Vultures circle Holmes' debut on Broadway
Friday 04 July 2008
It feels, as they might say in the Church of Scientology, like distinctly bad Karma. Two months before the curtains go up, an extremely large vulture is beginning to circle over Katie Holmes' Broadway debut.
One of New York's most influential theatre critics, Michael Riedel, predicted yesterday that Mrs Tom Cruise's run in the Arthur Miller play All My Sons will be a resounding flop, because its leading lady is failing to put the expected number of bums on seats.
Advance sales for the show, which opens in mid-September, have failed to reach the $1m mark (£504,000), he announced. That's roughly a third of the expected volume for a Hollywood star's Broadway run, and – embarrassingly – less than a quarter of the $4m that Cruise's ex-wife Nicole Kidman achieved with the play The Blue Room.
More worryingly, claimed Riedel, most of the tickets that Holmes has managed to sell were snapped up months ago by speculative booking agents. With a glut of unsold seats now on the market, top price berths are still fetching the relatively-paltry sum of just over $100. "Ticket brokers and group sales agents, who at one point thought Holmes would be this season's Julia Roberts – who pretty much sold out Three Days of Rain in one day of rain – say interest in the Holmes show is nil," he wrote, quoting a broker complaining: "I bought 1,000 tickets to the show; I still have them."
Riedel is theatre critic of the New York Post. He is famed for his ability to skewer Broadway openings with unflattering reviews or lukewarm comments that appear under his byline.
Although he describes Holmes, who first achieved fame as Joey Potter in the teen-drama series Dawson's Creek, as "a nice little actress", several factors may conspire against the success of All My Sons, in which she will play Ann Deever, the future daughter-in-law of a disgraced Second World War businessman.
America's troubled economy has hit audiences for Broadway productions, particularly those charging rates of over $100 a seat. It also doesn't help, Riedel said, that Cruise's popularity has fallen from its 1990s peak, when he was the world's biggest star.
"These days, Tom is still trying to live down his couch dance on Oprah. Holmes, meanwhile, is in the public eye only because she's Mrs Tom Cruise."
A hit Broadway run is often used by Hollywood stars to remind American audiences and film producers of their acting abilities, particularly after a career break. But All My Sons may not have been the cleverest choice for Holmes, who has been off work since 2005 when she met Cruise. Their baby, Suri, was born in 2006.
Despite being one of America's favourite modern plays, the role being taken by Holmes will require her to wear dowdy frocks. When Kidman appeared in David Hare's play The Blue Room, she appeared in the nude.
"Kidman was not, it must be remembered, a big star in her own right back then," added Riedel. "But because she was (1) very good in the play and (2) naked (for about a minute), she set the town on fire. Scalpers were getting $700 for seats in the balcony – even after critics gave the production lukewarm reviews."
Julia Roberts, for her part, sold out the entire run of Three Days of Rain in a matter of hours before its 2006 run, with tickets changing hands for four-figure sums. A spokesman for Eric Falkenstein, the producer of All My Sons, said: "We don't discuss advance ticket sales."
Oscar Pistorius trial: Defence witness contradicts athlete version
Oscar Pistorius trial: The case against Oscar Pistorius – and why the prosecution claims his story doesn't add up
South Korea ferry: Captain Lee Joon-seok could face criminal investigation as over 280 remain missing
Peaches Geldof dead: Private funeral for the family and friends of the socialite will take place next week
Shropshire criminals ‘using unmanned drones and infrared cameras to find illegal cannabis farms’ – and then steal from the growers
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
- 1 Poveglia: 'World's most haunted island' up for sale...is anyone brave enough to buy it?
- 2 The Hobbit: There and Back Again set for possible title change
- 3 Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'
- 4 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 5 Andre Johnson: Wu-Tang Clan-discovered rapper severed his penis and jumped from LA building
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...
£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...