Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Philadelphia Story fan report

Joy, another review from a bona fide Jennifer Ehle fan who kindly e-mailed this in. Thanks!

I've only seen the movie once and obviously the role of Tracy Lord was written for Katherine Hepburn. Happily Jennifer chose not to impersonate her and the cliche:"made the role her own"...a social aristocrat...acerbic, haughty, multi-layered ingenue. I thought it was her best theatrical role....and she was onstage the whole time.

The last act particularly was hers...doing what she does best...deep emotional pathos, and subtle vulnerability.

Kevin Spacey is magic...pure and simple. With his laid-back charm and mischievious remarks and antics, he brings the play alive. When he and Jennifer spar, sparks fly all over the stage....wow! Brilliant chemistry. His role was smaller than I remembered; really supporting. And what a generous prince he is...at the final curtain call, he and DW Moffett took bows together, and he let Jennifer take the bow by herself. To the hoop'n holler of the audience. Exhilarating.

The cast was outstanding. What a difference a good director makes...Jerry Zaks obviously called the shots at a fast pace...the play never lags for a minute. Flawless American accents.

Third time I saw TPS with Adrian Lukis (Mr Wickham) as Dex. After seeing KS, I found AL performance as Dexter disappointing. Despite what he said in the interview with whatsonstage.com, I felt he mimicked KS and it just didn't work. However it was only the second night he had played the role, so he might improve. American accent was superb, however.

We got to the stage door twice. Lots of KS fans around once, but the second time only a few for AL. So I got to chat with Jennifer who is as charming and gracious as ever.

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