Shia LaBeouf Departs Cast of Broadway's Orphans; Actor Posts E-Mails from Co-star and Director On Twitter
By Andrew Gans
The producers of the Broadway debut of Lyle Kessler's Orphans announced Feb. 20 that film star Shia LaBeouf has departed the upcoming production "due to creative differences." The play would have marked the actor's Broadway bow.
An announcement on the replacement for the role of Treat will be made shortly. The three-person drama, starring Alec Baldwin and Tom Sturridge, will begin previews March 19 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, with an official opening scheduled for April 7. Daniel Sullivan directs.
On his Twitter account, actor LaBeouf posted several e-mails he received or sent to cast and creative team members, including one he apparently received Feb. 19 from director Sullivan, which reads, "I'm too old for disagreeable situations. you're one hell of a great actor. Alec is who he is. you are who you are. you two are incompatible. I should have known it. this one will haunt me. you tried to warn me. you said you were a different breed. I didn't get it. Dan"
Another e-mail, from "AB," states, "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 responded, "same. be well. good luck on the play. you'll be great."
In the play, according to press notes, "two orphaned brothers are living in a decrepit North Philadelphia row house. Treat, the eldest, supports his damaged younger sibling Phillip (Sturridge) by petty thievery, and makes the house a virtual prison for the seemingly simple-minded Phillip. One night he kidnaps a rich older man, Harold (Baldwin), who turns out to have his own motives and becomes the father figure the boys have always yearned for."
Orphans premiered in 1983 at The Matrix Theatre in Los Angeles where it won the Drama-Logue Award. Following its 1985 engagement at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre, the play had a successful run at New York’s Westside Arts Theatre and was subsequently produced in London. A film version was also produced.
Sturridge's films include "Being Julia," "Vanity Fair," "On the Road," "Like Minds," "The Boat That Rocked," "Junkhearts" and the forthcoming "Effie" and Terrence Malick's new feature. He made his theatre debut in Simon Stephens' Punk Rock at the Lyric Hammersmith in London and at the Manchester Royal Exchange. He subsequently received the Critics' Circle Best Newcomer Award in recognition of his leading performance, along with Best Newcomer at the Manchester Evening News Theatre Awards. He was also nominated for the Milton Schulman Award for Outstanding Newcomer at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards and London Newcomer of the Year at the Whatsonstage Awards. He has since played leading roles at London's Royal Court Theatre, in Simon Stephens' play Wastwater and most recently in Polly Stenham's new play No Quarter.
LaBeouf was most recently seen in John Hillcoat’s crime drama, "Lawless," alongside Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Guy Pearce, Jessica Chastain and Mia Wasikowska. He will be seen next in Robert Redford’s "The Company You Keep," a thriller co-starring Redford, Julie Christie, Stanley Tucci, Susan Sarandon and Chris Cooper. He also stars in "The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman" opposite Evan Rachel Wood and Melissa Leo.
Baldwin was nominated for a Tony Award in 1992 for his performance in A Streetcar Named Desire. He has also been seen on Broadway in Loot, Serious Money and Twentieth Century. Baldwin received an Academy Award nomination for "The Cooler" and won two Emmy Awards for his work on NBC's "30 Rock." He appeared in the film adaptation of Rock of Ages.
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