Two big shows announced impending closings this week. Jekyll & Hyde will end its run Sunday, May 12, while Orphans shutters the following Sunday, May 19. While we extend our sympathies to the cast and crew of Jekyll, they must have seen it coming. With the rough reviews the show received and not a single Tony nomination, the writing was on the wall.
Orphans was troubled long before the critics got to it. With rehearsals well underway, producers announced that Shia LaBeouf would no longer be starring, causing a wave of bad press the show would struggle to recover from. It’s still unclear whether LaBeouf got handed his walking papers or bolted on his own, but after some awkward tweeting and publicly-released e-mails between Shia, Alec Baldwin and director Daniel Sullivan, Hollywood good-guy Ben Foster was brought in to replace him. The reviews were ultimately mixed, but not without some critical accolades.
Alec Baldwin, no stranger to public controversy, tenaciously stood up for the show from the start. His recent postmortem on HuffingtonPost.com laid into nemesis and Times critic Ben Brantley, whom Baldwin described as an “odd, shriveled, bitter Dickensian clerk.”
The Testament of Mary also ended its short run on Broadway this week, following an unexpected Tony nomination for Best Play and a notable lack of one for its sole cast member, Fiona Shaw. Critical consensus seemed to be that Shaw, while always a formidable talent, wasn’t at her best inTestament. Perhaps playing the Mother Mary wasn’t a great match for her heralded skill set. Or maybe she was just flummoxed by the live vulture she had to share the stage with.