Broadway just isn’t what it used to be. Long gone are the days of witches flying through the air and upside-down tap dancing. , reports that the latest trend on the Great White Way? Passing out. At least that’s what’s happening at 1984, starring Olivia Wilde.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Wilde is making her Broadway debut with George Orwell’s 1984, the book you probably had to read in high school. That’s fine and all. Hollywood stars take to the stage all the time. Bradley Cooper did it. Jake Gyllenhaal did it. But Hello Giggles reports that four people actually fainted at Wilde’s show, so either she’s digging deep into her role or, as she puts it, “this is not your grandma’s Broadway.”
Reports don’t draw a direct connection between Wilde’s performance and the audience’s somewhat dramatic reaction, but let’s not underestimate the power (and sudden timeliness) of Orwell’s work, or Wilde’s acting chops. It could have been the heat in the theater, the production’s loud sound effects, or the intensity of the source material.
NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 07: Actress Olivia Wilde attends Target’s Toycracker Premiere Event at Spring Studios on December 7, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Mark Sagliocco/FilmMagic)
Wilde didn’t hesitate to acknowledge what happened, sending well wishes to the audience members that passed out. “Sending my love to those 4 people who fainted in the audience,” she wrote in a tweet.
Hello Giggles adds that writer Jill Schiefelbein, who attended one of the preview engagements (the show doesn’t officially open until June 22), described the experience as, “Intense. Emotional. Terrifying. Captivating.”
HOLLYWOOD, CA – FEBRUARY 28: Actress Olivia Wilde the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
Wilde joins fellow actors Tom Sturridge and Reed Birney in the new production. THR adds that 1984 has made its way back to the top of Amazon’s bestsellers list. It looks like readers are drawing some parallels between Orwell’s eerie work and the current state of affairs. Totalitarian regimes, Big Brother, and a population that doesn’t trust its government? It’s no surprise a few people just couldn’t take it.