Sunday, May 19, 2024

Larry David Makes His Broadway Debut to a Packed House of Faithful Fans


There were no celebrities per se in the audience on Monday night, but there were a lot on the stage. Larry David made his Broadway debut with the first preview of his play, “Fish in the Dark.” David stars as Norman, an extension of “Larry David,” his character from “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” Rita Wilson plays Brenda (aka the put upon “Cheryl” wife) and there is a big cast including Broadway faithful Ben Shenkman, Jane Houdyshell, and, very very briefly, Jerry Adler.

Also making his debut is 19 year old Jake Cannavale, son of Bobby Cannavale and Jenny Lumet, grandson of Sidney Lumet, great grandson of Lena Horne. Imagine carrying all that around with you. And he’s going to be fine. (He can’t be reviewed yet, no one can, but trust me, he’s a natural.)

The audience ate up the two hour and twenty minute comedy (including intermission). There was  one minor technical glitch, but no “Spider Man” type incident. Larry looked extremely thin from the mezzanine, but also totally comfortable on stage. Rosie Perez has taken time from “The View” to play a fairly large role, and she also seemed very natural. Everyone involved needs to project more, except for Shenkman and Houdyshell, who know the lay of the land.

I broke the first story about this play sometime ago, so I thought I’d check it out. Also, it’s produced by Scott Rudin (and about 40 other people) who is now famous from the hacked Sony emails. I bought my own ticket. Even though the smallish Cort Theater looked pretty sold out, a few people were still able to buy balcony tickets at the last minute. It’s fine to sit up there. This is not a musical, you’re not missing anything.

Putting Larry David on Broadway is probably like printing money. His fans will come in droves. Of course, he’s irreplaceable, so if he misses a show they’ll have to cancel. But my guess is this fish will glow in the dark for some time.

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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