The drama of Shiagate continues! Yesterday actor Shia LaBeouf bowed out of the Broadway play Orphans, a month before it is scheduled to begin performances. The ever ominous phrase "creative differences" was used by way of an explanation, but the real reason seemed more complicated. And the story is not finished. The two latest developments in the saga are encouraging and absurd.
The encouraging news is that actor Ben Foster will be replacing LaBeouf in the production. Foster is a terrific film actor, intense but light on his feet, so it will be interesting to watch him make his stage debut. And this really is his debut, as The New York Times informs us that Foster "has never been in a play as a professional actor before." Yikes! Your first pro stage gig is in a troubled Broadway play starring Alec Baldwin? Talk about baptism by fire. Foster apparently auditioned for the role before losing it to LaBeouf, so now he gets a chance to prove the casting people wrong. Should be interesting to watch.
The absurd news is that it seems that the email LaBeouf sent to Baldwin and company apologizing for leaving the show, which he Tweeted yesterday, was plagiarized. Well, given that it was a sorta private email, let's say it was borrowed. In the email, LaBeouf wrote some lines about what it means to be a man — "He can tell you when he is lost. He can apologize, even if sometimes it's just to put an end to the bickering." — that were directly lifted from an old Esquire article. Oh, Shia. He can't even send an email authentically. Maybe Broadway really wasn't the place for him.