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Tuesday, 20 June, 2000, 10:21 GMT 11:21 UK
Grammer sunk by Macbeth
Kelsey Grammer
Grammer called his scornful critics "ignorant"
US actor Kelsey Grammer's Broadway production of Macbeth has been declared a massive flop only a week into its run.

The Frasier star's show opened at New York's Music Box Theater on 15 June and had been scheduled to run until 30 July.

But, after suffering a loss of $1.5m (993,000), and a roasting from the critics, the show will now close on Sunday after only 13 performances.

Lady Macbeth isn't the only one sleepwalking on stage at Broadway's Music Box Theater

Associated Press theatre critic

Grammer's new production of Macbeth, directed by Royal Shakespeare Company director Terry Hands, had already received blistering reviews during its prerun in Boston.

Its producers wanted to close it altogether but Grammer put his own money into the show to bring it to New York - where the critics were waiting.

Ben Brantley, in The New York Times, called the production "blunt-witted". Entertainment magazine Variety termed Grammer's performance "an empty star turn".

The Associated Press said: "Lady Macbeth isn't the only one sleepwalking on stage at Broadway's Music Box Theater," describing Grammer as "a curiously muted villain".


Grammer, who is a stage-trained actor, was angered by the similarly cutting remarks from the Boston press.

But, dismissing the criticism as the opinion of the "ignorant", he prepared to brave the scorn of New York.

Kelsey Grammer
Grammer as Frasier has become a huge star

As the star of the hugely popular sitcom Frasier - and Cheers before that - Grammer had been quietly confident that, despite the critics, his huge fan base would keep his play afloat.

But the show has made only $169,205 (111, 000) out of a gross earning potential of $429,401 (284,000).

Despite his reputation for comedy, Grammer is no stranger to classical stage roles - or Macbeth.

He spent two years honing the art of tragedy and pathos at the prestigious Julliard School in New York.

From there, he joined San Diego's Old Globe Theatre. Later, he appeared on Broadway in productions of Othello and Macbeth.

But the Bard's Scottish play - mythically damned by a curse - possesses a long history of ill-reviewed Broadway productions, with versions starring the likes of Hollywood heart-throb Alec Baldwin being slated in recent years.

See also:

10 Jun 00 | Entertainment
Grammer braves Macbeth's curse
05 Jun 00 | Entertainment
British stars shine at Tonys
27 Oct 99 | Entertainment
Frasier star's emergency operation
14 Sep 98 | Entertainment
Frasier breaks record at Emmys
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