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‘The Price’ Broadway Opening: Timely Topics and Hard-Boiled Eggs for Dinner

Variety logo Variety 3/17/2017 Gordon Cox
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Danny DeVito is having a lot of breakfast for dinner these days.

Making his Broadway debut in the Roundabout Theater Company revival of “The Price,” DeVito finds a lot of comedy in eating a hard-boiled egg — one at each performance. “I eat eight eggs a week,” he said with a laugh following the opening night performance March 16. “I cut it back a little bit tonight, but usually eat the whole egg. The other night I choked on a shell! The weird thing is, I catch myself in the morning, I get up, I’m gonna make a couple of scrambled eggs and I go: Whoa, wait a minute!” (He’s been eating a lot of oatmeal instead.)

DeVito stars in the Arthur Miller play alongside Mark Ruffalo, Tony Shalhoub and Jessica Hecht. Broadway has seen a lot of Miller plays lately, but the last two — “A View from the Bridge” and “The Crucible,” both from iconoclastic director Ivo van Hove — were risky, nontraditional stagings.

“I  was really looking to do a play that was just actors on a stage, doing hard material, with people I knew and loved,” said Ruffalo, back on Broadway after making his debut in the 2006 revival of “Awake and Sing!” The project could, in part, serve as a counterweight to his work in effects-heavy blockbusters like the upcoming “Thor: Ragnarok” and “Avengers: Infinity War.”

“Some people feel like straight plays aren’t enough, like they need some sort of idea or concept, or they need to reinvent it,” he went on. “Which is fine, it’s great, but I was looking for something that would rely more on the acting and the writing.”

Although the show was written in 1968, it still feels notably relevant to the issues that face the country today. “It’s about the haves and the have-nots,” Shalhoub pointed out.

“At one point in the play Danny says, ‘I see that you are a very factual man. But some facts are funny,'” he continued. “And every time I hear that — you know what I’m thinking!”

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