Actor to star in 'Elling' at the Barrymore Theater
Brendan Fraser is set to make his Broadway debut in “Elling,” the long-gestating Broadway transfer of the play that ran in London in 2007.Fraser, who appeared in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” on the West End in 2001, will appear alongside Denis O’Hare, the Tony winner (“Take Me Out”) fresh off his gig in the current season of HBO skein “True Blood.” Jennifer Coolidge (last on Broadway in the 2001 revival of “The Women”) and Richard Easton (“The Coast of Utopia”) also star. Doug Hughes (“Doubt”), currently helming the Roundabout Theater Company’s revival of “Mrs. Warren’s Profession,” directs. O’Hare plays the title role in “Elling,” about a pair of mentally unstable roommates who try to make their way in the outside world following a stint in an institution. Story is based on Ingvar Ambjornsen’s Norwegian novels and the 2001 film version helmed by Petter Naess. English-language legit adaptation is by Simon Bent, who wrote the recent stage version of “Prick Up Your Ears.” Howard Panter (“Guys and Dolls”), who produces for the U.K.’s Ambassador Theater Group, has been working on putting together a Main Stem staging of “Elling” for a couple of years now. Play had a well-received 2007 run in London, where a sold out run at the Bush Theater led to an extended engagement at the West End’s Trafalgar Studios. Panter, Bob Bartner and Bill Kenwright are among the team of producers assembled for the Rialto production. Play is currently scheduled for a run of about 20 weeks, following the producing model of star-driven limited engagements of plays that has proved successful in recent outings including Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman starrer “A Steady Rain” and Jude Law-toplined “Hamlet.” “Elling” begins previews Nov. 2 ahead of a Nov. 21 opening at the Ethel Barrymore Theater. Run is set to shutter March 20.
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