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On The Scene: ‘The Shark Is Broken,’ inspired by the making of ‘Jaws,’ on Broadway

Previously performed in the UK, "The Shark Is Broken" is a limited engagement with performances at the John Golden Theatre scheduled through Nov. 19.

Sep 27, 2023, 10:05 AM

Updated 264 days ago

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A play inspired by the making of the movie "Jaws" is being performed on Broadway. And one of its stars, Ian Shaw, is the son of a cast member in that legendary blockbuster. Shaw is playing his own father, Robert Shaw.
Ian Shaw also co-wrote "The Shark Is Broken" (with Joseph Nixon), a comedy centered on the increasingly tense relationship between Shaw and actor Richard Dreyfuss. The two butted heads aboard the shark fishing vessel The Orca as mechanical problems with the shark and other issues caused the shoot to drag on for weeks. The third actor on board, Roy Scheider, assumed the role of peacemaker according to Hollywood legend.
Shaw says his father's drinking problem only made things worse.
"He was unable to initially complete the famous Indianapolis speech much to his embarrassment," says Shaw of his father. "And secondly, I think because of the delays and the heavy drinking, I think that also affected his relationship with Richard Dreyfuss."
Shaw was a veteran actor and Dreyfuss was an ambitious newcomer to the big screen when "Jaws" was filmed.
"I think the source of the tension is that Robert wanted Richard to focus on the work and not on fame or success. Although we don't 100% know. Some people have said it might have been to get a great performance, to improve the chemistry," says Shaw.
In addition to Shaw, "The Shark Is Broken" stars Colin Donnell as Roy Scheider and Alex Brightman as Dreyfuss.
Previously performed in the UK, "The Shark Is Broken" is a limited engagement with performances at the John Golden Theatre scheduled through Nov. 19.


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