Blackbird BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Brigitte Lancombe
  • NY TIMES

  • TIME OUT

  • DEADLINE

  • HR

  • VULTURE

Opening Night:
March 10, 2016
Closing:
June 12, 2016

Theater: Belasco Theatre / 111 West 44th Street, New York, NY, 10036

Synopsis: 

"Blackbird" explores the relationship between the middle-aged Ray and the now 27-year-old Una. The two last encountered each other 15 years earlier, when Ray was taken into custody following their illegal sexual affair. Despite Ray’s attempts to form a new identity, Una finds him and confronts him at his office.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Blackbird

    ‘Blackbird’: The Past Returns, Taunting

    Ben Brantley

    March 10, 2016: They make an alarming entrance, these two, setting off instant worry and wonder. They walk as if welded together, though whether in support, restraint or combat is unclear. Her eyes are wild and her bare legs wobbly, and he leads their stuttering steps with an angry, obdurate chin. If you saw them in real life, you’d consider calling the police. As it is, your first impressions of Ray and Una — so intensely embodied by Jeff Daniels and Michelle Williams in the Broadway production of David Harrower’s “Blackbird” — would seem to guarantee a satisfyingly fraught night at the theater. What follows is definitely fraught, with the sort of acting that triggers seismometers. The satisfaction factor is somewhat lower. “Blackbird,” which took the Olivier Award in London for best play in 2007, is an immensely powerful work that only occasionally maximizes its potential in the fitful production that opened on Thursday night at the Belasco Theater. When I saw it nine years ago at the Manhattan Theater Club, it left me shaking.

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  • TIME OUT NEW YORK REVIEW OF Blackbird

    'Blackbird' Theater review

    David Cote

    March 10, 2016: Shock ought to have a shelf life, the way horror movies lose their power after repeat viewings. But if "The Shining" still makes you jump, it’s digging deeper than your ordinary slasher flick. Likewise, I’m quite familiar with David Harrower’s hellishly compelling 2005 play "Blackbird." I reviewed it Off Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Club and later logged hours with the script, writing an essay for the Best Plays Yearbook series. Yet years later, there I was at the Belasco, craning forward, then recoiling, as Jeff Daniels and Michelle Williams clawed at each other’s psyches and bodies, playing ex-lovers or, to be precise, a pedophile and his victim: She was 12 and he was 40. "Blackbird" is a comfortless 80-minute reckoning of arrested time and soiled innocence.

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  • DEADLINE REVIEW OF Blackbird

    Jeff Daniels And Michelle Williams Revisit Illicit Seduction In ‘Blackbird’

    Jeremy Gerard

    March 10, 2016: Broadway loves a fine romance and nowhere are the sparks showering down more heat and crackle than the ones being thrown off by Jeff Daniels and Michelle Williams in Blackbird, which opened tonight at the Belasco Theatre. Their rapture is murderous. They want to annihilate each other. This is the electrifying production that this season’s revival of Sam Shepard’s Fool For Love aspired to be, also about a couple reuniting as they inch toward a death’s grip of horrifying power and sadness. Daniels and Williams are so devastatingly into David Harrower’s stem-winding tale of an illicit conjugation, that by the time the lights came up I felt as spent as the actors themselves appeared to be.

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  • HOLLYWOOD REPORTER REVIEW OF Blackbird

    A scorching pas de deux

    David Rooney

    March 10, 2016: It was nine years ago when Jeff Daniels first appeared in Joe Mantello's taut production of Scottish playwright David Harrower's volatile two-hander, "Blackbird." Revisiting the play with the same director on Broadway opposite a sensational Michelle Williams, the actor now brings a noticeably deepened middle-aged gravitas that adds fascinating layers to his character — of bitter defensiveness, corrosive dishonesty, subjugated desire, and ultimately, ice-cold fear. Unyielding in its needling focus, this riveting drama is a stark examination of love, pain and loss that's both compassionate and unforgiving, all of which helps it navigate the move to a bigger stage with a corresponding amplification of its emotional power.

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  • VULTURE REVIEW OF Blackbird

    Michelle Williams and Jeff Daniels In a Superb 'Blackbird'

    Jesse Green

    March 10, 2016: The first word spoken in David Harrower’s "Blackbird" is “shock,” and the superb production that opens on Broadway tonight wastes no time in justifying it. Not so much in speech; the next nine words are “of course,” “yes,” “now”, “and,” “wait,” and “you were busy,” which on the page is incomprehensible. But the director Joe Mantello’s staging quickly throws the audience into the middle of a nightmare whose contours are clear enough. Jeff Daniels, bull-faced and furious, drags the twiglike Michelle Williams into the grim gray break room of a grim gray office. They clearly have some sort of history he does not want his co-workers — dim figures behind frosted glass — to know about; just as clearly, she wants to be noticed. Tottering on high metallic heels, she is dressed in a very short, sheer, and girlish print dress (by Ann Roth) that is making a very dangerous point.

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