Saturday, May 05, 2007

173 down, 7 to go...

As of today, it's a tearful au revoir to the Marathon!


Tim at My Stupid Dog considers Utopia 'quite simply the best thing I have ever seen on a stage.'

The feat performed by Mr. Director is given the thumbs up once again:

[...] With a cast of forty-four and more than eighty speaking parts, this production would be massive by any standard. (The cast of the 2002 London production was smaller by a third.) Yet fluid, ingenious direction from Jack O’Brien ensures that every moment of this trilogy is enthralling, delightful, and deeply heartfelt. [...]

He also gives perhaps the highest praise yet for Mr. O'Byrne:

[...] Brian O'Byrne may be the only living American actor capable of the emotional, intellectual, physical and vocal demands of this enormous role. His booming baritone easily fills the thousand-seat Vivian Beaumont Theater - no easy task, since most of this production is performed without amplification. On days when all three parts of Coast are performed back-to-back, O’Byrne appears onstage for nearly five exhausting hours, all but shouting to the gallery the entire time. [...]

The commendations extend to the rest of the cast, although a few people are omitted:

[...] Ethan Hawke ... gives O’Byrne a fair run for his money. Hawke endows his young Mikhail Bakunin with movie-star glamour (and, more slyly, more than a little movie-star narcissism), then ages convincingly into a bitter, unsympathetic bomb-thrower. Amy Irving successfully tackles multiple roles, as Bakunin’s flibbertigibbet mother in Voyage and a shocking bisexual temptress in Shipwreck. As author Ivan Turgenev, who may well serve as the artistic conscience of Coast, Jason Butler Harner gives an initially restrained performance that grows more intense and powerful as the trilogy progresses. In the performances I saw of Voyage and Shipwreck, the character of Russian literary critic Vissarion Belinsky, usually played by Billy Crudup, was handled by understudy Scott Parkinson. Parkinson acquitted himself admirably, even drawing spontaneous applause for a lengthy first-act monologue in Voyage. [...]

He then parts with the crowd by proposing that Part 1 is the best option for a single play:

[...] Voyage would prove the most satisfying. Shipwreck, a domestic drama, feels like a middle chapter, while Salvage can seem pedantic to those who have yet to see the first two parts. [...]
  • Daily Motion speaks to Rosemary Harris briefly about her career and all things arachnidan. (And you can brush up on your language skills with the complimentary French subtitles.)
  • Visit the Tom Stoppard Bibliography for a comprehensive list of all Stoppardian creations including unpublished works.
  • has a few things up for grabs: 1) a The Real Thing programme from the Donmar's production 2) a copy of the Radio Times from March 1983, with cover girl Rosemary Harris 3) a programme from the Apollo's production of The Best of Friends, starring Ms Harris, from 1988. 4) a programme from the Strand's 1992 production of Lost in Yonkers, also starring Ms Harris.

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