Thursday, October 19, 2006

"Solid"

Update: yesterday the news broke at All That Chat that Richard Easton had collapsed onstage during the Oct 18 preview of Voyage. See here and BWW forum for initial responses. Later word from the NYT is that it was a "cardiac event" (not a heart attack - BWW) and that he is conscious and stable. Understudy David Manis will play his role until his return. We wish Mr Easton a speedy recovery! By now there is wide coverage of this event.

Smartful Dodger at BroadwayWorld gives Voyage a thumbs-up:

Saw last night's preview. A solid production, even right out of the gate. Recognizing that Stoppard is often better read than performed AND that it was a first preview, I'll forgive some of the pacing issues; I'm sure things will get tighter as the show seasons in coming weeks.

There are some extraordinary bits of stagecraft, which I won't spoil; and, given that this is an epic story, the necessary "turntable" and "projection" elements are there and nicely used, creating some brilliant cinematic transitions.

The one performance to note is Billy Crudup's Belinsky. Absolutely extraordinary, even if it at times degenerates into an echo of Brad Pitt's schizoid character in 12 MONKEYS.

He also has this advice:
Stoppard contructs much of the dialogue among the Bakunin family, Balinsky, Herzen, and others off the ideas explored by the German and French, so I'd also get a sense of Hegel and Sand for context in this first installment. Otherwise, much of the wit in the conversations will be lost -- most of last night's audience missed some wonderfully humorous nuances in argument.

Cameron from Talkin' Broadway's All That Chat gives a similar appraisal (and some spoilers, beware):

Very solid overall, IMO, and in good shape for a first preview. Visually, it was one of the most beautiful sets I've ever seen. The effects of having actual falling leaves, a carriage-like wagon onstage and a miniature replica of a Moscow palace onstage were stunning.

The performances, for the most part, were first-rate. Billy Crudup, Martha Plimpton and especially Jennifer Ehle (who broke my heart throughout the night with an intensely real performance) were the standouts for me. Ethan Hawke and Richard Easton, as a bickering son and father, were also top-notch. Josh Hamilton, Brian O'Byrne and Jason Butler Harner do not have big parts in this part of the trilogy, but what I saw of them I liked. I had a hard time hearing Amy Irving and Kellie Overbey (I saw sixth row center, too). David Harbour was the weak link in my opinion; I couldn't stand his manic interpretation.

Overall, I really would highly recommend this and will probably see it again. I look forward to Shipwreck and Salvage.

Thanks to Rocco for the tip!

1 comment:

Kate said...

That's so scary about Richard Easton. I hope he is okay.