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BROADWAY REVIEWS 39 Steps, The
A Steady Rain
Billy Elliot
Burn the Floor

Bye Bye Birdie

Chicago
God of Carnage
Hair

Hamlet
In the Heights
Jersey Boys
Lion King, The
Mamma Mia!
Mary Poppins
Mary Stuart
Next to Normal

Oleanna

Phantom of the Opera, The

Royal Family, The
Rock of Ages

Shrek
South Pacific
Superior Donuts
West Side Story
Wicked

Wishful Drinking

 

OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Altar Boyz
Avenue Q
Blue Man Group
Celebrity Autobiography
Fuerzabruta
Perfect Crime
Stomp
Toxic Avenger

USA TODAY THE SEAGULL REVIEW

 


Variety Review

 

'Seagull' fails to take flight on Broadway

By Elysa Gardner

 

NEW YORK — If you're a fan of Chekhov's writing and Peter Sarsgaard's acting, you face a serious dilemma this fall.


The announcement that Sarsgaard would play Trigorin in the Broadway transfer of the Royal Court Theatre's acclaimed U.K. revival of The Seagull was intriguing. The actor has stage experience, and the wry intelligence and understated sexiness he has brought to a string of mostly well-received films (Kinsey, Garden State, Shattered Glass) seemed to bode well for this assignment.

 

Sadly, though, Sarsgaard doesn't rise to the challenges confronting him any more than his complex and crucial character does. It might be an overstatement to say that his curiously awkward, lackluster performance fatally wounds this Seagull (* * ½ out of four), which opened Thursday at the Walter Kerr Theatre, but only a slight one.

 

No production of this classic can fly unless we believe that Trigorin, the charismatic but ultimately spineless writer who woos two actresses, can handily seduce and devastate both women. But if Sarsgaard conveys his moral and spiritual lassitude, he hasn't the presence to suggest even an amateur lothario. Gesticulating weakly and dutifully stroking the beard he acquired for the role, he suggests a nice-looking nerd auditioning for the school play.

 

That's a shame, because the other legs in Trigorin's romantic triangle could hardly be sturdier. Leading lady Kristin Scott Thomas, who earned an Olivier Award in the Royal Court's London staging, is a witty, poignant Arkadina, revealing a nervous fragility in the fading thespian who lives with and clings to Trigorin. As the doomed ingénue Nina, who suffers even more for her lover's callousness, fellow West End import Carey Mulligan is equally lovely and moving, at once a fresh-faced foil and a worthy rival to the elegant but vulnerable Arkadina.


Other actors from the British production continue to thrive under Ian Rickson's sensitive direction of the text, briskly adapted by Christopher Hampton. Mackenzie Crook mines the post-adolescent agony of Arkadina's son, Konstantin, a less successful writer who pines for Nina. With his gaunt appearance and haunted eyes, Crook physically embodies the young man's hunger for the affection that Nina and his mother lavish on Trigorin.

 

Art Malik is crisply winning as Dorn, a sympathetic doctor, and Pearce Quigley is endearing as Medvedenko, the teacher who harbors his own unrequited passion for mordant Masha (a droll Zoe Kazan), who's hopelessly devoted to Konstantin.

 

This Seagull may not leave audiences feeling as thwarted as its lovelorn characters, but its uneven casting makes for a frustrating experience.

 

 

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OCT 2009
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SHOW INFORMATION:

Perf Schedule:

Tue-Sat at 8pm

Wed & Sat at 2pm

Sun at 3pm

 

Tickets:
$41.00-$110.00
Call: 212-239-6200
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Show Run Time:
2 hours & 40 minutes with 1 intermission

 

Theatre Information:
Walter Kerr Theater
219 West 48th Street
New York, NY 10036

 

 
 

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