So much for Norwegian little-known comedies being able to survive on the brutal commercial Broadway. “Elling” the new play which had its opening performance on Sunday starring Brendan Fraser (from “The Mummy”) and Denis O’Hare (“Take Me Out’” Tony winner), is closing on Sunday following nine regular performances and 22 previews, according to a production spokeswoman.
The play tells the story of two mental institution roommates who are learning to adjust to outside life in Oslo. It’s run in London was well-received. The version on Broadway, which also features Jeremy Shamos, Richard Easton and Jennifer Coolidge, received praise for the performances from theater critics especially O’Hare’s, however reviews overall were mixed.
“Elling” became the latest play on Broadway that had a rough time filling seats. The play was at Ethel Barrymore Theater. For an intimate play, it’s a relatively big house. Last week its eight performances only earned $145,070, with sharp discounts being offered by producers on many of the tickets. The average $22.03 paid admission price was only about half of what “A free Man of Color,” a new play and next lowest performer, earned that week.
One of the first putting the word out about the show closing was O’Hare, who is seeing more success in his role as vampire king on “True Blood,” the HBO series. On Facebook he wrote, you better hurry if you are wanting to see Elling. This Sunday they are closing it down. The producers won’t go any farther. Happy Thanksgiving.
The director of “Elling” was Doug Hughes (“Doubt,” “Mrs. Warren’s Profession”)