TO SEE OR NOT TO SEE: “Virginia Woolf” & “Cyrano”
There were two big Broadway openings in the last week and just because I haven’t had a chance to see them, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t! Let’s see what the critics have to say:
In celebration of its fiftieth anniversary, the Edward Albee classic of marital gamesmanship returns to Broadway in a blistering Steppenwolf production starring Amy Morton (August: Osage County) and Tracy Letts (Pulitzer-winning playwright of August:Osage County).
“…the soul ache this superlative staging leaves behind is accompanied by a feeling far more emotionally enriching: the exhilaration of a fresh encounter with a great work of theater revitalized anew.” New York Times
“The story, in which two married couples share a boozy, increasingly unhinged night, has lost none of its power to keep an audience on edge.” New York Post
“These are both exciting, rich performances, and while they capture a different dynamic, they get the game-playing nature of Albee’s dialogue just right…” Variety
“In Letts’ and Morton’s capable hands, George and Martha emerge as historic icons, America’s first couple of passive-aggressive dysfunction.” Entertainment Weekly
Mizer’s Two Cents: I haven’t made it to the Broadway staging but I saw this production (with this same cast) when it was at the Arena Stage last year; I was astonished and riveted. Judging by the reviews, this sensational revival of a true American classic is still firing on all blazing cylinders.
Tony-winner Douglas Hodge (La Cage Aux Folles) headlines a revival of the popular–and much copied–French play about a man with a nose for romance.
“This gale force has a name, Douglas Hodge, and it is inhabiting, enlivening and almost exploding the title character of Edmond Rostand’s beloved chestnut of a play…” New York Times
“…while Jamie Lloyd’s production excels at the comedy, it misses the target when it comes to the play’s somber side.” New York Post
“Ditching the affected manners, elaborate court dress, and elegant verse readings…the Brit director portrays Cyrano as a swashbuckling military leader with the same lusty appetites as his soldiers…But a lack of restraint spoils the fun, making it all seem too big (Cyrano’s honker), too much (stomping on tables), and over the top (Douglas Hodge’s star turn).” Variety
“A good Cyrano is all about casting — particularly the poetry-spewing, large-nosed hero. Here, thankfully, Douglas Hodge turns in a performance that’s got lots of gusto — and possibly just too much…” Entertainment Weekly