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.