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Brendan Fraser, Denis O’Hare star in Elling on Broadway with Jennifer Coolidge, Richard Easton

“The most blissfully funny and touching evening I’ve had in the theatre in ages.”

-The Guardian (London)

“Moving and very, very funny.  Thoroughly life-affirming.”

-The Times (London)

“Works like a dream.”

-The Daily Telegraph (London)











ELLING is based on the original popular Norwegian novels by Ingvar Ambjørnsen and adapted for the Oscar nominated film and the stage by Axel Hellstenius and Petter Næss, in a new English adaptation by hailed writer Simon Bent.

Brendan Fraser (Crash, Gods and Monsters, and hailed in the West End’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof) and Denis O’Hare (Take Me Out -Tony Award-winner, HBO’s “True Blood”) will star in ELLING with Jennifer Coolidge (Broadway’s The Women, American Pie, Best in Show) and Richard Easton (The Invention of Love – Tony Award-winner, The Coast of Utopia, Noises Off)ELLING is the critically acclaimed new comedy from London, directed by Tony Award-winner Doug Hughes (Doubt, Mrs. Warren’s Profession).  ELLING will begin performances Tuesday, November 2 and open Sunday, November 21 on Broadway at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre (243 West 47th Street) and will play a strictly limited engagement through March 20, 2011.

ELLING is based on the popular original Norwegian novels by Ingvar Ambjørnsen and adapted for the Oscar nominated film and the stage by Axel Hellstenius and Petter Næss, in a new English adaptation by Simon Bent.  ELLING played the West End and was nominated for the Lawrence Olivier Award for Comedy of the Year.

Set in the current day, ELLING is a comedy about a wildly mismatched pair of roommates trying to embrace life, love, friendship, pizza, poetry and women.  Denis O’Hare plays obsessive/compulsive Elling.  Brendan Fraser, plays the wildly enthusiastic gentle giant Kjell. Jennifer Coolidge plays Reidun, the object of Kjell’s considerable affection, and Richard Easton plays Alfons, Elling’s unlikely poet mentor.

ELLING is produced by –

Howard Panter for Ambassador Theatre Group, Bob Bartner, Bill Kenwright

John O’Boyle, Deborah Taylor, Burnt Umber

Bill Ballard/David Mirvish, Finola Dwyer, David Parfitt, Ronnie Planalp, and Michael David

in association with Bob Boyett

Additional casting, the design team and ticket on-sale information will be announced soon.

ELLING had a critically acclaimed stage premiere at the Bush Theatre in London and transferred to the West End.

ELLING previews November 2 and opens November 21 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre (243 West 47th Street).


BRENDAN FRASER (Kjell Bjarne).  Elling marks Brendan’s Broadway debut.  Theatre:  Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, West End; Four Dogs and a Bone, opened Geffen Playhouse.  Film:  Crash, Gods and Monsters, The Quiet American, Furry Vengeance, Extraordinary Measures, Journey to the Center of the Earth in 3-D, The Mummy trilogy, Inkheart, Bedazzled, Blast From the Past, Dudley Do-Right, George of the Jungle, The Encino Man, School Ties, With Honors, Airheads and The Scout.

DENIS O’HARE (Elling).  Broadway:  Inherit the Wind, Sweet Charity (Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award nomination), Assassins (Tony Award nomination), Take Me Out (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Clarence Derwent Awards), Major Barbara, Cabaret, Racing Demon.  Off-Broadway:  Uncle Vanya, A Spanish Play, Pig Farm, Take Me Out (Obie, Lucille Lortel Awards), Vienna:  Lusthaus, Helen, Ten Unknowns, The DevilsSilence, Cunning, Exile, The Arabian Nights, Lonely Planet, WoyzeckHauptmann.  Regional:  Hartford Stage, NYS&F, CenterStage, Seattle Repertory, Arena, McCarter, Long Wharf, Goodman.  London:  Never the Sinner; Take Me Out.  Film:  Edge of Darkness, The Proposal, Duplicity, An Englishman in New York, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, Milk, Quarantine, Changeling, Baby Mama, Pretty Bird, Charlie Wilson’s War, Awake, The Babysitters, Michael Clayton, Train Wreck: My Life as an Idiot, A Mighty Heart, Rocket Science, Half Nelson, Stephanie Daley, Derailed, Heights, Garden State, 21 Grams, The Anniversary Party. Denis will also soon be seen in Kevin MacDonald’s The Eagle.  Television:  “True Blood,” “CSI: Miami,” “The Good Wife,” “Brothers and Sisters,” “Once Upon a Mattress,” “Law & Order,” “100 Centre Street,” “Hamlet.”

JENNIFER COOLIDGE (Reidun Nordsletten, Gunn, Johanne and Poet).  Broadway:  The Women (Drama Desk nomination).  Film:  American Pie 1, 2 and 3; the Christopher Guest films Best in Show, A Mighty Wind and For Your Consideration; A Cinderella Story; Legally Blonde; Robots; Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events; Bad Lieutenant; Gentlemen Broncos. Television:  “Joey,” “King of the Hill,” “Thank God You’re Here, “The Closer,” “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” “Friends” and “Seinfeld.”

RICHARD EASTON (Alfons Jorgensen).  Broadway: The Coast of Utopia, The Rivals, Henry IV, The Invention of Love (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League Awards), Noises Off, Exit the King, The Misanthrope, The Cherry Orchard, Hamlet, Cock-a-Doodle-Dandy, Back to Methuselah, The Country Wife, School for Scandal. Off-Broadway: Entertaining Mr. Sloane; Bach at Leipzig; Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme; Waste; Hotel Universe; Give Me Your Answer, Do!; Salad Days. England: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Uta Hagen and Arthur Hill), Death of Bessie Smith, Fagin in Oliver, Kenneth Branagh’s Renaissance Co. and four years at RSC. Films: Revolutionary Road, Henry V, Dead Again, Finding Forester. TV: Six years of BBC’s “The Brothers”; PBS’s Emmy-winning “Benjamin Franklin” (title role); and the upcoming HBO mini-series “Mildred Pierce.”

SIMON BENT (Playwright).  Simon Bent studied Drama at Birmingham University and started his theatrical career as an actor. He was writer in residence at both the University of Essex and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Many of his early plays, which he also appeared in, were toured extensively, including Wigan Kiss, Banjaxed, Bombers and Mash, The Home Front and Moll Flanders.  His most recent stage work includes Prick Up Your Ears, inspired by John Lahr’s biography and the diaries of Joe Orton, and Elling, based on the Norwegian novel and film.  Simon has also written for film and television, most notably the BAFTA nominated screenplay Christie Mallory’s Own Double Entry, adapted from the novel by BS Johnson.

DOUG HUGHES (Director).  Broadway:  upcoming Mrs. Warren’s Profession.  Recent Broadway productions include A Man for All Seasons, The Royal Family, Oleanna, Mauritius, A Touch of the Poet, Inherit the Wind, Doubt and Frozen.  Off Broadway:  The Heart is a Lonely Hunter at New York Theatre Workshop, Farragut North at Atlantic Theater Company, The House in Town for Lincoln Center, Defiance for Manhattan Theatre Club, Scattergood and Last Easter for MCC Theater, Howard Katz, The Paris Letter and McReele for the Roundabout.  He has directed over 50 productions at most of the country’s leading resident theaters.  From 1997-2001, Mr. Hughes served as Artistic Director of the Long Wharf Theatre, originating and then co-producing the Pulitzer Prize-winning Wit with MCC and Daryl Roth in New York on national tour and in London.  He has been awarded the Tony, the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Lucille Lortel, Obie and Callaway awards for his productions.

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