Yes, The Big Lebowski has been appearing live recently, but it doesn’t mean the Dude himself is on tour.
As it turns out, Jason Reitman, the director of Up in the Air and the son of Ghostbuster director Ivan Reitman, has been setting up live readings of the Big Lebowski screenplay, among other films, and these performances have apparently become quite a hit.
As Steve Pond of TheWrap reports, these live script readings have been going on at the L.A. County Museum of Art, and they will be coming back once Jason completes his next movie.
In the live version of Lebowski, Seth Rogen played the Dude, and they also put on readings of The Breakfast Club, Shampoo, The Princess Bride, and Reservoir Dogs.
Interestingly enough, the reading of Res Dogs had an almost all African American cast with Terrence Howard, Laurence Fishburne and Anthony Mackie, with comedian Patton Oswalt being the one lone white holdout. TheWrap also explains that these readings usually sell out before the titles are even announced, and other actors who’ve come aboard include Steve Carrell, Natalie Portman, Diane Lane, Olivia Wilde, Bradley Cooper and Paul Rudd.
Apparently the Lebowski show really brought down the house, and the cast included Rainn Wilson, Christina Hendricks, Fred Savage, and Jason Alexander.
Interestingly enough, this reminds me of a funny reading that screenwriter John August put on when he was still a student at USC. August is the screenwriter of The Corpse Bride, Charlie’s Angels, and the upcoming Frankenweenie, and once Showgirls broke the screenplay record for $3 million, he got a copy and put on a live version of it to see what $3 million could buy you in Hollywood. Apparently not much.