Equal to, if not better than, London, November 2, 2006
Saw the complete Utopia marathon in London, and this is at least its equal. A wonderfully thought-out and gorgeously designed production. Bob Crowley's sets and Catherine Zuber's costumes continue to astound (William Dudley's London designs were also extraordinary). The direction and acting really cannot be bettered. It would be unfair to single anyone out, although Billy Crudup as the doomed, tubercular (a lot of these characters are, unsurprisingly, tubercular) Vissarion Belinsky gets a great set piece and does it full justice. Can't wait for Parts 2 and 3. But: Do some homework before going. Some people behind me (a) had never heard of Turgenev and (b) of course had no idea how to pronounce his name. Wonder what they made of most of it?
A Stoppard Classic, November 2, 2006
I admit that this somewhat "talky" production of "The Coast of Utopia", with its penchant for lengthy philosophical discussions, was responsible for me nodding off occasionally. But don't go by me! I can attest to the fact that the audience met this wonderful play, the first in the trilogy, called "Voyage", with enthusiasm. The stage design was absolutely spectacular -- creative and unique in its beauty. The massive cast seemed dedicated to their roles and executed them with spirit. Special acknowledgement goes to Billy Crudup who brought the character of Belinsky to life despite the fact that he was fighting a terrible cold. His was a stand-out performance and worth the price of the ticket. Highly recommended.
At All That Chat there's consensus that the production is stunning and well-acted, but some people find that the play is emotionally unengaging.