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ARCADIA BROADWAY REVIEWS
Opening Night: March 17, 2011
Synopsis: From London's West End comes the critically-acclaimed production of Tom Stoppard's Arcadia, directed by five-time Tony Award nominee David Leveaux (The Real Thing, Cyrano de Bergerac, Jumpers). The cast includes Billy Crudup, Raúl Esparza and Margaret Colin.
April 1809, a stately home in Derbyshire, England... Thomasina, a gifted pupil, proposes a startling theory, beyond her comprehension. All around her, the adults, including her tutor Septimus, are preoccupied with secret desires, illicit passions and professional rivalries. Two hundred years later, academic adversaries Hannah and Bernard are piecing together puzzling clues, curiously recalling those events of 1809, in their quest for an increasingly elusive truth. Arcadia is a thing of beauty - a dazzling, witty work of misunderstanding and quest for knowledge, resonating across centuries.
NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW:
"A suspicion lingers in the heart of the constant theatergoer that if you are too clever, then you must be made of ice. This prejudice has misguidedly dogged, among others, that greatest of songwriters, Stephen Sondheim, like a peevish, affection-starved beagle. But it has never clung to anyone more tenaciously and erroneously than it does to the playwright Tom Stoppard."
"Tom Stoppard's "Arcadia" is witty, erudite and cunningly structured. David Leveaux's revival, which opened on Broadway last night, looks handsome, and its cast, including Billy Crudup and Raúl Esparza, does fine, nuanced work."
"Enough about "Spider-Man" already—Tom Stoppard is back on Broadway! Only time will tell whether "Arcadia" is Mr. Stoppard's masterpiece, but it isn't premature to call it one of the key English-language plays of the postwar era, and even in a staging that is less than satisfactory, it makes a rich and affecting impression. Now for the bad news: David Leveaux's revival of "Arcadia," which was originally mounted in London two years ago with a different cast, isn't much better than adequate. When you're talking about a high-profile revival of a great play, good enough won't cut it."
"David Leveaux's exquisite if ever-so-slightly muted revival of Arcadia -- Tom Stoppard's 1993 masterpiece about sex, literature, epistemology, sex, landscaping, sex, the second law of thermodynamics, and the tantalizingly unrequited romance between mind and body -- both charms and challenges its audience. And also, one senses, its cast. The production doesn't have the effortlessness or the smolder of Leveaux's 2000 remount of Stoppard's The Real Thing, but then Arcadia is a far more ambitious, far more hardworking piece of work. It requires careful excavation in very fine light, and Leaveaux furnishes both, but anyone waiting for a "Eureka!" moment will be waiting in vain."
"Despite the mashup of Brit/Yank acting styles, helmer David Leveaux delivers a ravishing revival (originating in London in 2009) of "Arcadia," Tom Stoppard's seriously playful 1993 meditation on the disintegration of Newtonian order and the joys of chaos. In a flourish of literary invention, play opens in 1809 in the library of an English country estate where a tutor is instructing his prodigiously gifted student; it then leaps forward two centuries to observe two modern-day scholars in the same room, spinning theories about the shattering events that transpired in that lovely setting on that fateful spring weekend so long ago."
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