Brendan Fraser, Jennifer Coolidge heading to Broadway in 'Elling'
They may be better known as George of the Jungle and Stifler's mom, respectively, but this fall, Brendan Fraser and Jennifer Coolidge will be heading to Broadway to star in "Elling," a new play based on a series of Norwegian novels by Ingvar Ambjørnsen.
"Elling" is set to open officially at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on Nov. 21, with a closing date of March 20. The play has been adapted for the stage by Axel Hellstenius and Petter Naess, both of whom worked on the 2001 Oscar-nominated film of the same name. The English-language version of the play was written by Simon Bent.
Tony winner Denis O'Hare will play the title role, a middle-aged poet who goes to live in a mental institution after the death of his mother. There, he meets a gentle giant (Fraser), and the duo embark on an adventure that involves learning to live in the sometimes-hostile outside world.
Also in the cast is Tony winner Richard Easton, who will play the poet-mentor to Elling. Coolidge will play the love interest of Fraser's character.
Doug Hughes, who won a Tony for directing "Doubt," will stage the Broadway run of the play. The comedy was previously produced on London's West End, where it was directed by Paul Miller.
The film version of "Elling" was nominated for a foreign-film Oscar but lost to "No Man's Land" from Bosnia.
-- David Ng
Photo: Brendan Fraser. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times