Sunday, April 14, 2024

Ben Stiller Sings and Plays Piano On Broadway


Who knew? Ben Stiller has made so many movies in the last few years, it was all getting to be a blur. But when he opens Monday night on Broadway in John Guare‘s “House of Blue Leaves,” audiences will get a big surprise: Ben sings, and plays piano. He’s not Van Cliburn, but he’s up there playing chords realistically. He’s also belting out the very funny songs sung by his character, Artie Shaughnessey without embarrassing himself it all.

On Saturday night, Laura Linney caught the show with husband Marc Schauer. It was a Showtime night since Linney is on the network’s “The Big C” because also in the audience was Showtime chief Matt Blank and wife Susan. Also catching the show was Guare himself–rare that a playwright shows up for a performance with guests, but Guare can be confident his 40 year old play is funnier and more tragic than ever. After the show, by the way, the crowds are thick outside waiting for Stiller and co-stars Edie Falco and Jennifer Jason Leigh to emerge from the stage door.

Ben is a late entry for most critics voting this week in various theater awards like the Outer Critics and the Tonys. The list of potential nominees among leading actors for Broadway shows is long, starting with Al Pacino, Robin Williams, Billy Crudup, Bobby Cannavale, Mark Rylance, and James Earl Jones. Heavy stuff.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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