Front Row At First Performance

Shia LaBeouf, stalker? It's hard to know what the actor meant by booking a front row seat for the first preview performance for Orphans, the play he quit last month after a much-talked-about row with its director and co-star Alec Baldwin.

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Is Shia LaBeouf supportive? Or intimidating?

That's what audience members and cast were asking Tuesday night when the Transformers actor showed up at the first preview show of Orphans, the play he quit in February amidst a storm of controversy, including a flaming public row with Alec Baldwin.

The New York Times, which incidentally says LaBeouf was fired from Orphans instead of quitting, said that the actor sat in the aisle seat in the front row at the Schoenfeld Theater Tuesday night — and that he leaped "to his feet before any other audience member to give a standing ovation at the end."

The Times also said Orphans star Alec Baldwin "noticed" LaBeouf at one point in the show and "fixed on him for a beat; it was unclear if he was surprised to see him there."

An Orphans rep said LaBeouf didn't tell the production team he'd be going to the show.

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Sooooo, what does this mean? He came without telling anyone, which is strange. But he also gave the play's actors a standing O, which seems gracious.

Maybe LaBeouf feels guilty about the fracas, which saw him unleashing a weird rant on Twitter, as well as posting many personal emails between him and Baldwin and other Orphans insiders.

There were several exchanges, but the nastiest involved a tweet Shia LaBeouf sent that seemed to take aim at Baldwin: "The theater belongs not to the great but to the brash." No, this isn't a famous quote: The Onion's AV Club called it a "conflation of sentiments expressed by the likes of David Mamet and Constantin Stanislavski."

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When asked about the tweet by Vulture, famously hot-headed Baldwin said that he wasn't interested in the opinion of a movie actor who "came into a rehearsal room for six or seven days."

LaBeouf responded by tweeting images of private emails including one between he and "Sulyboy," which seems to be Orphans director Daniel Sullivan. It read in part, "Don't be too surprised if Alec doesn't look up from his script much for the first few days. I suspect he's not nearly as prepared as you are."

Ugh. So you can see why Baldwin might have given him the ol' side-eye from the stage.

Image courtesy Nikki Nelson/WENN.com

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