UPDATED (September 2, 2010) - Variety is reporting that Elling will be produced at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. Previews to start on November 2 and open November 21.
Earlier today, New York Post theatre columnist Michael Riedel broke the news that Simon Bent's Elling, based on the Ingvar Ambjørnsen novel and Academy Award-nominated Norwegian film from 2001, may be Broadway-bound this fall.
Originally mounted at London's Bush Theatre in 2007, Elling will star acclaimed stage actor and "True Blood" star Denis O'Hare in the title role, according to Riedel. O'Hare has been a personal favorite of mine ever since his Tony-winning turn as Mason Marzac in Take Me Out (2003). His nominated performance as Charles J. Guiteau in Assassins (2004) was every bit as extraordinary.
Riedel says O'Hare will be joined by the wickedly funny Jennifer Coolidge, whose only previous Broadway credit was a brilliant, comic one -- the actress portrayed the chain-smoking, pregnant Edith in The Women (2001-02). Coolidge was so incredibly memorable in that role that the mere thought of her back on the boards has brought a welcome smile to my face.
According to Riedel, O'Hare and Coolidge will be joined in this buddy comedy by Brendan Fraser. While the film actor has never performed on Broadway before, he starred in the 2001 West End revival of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof as Brick and generated some very glowing reviews.
Broadway.com described the London incarnation of Elling as follows:
Mummy's boy Elling and his roommate, the uncouth, reluctant virgin Kjell Bjarne, are the Odd Couple of Oslo: a pair of confused souls taking their first steps in the outside world after years of an isolated and institutional life. Given a flat in the city by social services, their mission is to either re-assimilate themselves into society or be forcibly returned to the asylum. All they have to do is convince their social worker that they really are "normal" -- even if it does feel safer sleeping in a wardrobe.The venerable West End Whingers called the show, "Utterly charming and very funny."
According to Riedel, Elling will be directed by Doug Hughes. Riedel says the show will begin performances this fall at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre.
Since there's been no confirmation for this show yet, nor have actual dates been announced, I'll simply add this play to my "definitely maybe" list. But O'Hare and Coolidge alone will definitely have me lining up for tickets.
This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).
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