When Katie Holmes suddenly divorced Tom Cruise this summer, it seemed like a chance for her to revitalize her career after a series of underwhelming roles she took on during her marriage. (Mad Money, anyone?) Now her big Broadway comeback will end after just seven weeks, due to poor ticket sales: Last week the play had the lowest attendance of any on Broadway.
Katie’s career suffered during her time with Tom. She turned down a role in the critically acclaimed blockbuster The Dark Knight, and none of the roles she did choose made a mark. When she played first lady Jackie in The Kennedys, the movie ended up going straight to TV instead of playing in theaters.
Holmes has attempted other “comebacks” before, including that role in The Kennedys. But her role in the Broadway play Dead Accounts was supposed to be something different. This was a serious stage role, written by proven playwright (and Smash creator) Theresa Rebeck and performed alongside critically acclaimed co-stars. The comedy is about a man returning home to Cincinnati from New York; she played the man’s sister, an Ohio girl something like the one she might have become if she hadn’t found success in Hollywood. “What I really loved about this character was she’s strong underneath it all,” Katie told US Weekly. “I like her values, I like that she’s trying to figure it all out and really cares for her family.”
But first the play’s debut was postponed by Hurricane Sandy. And then the critics were not kind to Katie. New York magazine called her “insanely miscast.” “The former Mrs. Tom Cruise is overwhelmed by her co-star and lost in a mediocre play,” Time’s critic wrote in a review headlined “Katie Holmes Trapped on Broadway.” The kinder critics emphasized just how hard Katie tried, or how much enthusiasm she showed in the role — not exactly high praise.
And so, Dead Accounts will close January 6, after 27 previews and just 44 regular performances. According to IMDB, her next roles are in “modern retelling of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull set in rural New England” and a romantic comedy with Chace Crawford. Don’t call it a comeback.