Gary Busey, who stepped into the long-running Perfect Crime earlier this winter, told two young audience members to “pay attention” during an evening performance, according to an interview with the actor in the Los Angeles Times. The theatregoers had apparently tuned out during the show.
Busey joined the cast of Warren Manzi’s murder mystery November 21-December 4 at The Theater Center, marking the Oscar and Golden Globe nominee’s Off-Broadway debut.
According to the L.A. Times interview, Busey’s run was unconventional. He was given permission to adapt the dialogue and mold the part to his image. He also engaged his six-year-old son Luke’s help in drumming up interest for Perfect Crime, having him stand outside the Times Square TKTS booth distributing flyers.
During the limited run, Busey stared opposite Catherine Russell, a Guinness Book World Record holder for having never taken a sick day in the show’s 30-year history. The Times reports that Russell had been trying to persuade Busey to take on the part of Lionel McAuley for years before he finally agreed. “I didn’t have anything else to do,“ he told the newspaper.
Busey has appeared in over 150 films spanning four decades, with credits that include Point Break, Lethal Weapon, and The Buddy Holly Story, which garnered him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in 1978.
With “Agatha Christie-like twists and turns,” Perfect Crime follows a psychiatrist who is suspected of killing her rich husband, the detective trying to solve the case, and the psychiatrist’s troubled patient.
Performances of Perfect Crime take place at the The Anne L. Bernstein in The Theater Center, located at 210 West 50th Street, New York. Tickets are available by calling the box office at (212) 921-7862 or online at Ticketmaster.com.