22 Feb 2013
Thirty years ago today, the legendary flop Moose Murders opened—and closed—on Broadway.
The production was troubled from the outset. Its leading lady, Eve Arden, departed the production after the first preview citing "artistic differences," and Holland Taylor stepped into the role. (Taylor can currently be seen in Ann, her first post-Moose Broadway appearance.)
The play opened Feb. 22, 1983, following 13 previews, and Frank Rich's scathing review in the New York Times sealed the show's notoriety.
"A visit to Moose Murders," he wrote, "is what will separate the connoisseurs of Broadway disaster from mere dilettantes for many moons to come." But few would have a chance to earn the dubious distinction; the play posted its closing notice after a single performance.
Holed up in a seedy motel on the edge of the Mojave Desert, two former lovers unpack the deep secrets and dark desires of their tangled relationship, passionately tearing each other apart. Led by director Daniel Aukin (Back Back Back at MTC, 4,000 Miles), Tony winner Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur at MTC, Born Yesterday) and Sam Rockwell (A Behanding in Spokane, The Way Way Back) bring an explosive intensity to Sam Shepard’s (Buried Child, True West) landmark myth of the new Wild West.