The Ferris Bueller’s Day Off star is playing the lead role in The Starry Messenger, about a middle-aged astronomer who falls in love with a younger woman.
But the actor stunned fans when the curtain went up on Monday (26Oct09) for the show’s first preview, when he repeatedly forgot his lines.
A source told the New York Daily News, “It was an overall mess. He kept apologising under his breath after he forgot a line and everyone in the audience began to feel awkward.”
Broderick’s poor memory prompted the show’s producers to postpone the official opening of the play by a week, to 23 November (09) – but according to the New York Post, it’s not the actor who is at fault, it’s his pal, The Starry Messenger’s writer and director Kenneth Lonergan.
A Broadway insider says, “Matthew doesn’t know what he’s doing because Kenny doesn’t know what he’s doing. Kenny has lost his way.”
The tabloid claims rehearsals for the production have been “adrift” and “unfocused” when they take place and Lonergan is frequently absent or late for the run-throughs.
However, Geoff Rich, executive director of The New Group, which is producing the play, insists there are no plans to oust Lonergan, despite admitting the production has experienced some difficulties.
He says, “There is no consideration of a new director taking over. Is there a little bit of chaos and confusion? Yes. But there has been on every production of every play that we have produced here.”
These have not been first problems for The Starry Messenger – veteran actor Jonathan Hadary reportedly “left in disgust” when he walked out on the show in early October (09). Representatives for the play officially stated Hadary had to quit due to scheduling difficulties.