In light of last-minute cast changes and internal drama, fans will have to wait a few more weeks to catch Amagansett actor Alec Baldwin on Broadway.
Previews for Orphans—starring Baldwin, Ben Foster and Tom Sturridge—were supposed to begin tomorrow, but the production has rescheduled its first performance for Tuesday, March 26 and opening night has moved from April 7 to April 18. Fans can thank Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd star Shia LaBeouf for the delay.
Citing “creative differences” with Baldwin and director Daniel Sullivan, the young actor dropped out from his role as “Treat” in Orphans on February 20, barely a month before previews were to begin. LaBeouf then furthered the drama (and not in the Shakespearian sense) by sharing personal emails from Baldwin, Sullivan and Sturridge, among others, on Twitter.
The exchanges were widely reported last week. (Follow this link to read more of LaBeouf’s emails and tweets.)
In a note to Sullivan, Baldwin and others in the cast and crew, LaBeouf wrote:
“My dad was a drug dealer… He was a sh*t human. But he was a man. He taught me how to be a man. What I know of men Alec is – A man is good at his job. Not his work, not his avocation, not his hobby. Not his career. His job. A man can look you up and down and figure some things out. Before you say a word, he makes you. From your suitcase, from your watch, from your posture. A man infers… [blah, blah, blah—parts cut for length] He can tell you when he is lost. He can apologize, even if sometimes it’s just to put an end to the bickering. Alec, I’m sorry for my part of a disagreeable situation.”
Baldwin responded on February 20—the day LaBeouf left Orphans—and LaBeouf promptly showed the world via his Twitter page:
“SL. I’ve been through this before. It’s been a while. And perhaps some of the particulars are different. But it comes down to the fact that what we all do now is critical. Perhaps especially for you. When the change comes, how do we handle it, whether it be good or bad? What do we learn? I don’t have an unkind word to say about you. You have my word. AB.”
LaBeouf wrote back to Baldwin, “Same. Be well. Good luck on the play. You’ll be great.”
This is not the first time LaBeouf has exchanged Twitter bombs with another Hollywood star, and it probably won’t be the last.
As the Twitter war played out on celebrity gossip blogs, Sullivan still had to find new talent to replace LaBeouf in Orphans. He quickly, and brilliantly, recast Foster in LaBeouf‘s role as Treat, so it’s likely to be a fantastic production despite the loss of the cantankerous Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen actor.
Orphans will play at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, 236 West 45th Street in Manhattan. Visit orphansonbroadway.com for tickets, new scheduling info and more.