The musical was a huge hit in New York in the 1960s, starring Dick Van Dyke in the lead role – but the new adaptation could be shortlived after a savage reception to Thursday’s (15Oct09) opening night.
Stamos and Gershon were singled out for particular criticism from the New York Daily News, whose reviewer called them “surprisingly robotic”.
The New York Post’s Elisabeth Vincentelli added the pair “both look half-paralyzed by stress. Stamos’ face is frozen in a strained mask…and Gershon… is at sea as the feisty Rose Alvarez.”
New York Times reviewer Ben Brantley, meanwhile, predicted the show will turn audiences off, adding, “Theatergoers may feel an empathetic urge to rush home and bury their heads in their pillows.”
Bye Bye Birdie is scheduled to run at the Henry Millers Theatre through to January (10).