The It’s Only a Play revival hit Broadway Thursday night with Rupert Grint, Matthew Broderick, Stockard Channing and Nathan Lane all starring.

'It's Only A Play' Debut

It’s Only a Play centers on Peter Austin’s (Broderick) play’s opening night, on which he's fraught with worry that it won’t be much of a hit. Backstage, he interacts with TV star and best friend (Lane), the stage diva (Channing), a theater critic (F. Murray Abraham), the play's producer (Mullally) and his prodigious director (Grint).

Grint made his stage debut with the play, an experience that he’s found to be completely rewarding. “I was thousands of miles away from home and surrounded by people that are so experienced and really know comedy,” Rupert told the Evening Standard. 'It's not something I've really mastered, I must say, but just working with them I've learnt so much. I'm still very new to this theatre stuff but I love it and definitely want to do more. I get so much more out of it than I do with films.”

The revival of Terrence McNally’s 1986 comedy has not been receiving positive reviews from critics. “The jokes may be updated, but the satiric targets seem awfully familiar: the influx of British shows, actors who leave the theater to do bad television, critics who secretly want to write plays, and anybody who lives outside the Big Apple,” wrote Time critic Richard Zoglin. “No joke is too lame that it can’t be repeated a half-dozen times flogged mercilessly. Any decent sitcom writer could have boiled the thing down to a passable 60 minutes, but at two bloated acts, the show is both self-indulgent and interminable.”


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While the critics might not be warming to the updated play, the audiences, likely won over by the star power on the stage, have enjoyed the performance. In its first five previews alone, It’s Only a Play has grossed nearly $800,000.

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