THEATRE-FISH IN THE DARK Enthusiasm lags for Larry David's Broadway play 'Fish in the Dark’
- Title: THEATRE-FISH IN THE DARK Enthusiasm lags for Larry David's Broadway play 'Fish in the Dark’
- Date: 6th March 2015
- Summary: NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (MARCH 05, 2015) (REUTERS) VARIOUS EXTERIORS OF THEATRE
- Reuters ID: LVA8W3TW03XND5ROP9ZID80A5O53
- Duration: 00:00:16
- Topics: General
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- Story Text: "Fish in the Dark," a new play by comedian Larry David, is the hottest ticket on Broadway, but critics say the lightweight, 60s-style comedy flounders with one liners and a weak plot.
The play racked up a record of more than $13.5 million (USD) in advance sales ahead of its first preview and opening on Thursday (March 5) at the Cort Theatre, largely on the popularity of David. It is the first play by the co-creator and writer of the hit comedy series "Seinfeld" and the star of HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm," who is making his Broadway debut.
But many critics failed to warm to the comedy about two sons gathering around the deathbed of their father and squabbling over who will get a Rolex watch and care for his widow.
"Strangely, for a man who has done as much as anyone to redefine the tone of television sitcoms during the past few decades, Mr. David has written a play that, four-letter language aside, feels like a throwback to the mid-1960s, when Neil Simon was king of the punch line," said the New York Times.
USA Today called it "light and flaky 'Fish'" and the Wall Street Journal said it was "more in the nature of a well-renumerated personal appearance than an actual play."
David, 67, said he was inspired to write "Fish in the Dark" after a close friend told him about the death of his father. The Brooklyn-born, bespectacled comedian plays Norman Drexel, who together with his brother and assorted family members must deal with their father's impending death.
The large cast also includes Rita Wilson ("Sleepless in Seattle") and Rosie Perez ("Pineapple Express"), who plays a Puerto Rican housekeeper.
"The best thing about the humor is that it's also unembellished and played without irony," said the New York Daily News. "These are just people, often very obnoxious people, lurching through life and oddball dilemmas."
Despite tepid reviews, the success of "Fish in the Dark," which is directed by Tony winner Anna D. Shapiro ("August: Osage County") and produced by Scott Rudin, seems assured.
It surpassed the previous record for advanced ticket sales set by the revival of Howard Pinter's marital drama "Betrayal" that starred James Bond actor Daniel Craig and his real-life wife, Rachel Weisz.
And since it began previews it has been playing to capacity crowds with the average ticket price at $133 and at the top at $423.
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- Embargoed:21st March 2015 12:00