New Broadway Comedy
In The News
The stars of ELLING, the new Broadway comedy, are featured in the news today. Brendan Fraser was featured in today’s New York Daily News, while Jennifer Coolidge appeared on Fox-5’s “Good Day New York” this morning. Directed by Tony Award winner Doug Hughes, ELLING also stars Denis O’Hare, Richard Easton and Jeremy Shamos. ELLING is currently in previews at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre (243 West 47th Street), will open on Sunday, November 21 and will play a strictly limited engagement through March 20, 2011.
BY JOE DZIEMIANOWICZ
New York Daily News
November 11, 2010
Famous for a series of films that relied to some degree on special effects — including “The Mummy” franchise, “Dudley Do-Right,” George of the Jungle” and “Journey to the Center of the Earth” — the strapping Brendan Fraser has traded the green screen for the Great White Way. He’s now making his Broadway debut in the comedy “Elling,” set in Norway and based on the novels of Ingvar Ambjornsen
He and Tony winner Denis O’Hare (“True Blood,” “Take Me Out”) are mismatched misfits, ex-asylum inmates who discover what it’s like to be in the outside world. “It’s ‘Of Mice and Men’ with a happy ending,” says Fraser, 41, whose first taste of Broadway has made for a happy beginning. The show opens Nov. 21 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre.
You played Brick in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” in London’s West End? What took so long to get to Broadway?
I’ve been offered Broadway roles before but always had to say no. It came down to scheduling and demands of a film career. In my 20s and 30s, I was lucky to be working on a film career. I couldn’t afford to take off eight months and relocate to New York to do a play. Now, I’m comfortable doing that. It’s a milestone in my career. It’s my time.
What drew you to “Elling”?
It’s a wonderful story. Our director, Doug Hughes, has called it children’s theater for adults. It’s about the journey these characters make and how baby steps are monumental ones. It’s about misfits and speaks to the way we identify differences between fantasy and reality. Do I personalize some of that? I think we all can.
November 11, 2010
After playing on screen roles like Stiffler’s mom in the “American Pie” movies and “Best in Show,” Jennifer Coolidge returns to the stage in the new comedy “Elling.”
She stars alongside Brendan Fraser and Dennis O’Hare Elling previews November 2 and opens November 21 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre (243 West 47th Street).
ELLING is based on the popular original 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 critically hailed writer 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, Richard Easton plays Alfons, Elling’s unlikely poet mentor and Jeremy Shamos plays Frank, an inquisitive social worker.
The design team is comprised of Scott Pask (set), Kenneth Posner (lighting), Catherine Zuber (costumes) and David Van Tieghem (composer/sound designer).
Tickets are available through Telecharge.com or 212-239-6200, or in person at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, 243 West 47th Street. Ticket prices range from $46.50 to $126.50 (all prices include $1.50 facilities fee).
The performance schedule is Tuesday through Saturday at 8pm, with matinees Wednesday and Saturday at 2pm and Sunday at 3pm. Beginning, Tuesday, November 23, all Tuesday performances will begin at 7pm. Thanksgiving week, there will be no performance on Thursday, November 25 and, an additional performance on Monday, November 22 at 7pm.