The revival of “Orphans,” starring Alec Baldwin, made quite a few headlines before it opened because of an apparent conflict between Baldwin and his former co-star in the production, Shia LaBeouf. The latter subsequently left the production, which opened on April 18.
Again, the play is in the headlines and again, it’s not for a good reason: the production will close earlier than expected following a May 19 performance. At that point, the show will have played a total of 27 preview performances and 37 regular performances. It was originally scheduled to close June 30. The play also stars Tom Sturridge, who has been nominated for the Tony Award for best leading actor.
In fact, though the play was nominated for a total of two Tonys (the other is best revival of a play), ticket sales have been down since the play officially opened, despite averaging $600,000 per week during previews, according to the New York Times. The paper reports that the play brought in $444,469 during it’s first full week of regular performances, and that the number dropped to under $400,000 last week.
Here’s how the production is described on the show’s official website:
Two orphaned brothers live in their decrepit North Philadelphia row house. They survive by petty thievery and a steady diet of tuna fish and daytime television until the violent older brother decides to kidnap Harold (Baldwin), a notorious Chicago gangster. Harold soon becomes the force that will forever change their lives. Written by Lyle Kessler, directed by Daniel Sullivan (Glengarry Glen Ross) and featuring a critically acclaimed cast.
The official word on LaBeouf’s departure before previews began was “creative differences,” but LaBeouf later posted several emails on his Twitter account that revealed there had been a problem between him and Baldwin, with director Daniel Sullivan writing in one message that the two are “incompatible.”