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Here’s what critics are saying about Elling, the new play on Broadway








Here’s what Newsday, the Associated Press, USA Today,

and New York Magazine had to say

Broadway’s new comedy ELLING, starring Brendan Fraser, Denis O’Hare, Jennifer Coolidge, Richard Easton and Jeremy Shamos, directed by Doug Hughes, opened last night, Sunday, November 22 and here’s what Newsday, the Associated Press, USA Today and New York Magazine had to say.  ELLING is currently playing at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre (243 West 47th Street) in a strictly limited engagement through March 20, 2011.


ELLING is oddly charming, even winning. Or, as Elling says when his friend is described as odd, ‘I prefer the English expression ‘rare.’ As in uncommon.’  The chemistry comes in the casting.  Denis O’Hare is a virtuoso of such high-strung needy eccentrics as the gay baseball fanatic in ‘Take Me Out’ and the meanest royal vampire in ‘True Blood.’ Here he finds astonishing shadings on internalized neuroses as Elling, the aging mama’s boy.  But the real surprise is Brendan Fraser, the formerly boyish comic-action-movie star, making an altogether endearing Broadway debut as the huge and ebullient, simple and slobby Kjell…”  Click here to read the entire review: 



“The story of two recently released mental patients bunking together in an apartment in Oslo doesn’t sound like perfect fodder for a Broadway comedy.  But there’s something relentlessly charming about ELLING…”.  Click here to read the entire review:



“Adapting the novels of Ingvar Ambjornsen and other stage and screen projects they inspired, Simon Bent writes of two roommates in a Norwegian mental institution, played here by stage veteran Denis O’Hare and Broadway newbie Brendan Fraser.  They form an unlikely bond, which is tested when they’re released and given an apartment together, where a social worker will monitor their progress.  What ensues, under Doug Hughes’ expert direction, is both gently poignant and transcendently goofy….”  Click here to read the entire review:



“Even the fiercest Palinite will succumb to the charms of ELLING, a bent little love triangle between two middle-aged, mentally ill men and a mildly exasperated European welfare state.  This gentle, subversively mellow comedy-of- quirks, adapted from a series of Norwegian novels that have already made multiple visits to the stage and screen (a movie version was nominated for the Best Foreign Film Oscar in 2002), follows the same ingratiating Oscar-and-Felix rhythms that dominate lots of roommate-story situations -with an important twist… “   Click here to read the entire review: 


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.

Gently Poignant and transcendently goofy!” -Elysa Gardner, USA Today

“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)

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