[...] Amber and I saw Coast of Utopia at the Lincoln Center with Ethan Hawke and Billy Crudup, both of whom were awesome. Billy Crudup wandered out of the theatre and bumped into us on the street, so we got to meet him and chat with him for a bit. [...]
[...] Pidge and I had a weekend in NY (four shows: Grey Gardens [good, not great]; Heartbreak House [brilliant]; The Drowsy Chaperone [3rd time; I love that show]; and Tom Stoppard's Coast of Utopia: Part One [epic; amazing direction (Jack O'Brien) and deep, deep script]; not to mention two cabaret shows [saw Stritch at the Carlyle -- cost an arm and a leg, but worth it]). [...]
At the Vivian Beaumont Theater, Lincoln Center, first of The Coast of Utopia trilogy by Tom Stoppard. EdieH reports :
"Unless you majored in 19th century Russian history, make sure you arrive about 15 minutes before the curtain rises at The Coast of Utopia—Voyage, the first part of Tom Stoppard’s trilogy. Fortunately, the historical background and synopsis of the play provided in the program are adequate preparation... The play is set in the 1840’s, the first act in Premukhino at the expansive estate of the Bakunin family, members of the noble class; and the second act in Moscow, recounting the same events from a different perspective. Voyage portrays events in the lives of the Bakunin’s four daughters and one son during the the rise of rebellion against serfdom and censorship under Tsar Nicholas I. The uprising, led by university student philosophers, known as Decembrists, sets up part two of the trilogy, Shipwreck.
The cast is serviceably led by several Stoppard alumni, including Ethan Hawke, Billy Crudup, Jennifer Ehle, and David Manis, playing the part of Bakunin patriarch, Alexander, in place of Richard Easton, who fell ill during Wednesday night’s performance. Mr. Manis’ performance was a highlight of the evening. His even-handed and humorous presentation stood out among the over-emotional performances of Mssrs. Hawke and Crudup. Amy Irving, as family matriarch, Varvara Bakunin, had the unfortunate job of portraying the evils of serfdom and was seen beating one of her properties.
The redundancy of key events in the second act, while organized to explain a complex story, led to some tedium during the evening and was, we presume, a necessary introduction to the next installment of the trilogy. Therefore, it is best to reserve judgment of Voyage until the complete story is told. In short: worth seeing if you plan to see all three parts of the play."
EdieH asks if anyone can elucidate the significance of the "Ginger Cat" in Act II? [...]
jennifer ehle was ok. she's a relatively prominant character, and her part was sweet, strange, and sad, but there wasn't a great deal of depth to it. she's really just an arch of a girl who's pining for an equally sweet and strange philosopher friend of her brother's. she was in most of the family scenes, which is most of act I. i see now that that halting way she has of speaking is just her voice, not something she did for mady macbeth. it's a little out of place here.