Moose Murders is a play by Arthur Bicknell, self-described as a mystery farce. A notorious flop, it is now widely considered the standard of awfulness against which all Broadway failures are judged, and its name has become synonymous with those distinctively bad Broadway plays which open and close on the same night. It had its single performance (excluding its 13 previews) at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre on February 22, 1983.
Eve Arden, Our Miss Brooks.The original Broadway production at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre was marred by problems even before it opened. Eve Arden in the lead role was seeking a return to Broadway after 40 years, but dropped out after the second preview. This was said to be due to "artistic differences"—but another source has suggested that it was because she could not remember her lines.
A 40 year hiatus. Oh my.
I would pay good money to see the highlighted bit.theater critic Frank Rich commented in his review of the play that there would now "always be two groups of theatergoers in this world: those who have seen Moose Murders, and those who have not ... A visit to Moose Murders is what will separate the connoisseurs of Broadway disaster from mere dilettantes for many moons to come." He later described it as "the worst play I've ever seen on a Broadway stage". Rich's original review stated that "Even Act One of Moose Murders is inadequate preparation for Act Two," and that "I won't soon forget the spectacle of watching the mummified Sidney rise from his wheelchair to kick an intruder, unaccountably dressed in a moose costume, in the groin." In an end-of-season review, he described Moose Murders as "the season's most stupefying flop—a show so preposterous that it made minor celebrities out of everyone who witnessed it, whether from on stage or in the audience."