*Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o has received rave reviews for her performance in actor/playwriter Danai Gurira‘s play “Eclipsed,” a role that marked Lupita’s New York stage debut. The production opened Off-Broadway at The Public Theater last October and ran until November 2015. The following year, it moved to the he John Golden Theatre on Broadway with an opening on March 6, 2016.
“Eclipsed” stars Saycon Sengbloh, Zainab Jah, Pascale Armand, Lupita and Akosua Busia, and follows women in the crossfire of the Second Liberian Civil War. Gurira’s description of abuse and the entrapment of these women is “harrowing,” according to reviewers. While the play itself has received plenty of praise, Nyong’o is reportedly upsetting investors, fans and producers of the show because she has missed some dates and unofficially requested to have Wednesdays off, according to Page Six.
“Wednesdays are her days off, but there was never an announcement, so fans are pissed when they come to the show and she’s not there,” said the insider, who adds that Nyong’o gives “exhaustion or ‘I have a sore toe’ ” as excuses for skipping work.
Meanwhile, on one of her off days, the star was spotted hanging out with Misty Copeland, further angering investors.
“They were banking on her fame and have not seen a return. The most disrespectful thing is taking off every Wednesday while being seen hanging out with Misty. If you’re too tired to work, stay in bed.”
READ RELATED STORY: Lupita Nyong’o Stares Down Audience Member Caught Filming ‘Eclipsed’
Another source says Nyong’o “hasn’t hustled . . . Tony voters are coming to see her. Fans fly in to see her. This isn’t Hollywood, and she’s bringing her movie-star privilege to Broadway.”
A source close to Nyong’o told us she’s only contractually obligated to be in seven shows a week. “She’s maybe missed a show or two because she was sick and lost her voice, but she was never expected to appear in Wednesday-evening shows. And she’s done more to promote this play than other nominees. This is her passion project that she is dedicated to and proud of.”
Gurira’s play has earned six Tony nominations, including a Best Lead Actress nod for Nyong’o, but has earned around $300,000 a week out of a potential $800,000.
“They produced a show with a very difficult subject matter, so the box office may not be what they want it to be, but you can’t put that on Lupita. The amount of publicity she’s done, I don’t think she could’ve done more,” said another insider.
Rick Miramontez, spokesman for “Eclipsed,” described Nyong’o as “a luminous star who has endeared herself to everyone backstage, onstage and front-of-house. The only feelings she has stirred up within the production are everyone’s strong desire for her to win a Tony Award.”