business talking about acting for the stage — LaBeouf made public more e-mails that cast Baldwin in an unfavorable light by indicating that he did not know his lines during the early rehearsals. Read more
I know it’s not a very well-kept secret, but isn’t it sort of fascinating that actors often treat each other like they’re in middle school? Not only do they have arguments over e-mail, but as in the case of Shia LaBeouf and the behind-the-scenes saga of his exit from his intended Broadway debut Orphans, LaBeouf has no issue with posting these e-mails on Twitter to prove… something.
Alec Baldwin, who LaBeouf was supposed to co-star with, responded to LaBeouf’s Twitter comment that, “The theater belongs not to the great but to the brash,” by pointing out that LaBeouf has never done theater and shouldn’t comment on it (he also compared LaBeouf to a “celebrity chef” rather than a real chef.) Seemingly in response, LaBeouf has posted another set of e-mails revealing that Baldwin and LaBeouf didn’t even get off on the right foot.
These e-mails, most of which are from February 10, reveal an e-mail conversation between Baldwin and LaBeouf, with Baldwin telling LaBeouf, “We start Monday [February 11th]. But I’m so fucking tired.” LaBeouf responds, “im a hustler i don’t get tired im 26 chief.” Read more
Alec Baldwin Calls Out Shia LaBeouf on His Comments About Theater Acting: “I don’t think he’s in a good position to be giving interpretations of what the theater is and what the theater isn’t”
Alec Baldwin is probably the best example of a celebrity I can think of who I think is insanely talented but I certainly wouldn’t want to be friends with. But one thing I will always give Baldwin is that he isn’t afraid to speak his mind — even if what comes out isn’t always appropriate.
But I can’t fault him for going off on Shia LaBeouf‘s Twitter comment about theater acting, “The theater belongs not to the great but to the brash.” The comment was made in the wake of his bizarre exit from his intended Broadway debut alongside Baldwin in Orphans. Though in that behind-the-scenes exchange Baldwin wrote LaBeouf an e-mail saying, “I don’t have an unkind word to say about you. You have my word,” that “word” clearly doesn’t apply to what LaBeouf has to say about acting for the theater. Read more
Ben Foster is set to replace Shia LaBeouf in Orphans the producers announced today. He will take over the role of ‘Treat’ and begin rehearsals immediately.
Producers Frederick Zollo and Robert Cole said, “We are delighted that Ben will join Alec Baldwin and Tom Sturridge when rehearsals commence at ORPHANS tomorrow morning. He is an extraordinarily gifted actor.”
I love Foster and think he’s perfect for the role . He had auditioned for the role when they were originally casting but LaBeouf got the part. This will be his Broadway debut.
Production dates remain unchanged thus far, with previews beginning March 19 and opening night on April 7 at the Schoenfeld Theatre (236 W. 45th Street).
Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased by calling Telecharge at 212-239-6200 or online by visiting www.Telecharge.com.
Shia LaBeouf Post’s His Audition Video for ‘Orphans’ and E-mails About the Creative Differences that Led to His Exit
Shia LaBeouf, who has certainly made his mouth a familiar spot for his foot in the past, was set to make his Broadway debut opposite Alec Baldwin in Orphans, with previews set to begin March 17. However, yesterday it was announced that LaBeouf had left the play because of “creative differences.” Naturally, inquiring minds want to know what exactly those differences were/are.
On Twitter LaBeouf has provided screenshots of private e-mails that indicate that he and Baldwin were not meshing well on stage. In a rambling e-mail to Baldwin, playwright Lyle Kessler, actor Tom Sturridge, director Daniel Sullivan, and producers Fred Zollo and Robert Cole, LaBeouf wrote about how much of a “man” Baldwin is and then adds “Alec, Im sorry for my part of a dis-agreeable situation.”
Sullivan replied, “I’m too old for disagreeable situations. you’re one hell of a great actor. Alec is who he is. you are who you are. you two are incompatible. i should have known it. this one will haunt me. you tried to warn me. you said you were a different breed. i didn’t get it.” Read more
The ole ‘creative differences’ line, huh?
A just released statement from the producers says that, “Due to creative differences, the producers of Orphans and Shia LaBeouf will be parting ways and he will not be continuing with the production.”
I’m not the biggest fan of LaBeouf but I was still planning to see the show because I love Alec Baldwin so damn much. I would love to know what happened behind the scenes.
An announcement on the replacement for the role of “Treat” will be made shortly. Read more