Friday, October 31, 2014

The Real Thing Opens on Broadway

A new revival of Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing opened on Broadway last night and the reviews are in.  This production has gotten reviews that are all over the board.  Newsday raved about the production, telling its readers, "don't look here for a complaint about this being the third Broadway revival of Stoppard's 1982 dissection of adultery, the theater, radical politics, and other so-called real things of the aching heart.  Ewan McGregor and Maggie Gyllenhaal [make] impressively comfortable Broadway debuts … [and] everyone, including Cynthia Nixon, … is appealing and smart."  The New York Times, on the other hand, hated the show, saying, "Don't be misled by the title.  Authenticity is conspicuous only by its absence in the tinny revival which opened on Thursday night at the American Airlines Theatre."

Marilyn Stasio, of Variety Magazine, wrote, "The largely American cast performing here under the helming of Sam Gold seems overwhelmed, not to say cowed, by the scribe's blithely brittle humor.  Missing the subtlety of the satire, they seem to think this cutting comedy of manners is better played as earnest drama -- except for those jarring musical interludes when everyone drops out of character and sits around singing those 1950s and 60s pop songs of which Stoppard was notoriously fond."

The New York Post was the most mixed of any individual review.  That review said, "Tom Stoppard plays like The Coast of Utopia and Arcadia are reliably smart and witty, with intricate structures ... that flatter audience's ego and tickle the actors. No wonder Ewan McGregor, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Cynthia Nixon were drawn to this revival of The Real Thing: It's Stoppard to a T and, unlike a lot of his work, has a heart as well as a brain.  Yet the play feels like a kettle that simmers without ever reaching a  boiling point."

Take that for what you will.  Very mixed reviews of a play whose two previous Broadway productions did nothing but win Tony Awards.

No comments:

Post a Comment