Act One BROADWAY REVIEWS

  • ActOneSM
  • NY TIMES

  • AP

  • TIME OUT

  • NEWSDAY

  • ACCESS

Opening Night:
April 17, 2014
Closing:
June 14, 2014

Theater: Vivian Beaumont / 150 West 65th Street, New York, NY, 10023

Synopsis: 

Act One chronicles the playwright/director Moss Hart’s life, including his determination to escape poverty and forge a career in the theater, which led to his collaboration with George S. Kaufman and their first great success, Once In A Lifetime.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Act One

    In the Spotlight, Finding His Religion

    Ben Brantley

    April 17, 2014: The statue goes to Tony Shalhoub and Santino Fontana, who vividly and persuasively share the part of the theater addict and artisan Moss Hart in “Act One,” which opened in a Lincoln Center Theater production on Thursday night. And for the best performance by a single actor in more than one role, it is (drum roll) Mr. Shalhoub, who plays the middle-aged Moss Hart; Moss Hart’s father; and, most unforgettably, Moss Hart’s mentor and collaborator, the great comic playwright George S. Kaufman. Since Hart is the heart of “Act One,” which has been warmly adapted by James Lapine from Hart’s 1959 memoir of the same title, Mr. Shalhoub and Mr. Fontana’s shimmering performances are reason enough to celebrate — and to heave a sigh of relief. If the lively but overblown production that surrounds them isn’t always up to their high standards, I’m still not grousing.

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  • ASSOCIATED PRESS REVIEW OF Act One

    'Act One' Is a Sweet Ode to the Theater

    MARK KENNEDY

    April 17, 2014: What's happening now at the Vivian Beaumont Theater was inevitable, really. Lincoln Center Theater has turned Moss Hart's cracking memoir "Act One" into a rollicking play, which, if you think about it, is the natural medium for a man who lived and breathed the theater, what he called "a lifelong infection." Hart was a Broadway giant during the 1930s-'50s, directing "My Fair Lady" and "Camelot" and collaborating with George S. Kaufman on such hits as "The Man Who Came to Dinner" and "You Can't Take It With You." It makes perfect sense that his autobiography is onstage. And no less a modern theater icon than James Lapine has adapted and directed the play, using the stage thrillingly in a way the book could not.

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  • TIME OUT NEW YORK REVIEW OF Act One

    Act One: Theater review by David Cote

    David Cote

    April 17, 2014: Moss Hart's 1959 showbiz memoir has inspired generations of theater geeks. Now it comes to the stage in a version written and directed by James Lapine. The knockout cast includes Santino Fontana and Tony Shalhoub as the younger and older Hart, respectively, dazzled by the lights of Broadway and finding a home there.

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  • NEWSDAY REVIEW OF Act One

    'Act One' review: Hart, but not much drama

    LINDA WINER

    April 17, 2014: So much love and care and ambition have been poured into "Act One," playwright/director James Lapine's sprawling stage adaptation of playwright/director Moss Hart's celebrated 1959 memoir. But as the Lincoln Center Theater's in-house magazine reminds us, Hart himself wrote, "Playwrighting is not a gentle or sentimental profession, nor, may I add, is any part or portion of the theater." Putting gentleness aside, one therefore must report that this play about the theater has a dazzling theatrical set but a dispiriting lack of drama. Autobiographical peaks and valleys that read with such charm and intensity in Hart's words are translated here into almost three hours of busy, flatline narrative.

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  • ACCESS ATLANTA REVIEW OF Act One

    In the Spotlight, Finding His Religion

    Ben Brantley

    April 17, 2014: The statue goes to Tony Shalhoub and Santino Fontana, who vividly and persuasively share the part of the theater addict and artisan Moss Hart in “Act One,” which opened in a Lincoln Center Theater production on Thursday night. And for the best performance by a single actor in more than one role, it is (drum roll) Mr. Shalhoub, who plays the middle-aged Moss Hart; Moss Hart’s father; and, most unforgettably, Moss Hart’s mentor and collaborator, the great comic playwright George S. Kaufman. Since Hart is the heart of “Act One,” which has been warmly adapted by James Lapine from Hart’s 1959 memoir of the same title, Mr. Shalhoub and Mr. Fontana’s shimmering performances are reason enough to celebrate — and to heave a sigh of relief. If the lively but overblown production that surrounds them isn’t always up to their high standards, I’m still not grousing.

    READ THE REVIEW
  • WASHINGTON POST REVIEW OF Act One

    Moss Hart’s Memoir “Act One” Opens as Broadway Play

    PETER MARKS

    April 17, 2014: As “Act One” would have it, no love is quite so intense and tempestuous as that between a playwright and his play. In fact, in the endearing new stage adaptation of Moss Hart’s memoir–long a theater world bible–any other affection revealed over the course of two and three-quarter hours in the Vivian Beaumont Theater is a pallid affair compared to the fervor of the dramatist savoring and agonizing over the reactions to his first Broadway play.

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