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Nicole Kidman's 'Blue' Broadway

There is nudity on the Great White Way, now that actress Nicole Kidman has made her Broadway debut in The Blue Room.

The stars lined up to see the play with the hottest ticket in town. The show's three-month run is sold out, and seats are being scalped for a reported $1,600 a ticket, reports CBS This Morning Co-Anchor Mark McEwen. Among comments from those arriving at Sunday night's opening:

"Nicole Kidman is naked in the thing, but I hear the acting is good, too." Regis Philbin

"I can't wait to see everyone nude!" Rosie O'Donnell

Much of the interest in The Blue Room is due to Kidman's onstage nudity, so for her, opening night was filled with jitters.

"It was nerve-wracking, and I'm glad it's over," she said after the performance. "I don't know if I'll be jumping at the chance to do it again."

Husband Tom Cruise was in Sunday night's audience and boasted about his wife's success.

Tom Cruise (CBS)
"It's incredible," he said. "Here's this girl from Australia. Now she's on Broadway in this big hit show, and on the cover of Newsweek. It's incredible."

Kidman and costar Iain Glen play a total of five couples enjoying various sexual escapades. The play got mixed reviews in Monday morning's newspapers, but Sunday night's audience thought it was a winner.

"They did an incredible job, and it's very believable," said singer and former Miss America Vanessa Williams. Comedian Carol Burnett pronounced the play "well written and acted." And Cruise had praise for both his wife and her costar: "Both of them are unbelievable in the play."

The Blue Room is scheduled to run on Broadway through March 7.

Here's what the critics said:

  • Ben Brantley of The New York Times, calls it "a deft, efficient and sometimes amusing piece of work" that "doesn't stir you emotionally." But he has higher praise for Kidman: "Theater ghouls who thrive on watching big stars from another medium stumble onstage have nothing to dine out on here. Ms. Kidman gives a winningly accomplished performance, shifting accents and personae with an assured agility that never stoops to showing off or grandstanding."

    The theater critic says "there's little erotic chemistry" between Glen and Kidman, and sums up by writing: "The entire evening is not unlike Ms. Kidman's much-discussed body: smooth, pale and slender."

  • Linda Winer of New York Newsday says Kidman should not be dismissed as siply a movie star. While calling the production "oddly mechanical," Winer praises Kidman as "emphatically a stage creature, a nervy talent with a dancer's trust in her long, spiky body to nail powerful emotional complexities that her delicate features belie."
  • In the New York Daily News, critic Fintan O'Toole wryly comments: "Â…though it may be the corniest chatup line in the book, the real revelation is not Nicole Kidman's lithe and willowy body, but her mind. What shines through most powerfully is her brilliant theatrical intelligence, the speed and subtlety with which she adopts and adapts five very different characters."
  • Donald Lyons of the New York Post says: "Kidman is brilliant throughout, using her hips, her legs, the tilt of her head, the purr of her voice, every ounce of her sveltely voluptuous body to get across not just allure, but the specific attitudes of all five women to their bodies and their lives."
All of the critics had kind words for Kidman's costar, Glen, who, according the Daily News critic O'Toole, "acts as tuning fork and lightning conductor, always setting the right note, always earthing Kidman's erotic charge in a carefully defined reality."

While all the New York critics took pains to address the onstage nudity within the context of the play, at least one newspaper, the Daily News, couldn't resist indulging in a splashy front-page headline: "Naked Nicole Takes B'Way."

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