Friday, July 8, 2011

Master Class Is Now in Session

The Manhattan Theatre Club's revival of Master Class opened last night at the Biltmore (now the Samuel J. Friedman) Theatre. The play with music, written by Terrence McNally, is about a series of Master Classes given by the late opera diva Maria Callas at Lincoln Center and won the 1996 Tony for Best Play. Zoe Caldwell played Callas in the original production, winning her fourth Tony for the role, and the show made helped a star out of relative newcomer Audra McDonald (who won her second featured actress Tony for her role in the show).

While the previous production was certainly a star vehicle in its way, the supporting performers were vital and integral to the story telling. This production, however, belongs entirely to Tyne Daly and her staggering performance in the central role. The sets and lights were noted on in some of the reviews, which can sometimes be an indication of Tony worthiness, but it is definitely too early to make any such assumptions. Given that this show will close long before the relevant Tony race heats up, Tyne Daly is the only likely candidate for a nomination for this production.

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