Monday, October 4, 2010

Brief Encounter Reviews

I wanted to catch up a bit on a back review I forgot to post.  On September 28th, the Roundabout Theatre Company's production of Brief Encounter, an adaptation of the Noel Coward and David Lean film, opened at Studio 54.

Variety called the show "a consistent parade of jolts of playhouse wonderment" and went on to compare the show in some ways to the adaptation of Hitchcock's The 39 Steps from a few years back.  That review gave strong praise for Emma Rice's (who also wrote the adaptation) direction and the musical arrangements by Stu Barker.  While leading players Hannah Yelland and Tristan Sturrock got honorable mention as part of the "uniformly strong" cast, supporting players Dorothy Atkinson and, particularly, Damon Daunno got stellar reviews.  Neil Murray's sets and costumes also were strongly favored in the Variety review.

The New York Times also praised "Ms. Rice and her wonderful company [who] have made it possible to embrace Brief Encounter once more with feeling, and without irony and embarrassment."  The Times review also praises the "unflaggingly inventive design team [that] doesn't just conjure up different locations with witty efficiency.  It also subtly conveys the transformative, dissociative nature of passion."

As far as I can tell from this set of reviews, Ms. Rice seems pretty set to get a Tony nomination for her direction, as is Neil Murray's set design, with an 80%-or-so shot for Malcolm Rippeth's light design, Mr. Murray's costumes, and Mr. Barker's compositions and a better than average chance for supporting acting nominations for Dorothy Atkinson and Damon Daunno.

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