Monday, December 14, 2009

Steppenwolf Avoids Stars, Making Its Own Instead -

When New York producers expressed interest, the two lead actors, Randy Steinmeyer and Peter DeFaria, who are standouts in Chicago, were dumped in favor of Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig. The critics were lukewarm on the Hollywood pairing, but audiences ignored the tepid reviews, pushing ticket sales for the play’s 12-week run into record-breaking territory.

Mr. DeFaria said he and Mr. Steinmeyer were aware that the producers wanted to get huge movie stars into the roles: “They were very upfront about it. I guess I just didn’t think it was a real possibility.”

Neither actor saw the play in New York. They might have, they said, if someone had invited them or sent them tickets. Instead, “They offered us house seats,” Mr. Steinmeyer said. “For $120 apiece.”