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‘Ten Commandments’ scales back performances

Big-budget musical cuts three shows a week after bad reviews
/ Source: The Associated Press

The big-budget stage musical “The Ten Commandments,” starring Val Kilmer as Moses, has canceled three performances per week after receiving negative reviews.

The show, which opened last week, is being retooled, producers said Monday. Performances on Tuesday and Wednesday night as well as Wednesday matinees at the Kodak Theater will be canceled to give the creative team and cast time to rehearse, producers said.

“Like any new show, our creative team is continuing to work and we’ve decided that it will be to our advantage to play six performances a week while we have our cast in rehearsal during the day in order to make changes,” producer Charles Cohen said in a statement.

Last Friday, The New York Times called the show a “bland, static, overproduced and underdirected musical” that “unfolds here like a long, lumbering fancy-dress episode of ‘American Idol.”’

But Cohen said he has been “thrilled” with audience reaction, which includes standing ovations at every performance.

Kilmer, who gave voice to Moses in the 1998 DreamWorks animated film “The Prince of Egypt,” got mixed reviews for “The Ten Commandments,” in which he declaims his lyrics rather than singing them.

The show is based on a French musical production and was brought to Los Angeles by fashion designer Max Azria.

The producers said they hope to take the show on the road after its Los Angeles run.