“Orphans” starring Alec Baldwin, Tom Sturridge and Ben Foster is closing Sunday, May 19 on Broadway.
The production could not recover from all the offstage drama, what with Shia LaBeouf getting fired and his tweets about friction with his co-star and an angsty tweet from director Daniel Sullivan bemoaning he ever hired LaBeouf.
Lyle Kessler’s play is about two orphaned brothers who live in a decrepit North Philadelphia row house. The eldest brother, Treat (Foster in the role LaBeouf was originally supposed to take), supports his mentally disabled younger sibling, Phillip, (Sturridge) by petty thievery. He kidnaps a rich, older man (Baldwin), who becomes a sort of father figure to the boys. As you can imagine, things end badly.
The revival received two Tony nominations last week, for Sturridge and for best revival, but this was not enough to save it.
It’s always sad when a play closes, and this is the fourth production folding early this season, following “Hands on a Hardbody,” “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “Testament of Mary.”
I saw “Orphans” in previews and liked the production and especially the interaction between the actors. It’s a kinetic and lively production, but it seemed audiences didn’t know what to make of it, even whether it was a comedy or drama. And it seems to disprove the notion that all you need for a Broadway play to succeed is to reel in some big Hollywood names.
The good news for Baldwin is that he can go to Cannes and promote his new film, “Seduced and Abandoned,” directed by James Toback. The film, sort of a meta-documentary in which Baldwin journeys to Cannes to raise financing for their next movie, features interviews with celebrities, including Jessica Chastain, Martin Scorsese and Roman Polanski.