Friday, May 24, 2024

Alec Baldwn Upstaged in Broadway Return (And He Knows It)


Frankly Alec Baldwin knows he’s been upstaged in his Broadway return with Lyle Kessler’s “Orphans.” When I asked him at last night’s after party what he thought about Tom Sturridge, Baldwin said, sardonically, “Overrated.” Hey listen: once a long time ago Baldwin was the new guy in town. But Sturridge, 28, the son of famed British director Charles Sturridge and actress Phoebe Nicholls, is a sensation in “Orphans.” Today’s New York Times actually says he makes his Broadway debut with the words “Tony Award” tattooed on his forehead. I agree but in a good way. great re

Sturridge is also the fiancee of Sienna Miller, and they have a nine month old daughter. He’s three years younger than Sienna, is a little waifish and has very fine features set off by long dark hair and blackish eyes. On stage in Orphans he literally bounces around the whole set as if he’s on an invisible pogo stick. It’s a very athletic performance although when I said that, Sturridge seemed quizzical. “Athletic? I’m not even sure what I’m doing up there I’m so much in the zone.”

Ben Foster, the 31 year old movie actor of great renown, makes his own Broadway debut in “Orphans” laying Sturridge’s brother. He’s terrific, at ease, and makes a smooth transition to the stage. Still, he told me, “There’s a lot of vomiting every night.” Foster is highly regarded, and just behind Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper, waiting for his breakthrough role. It’s coming. In the meantime, he’s sold on Broadway. and hoping to return soon.

The three actors make for an exciting evening on Broadway despite the ludicrous review in today’s New York Times. “Orphans” is never anything but riveting. Baldwin plays the father figure to these two brothers with ironic humor that has absolutely no relation to Baldwin’s “30 Rock” character. His Arnold is like a sinister fairy godfather who you know won’t be sticking around for long.

In the audience last night: actress Robin Wright, who’s dating Foster, chatted with Sienna Miller at the dinner at Espace. Baldwin was cheered by pregnant wife Hilaria, and “30 Rock” castmate Jane Krakowski. Jesse Tyler Ferguson of “Modern Family” was there, as was Ben Foster’s talented actor brother Jon who came with girlfriend Chelsea Tyler (daughter of Steven, sister of Liv).

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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