04/21/2004 at 12:00 AM EDT
The drama critics on New York's daily newspapers had mixed reactions to the new Broadway production of Shakespeare's "Macbeth," which opened Thursday night with "Frasier" star Kelsey Grammer in the lead. While most of the reviewers gave the actor passing grades, while disliking the production itself, the reputedly most powerful critic of the bunch, Ben Brantley of The New York Times, was singularly unimpressed by Grammer -- especially his entrance in the show. On the other hand, opines Brantley, "it forestalls that disruptive shock of recognition that might prompt some rowdy theatergoer to yell out, 'Where's Niles?' " Grammer confirmed to the New York Post that he put up part of the financial stake in the $1.5 million show, which is set for a limited run. While Grammer's precise contribution to the production was not given, it is believed to be substantial.