Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Venus in Fur Opens on Broadway

The Boradway transfer of David Ives' play, Venus in Fur, opened last night at Manhattan Theater Club's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (formerly the Biltmore). The show has gotten pretty strong reviews, having largely improved from its highly acclaimed off-Broadway run earlier this year. Much of the credit goes to the production's leading actress, Nina Arianda -- a Tony nominee for her performance as Billy Dawn in last year's Born Yesterday. Credit should also be given to Walter Bobbie, the production's director, for having recast the male lead with Hugh Dancy, who now balances out the show; a number of reviews had pointed out that, in the off-Broadway incarnation of the show, Arianda basically carried the show herself due to the less-than-stellar male performance, but with the role recast, that problem is alleviated. The sexual chemistry between the two actors is, seemingly, so strong as to set off sparks. The New York Times has said that Arianda's performance is "the first must-see performance of the Broadway season, a bravura turn that burns so brightly you can almost feel the heat on your face," and that Dancy holds his own opposite her is no small feat. I am predicting Tony nominations all around. Certainly for Best Play, Actress, Actor, Director, and most, if not all, of the design awards.

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