Frost/Nixon, the Ron Howard-directed adaptation of the Peter Morgan play, seems to be getting off to a rocky start. It opened the London Film Festival on Wednesday, and the first reviews have been less than kind, essentially saying that the largely interview-heavy piece doesn’t make the jump from stage to screen all that well.
That’s too bad, especially considering that the stars of the Broadway show — Frank Langella (above left), who won a Tony for his performance as President Nixon, and Michael Sheen (above right) — are along for the film ride. The film opens in limited release in December, and it was thought to be among the handful of early favorites for best picture come Oscar time.
So what does this have to do with us? Dallas Summer Musicals is bringing the play to town April 28- May 3, 2009. If the movie is a dud, it’s a tough call as to how that will affect local interest.
On the one hand, if the film went on to Oscar gold, no doubt many of us would be eager to catch the stage version. Other touring shows like Chicago surely benefited from buzz built around an acclaimed movie. But that buzz won’t be around if the movie is bad, meaning those theatergoers who only go see a stage show if they liked the movie might stay home.
On the other hand, those who thought that they might skip the play because they could see it on film might rather wait for the play, Why sour what could be a memorable theatergoing experience with the bad taste of a sub-par movie?
My guess is that once more reviewers see it, the film will gain some good reviews to balance out the bad — it’s got too many critical darlings associated with it not to. Stay tuned.