re: Actors that phoned in their performance

Gothampc
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/03
We all know that sometimes actors have a bad performance. But is there anyone you can name that just phoned in their performance?
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Updated On: 8/23/06 at 02:59 PM
Fosse76
Broadway Legend
joined:3/21/05
Tim Curry in Spamalot. That had to be the most uninspired performance I'd ever seen.
singtopher
Broadway Legend
joined:12/28/05
I don't recall any specific performance overall, but I have seen moments being phoned in.

I always love it when actors react before the moment. Cracks me up!
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ILoveMyDictionary
Broadway Legend
joined:4/8/06
Derrick Williams in Wicked. It seemed like he was sleeping throughout his performance. He continually blew lines that could have been hilarious.
JACXR71
Broadway Star
joined:6/29/05
Might catch some flack for this, but the last time I saw Rent, Matt Caplan looked COMPLETELY uninterested in being there. Then again, this was several years after I saw it for the first time, also with Matt Caplan, who was just starting out and very enthusiastic.
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DottieD'Luscia
Broadway Legend
joined:7/23/03
Faith Prince in a performance of Guys and Dolls.
Hey Dottie! Did your colleagues enjoy the cake even though your cat decided to sit on it? ~GuyfromGermany
billyweeds
Understudy
joined:7/8/03
Never have seen a less committed (i.e., more phoned-in) performance on Broadway than Barbra Streisand in "Funny Girl" (and not all that late in the run, either). I guess she was saving herself for the movie, in which she was admittedly great. But live on Broadway she was a sleepwalker.
bwayondabrain
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/05
Dee Hoty in MAMMA-MIA

worst performance I've seen on a Broadway stage
Popular
Broadway Legend
joined:1/8/05
YAWN

Boring! Is there a purposeful reason to start and contribute to hurtful threads like these?
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
Jerry Orbach in 42nd Street. He had already been in the show for well over a year, and he was completely paint-by-numbers in it.

So was Topol in the Fiddler revival... oddly enough until "To Life!", where he suddenly came alive and commited to the rest of the show. It was a completely different person on stage from the first part of the show. I'm thinkin' there was real booze in that tavern scene!

George Rose, the second time I saw Edwin Drood. The first time, he was fantastic, and really captured the spirit of the whole show. A year later, he was crawling through it.


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Updated On: 8/23/06 at 03:28 PM
WithoutATrace
Broadway Legend
joined:11/27/04
Steve Blanchard in BEAUTY & THE BEAST...the only phoned in performance I have ever seen.

My mom saw Barbra in FUNNY GIRL and said she was fabulous...maybe there was someone famous in the audience that evening!
Princeton78
Broadway Legend
joined:8/17/04
Carolee Carmello in "Mamma Mia."
I sat through the show again just to see her. I know the powerhouse chops that woman has, and she wasn't even trying.
I was really dissapointed and lost a lot of respect for her as a performer after that.

I'd also mention a recent current Tony winner who seemed to be just walking her way through a poor Karen Walker impersonation for about 1 hour and 50 minutes, but people on this board might get mad at me.
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DottieD'Luscia
Broadway Legend
joined:7/23/03
I don't see anything hurtful about this thread. I love Faith Prince as a performer and saw her on a couple of occasions in G&D and having something to compare it to, I was aware of a performance late in her run where she just wasn't as commited to the material.

During the Joseph revival in the 90s, the ensemble was literally goofing off during the entire show. It was extremely distracting. I had a friend in that production and even questioned her about it afterwards (and she totally agreed).
Hey Dottie! Did your colleagues enjoy the cake even though your cat decided to sit on it? ~GuyfromGermany
Updated On: 8/23/06 at 03:31 PM
ruprecht
Broadway Legend
joined:3/16/05
This isn't even close to being a nasty thread popular, really. I see alot of phoned in performances in the ensemble. It's obvious that since the spotlight isn't on them, they think it gives them license to goof off, have "real time" conversations, etc... I won't bother mentioning the worst offenders, but I will say, the shows are currently running. As for completely phoned in performances by leads, Staci Francis (love her btw), was really guilty of that in Footloose. Matter of fact, many in that show were and I saw it way more than once.
WithoutATrace
Broadway Legend
joined:11/27/04
Carolee Carmello phoned in MAMMA MIA??? I find that very hard to believe...

I saw her in the show about a month or so before she left and thought she was fabulous! Maybe she was just having an off-night when you saw her.
bwayondabrain
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/05
princeton, might you be referring to Beth Leavel?

i cant be mean to you, though, because i saw her understudy

:P
hortonhearsasam
Featured Actor
joined:7/12/04
Adam Pascal in Aida. Just awful.
Princeton78
Broadway Legend
joined:8/17/04
She looked bored...really bored.
She wasn't too far into her run either, if I remember correctly.
"Y'all have a GRAND day now"
Mother's Younger Brother
Broadway Legend
joined:12/17/04
Brian Stokes Mitchell in Kiss Me Kate
Bernadette Peters in Gypsy
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
They give the performance and we evaluate the work.

We are allowed to judge it. It's part of the gig. They knew that when they signed on to be actors in the first place... and when they got my ticket money. I don't HAVE to like what they do, and I don't have to keep silent about it.

I'm owed a decent performance for my ticket money. And if I don't get one, I have the right to say that. Any way I see fit.

If that is "hurtful" to them, then they need to get out of the business... right away.
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Mamie
Broadway Legend
joined:3/26/04
The most recent was certainly Tim Curry in Spamalot. It was right at the beginning of the run. He looked like he would have traded an arm not to be there. He made me wish he hadn't been there too.
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mamie4 5/14/03
The Distinctive Baritone
Broadway Legend
joined:8/28/04
I second Brian Stokes Mitchell in Kiss Me Kate. I saw the last preview performance, and he was electric, amazing. I saw him again a year later shortly before his contract was up and he looked miserable like he couldn't wait to go home. I'm serious.

Also, Robert Cuccioli the second time I saw J&H. Again, brilliant when the show opened, obviously bored out of his mind a year later.
KuhnKrazy
Broadway Star
joined:8/1/04
Alene Robertson in Annie. Yes, I know she was sick but this was many, many months earlier. Judging from a couple of comments I heard at intermission, I wasn't the only who felt that way.
Updated On: 8/23/06 at 03:51 PM
ashley0139
Broadway Legend
joined:1/3/05
I'll agree with Matt Caplan. I was extremely disappointed by his performance. He had no personality or spark whatsoever.
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ILoveMyDictionary
Broadway Legend
joined:4/8/06
I don't see anything hurtful in this thread as well. Actors know when they are not giving it their all, and it shouldn't be surprising to them that their audiences relize it.
LizzieCurry
Broadway Legend
joined:3/7/05
JP Dougherty for the last 2/3 of his 45-year run as Thénardier on tour.
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