desire under the elms broadway BROADWAY REVIEWS

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Opening Night:
Closing:
January 1, 2009

Theater: St. James Theatre / 246 West 44th Street, New York, NY, 10036

Synopsis: 

The acclaimed Goodman Theatre production stars Brian Dennehy, Carla Gugino and Pablo Schreiber as family members entangled in a love triangle. A crusty old farmer brings home a young bride. Initially his grown son abhors the new stepmother, but soon the hatred turns to lust.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF desire under the elms broadway

    A lust for sex and a lust for real estate are familiar passions to many, notwithstanding the plummeting co-op market and those libido-dampening Dow numbers. But these primal drives take on an eerie, entrancing strangeness in the gutsy revival of Eugene O’Neill’s “Desire Under the Elms” that opened Monday night at the St. James Theater. Portraying a stepmother and stepson doomed to enact a feverish, erotic dance that will ultimately destroy them, Carla Gugino and Pablo Schreiber fight like tigers in a cage over a legacy of land, even as their bodies cleave violently together, aflame with urgent need.

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  • ASSOCIATED PRESS REVIEW OF desire under the elms broadway

    Don't look for elms on stage. There aren't any. But desire is front and center in the blistering revival of Eugene O'Neill's "Desire Under the Elms" that has barreled its way into Broadway's St. James Theatre.

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  • BACKSTAGE REVIEW OF desire under the elms broadway

    As he did with his groundbreaking 1999 revival of Death of a Salesman, Robert Falls shatters expectations and forces us to rethink an American classic. His new production of Eugene O'Neill's 1924 Desire Under the Elms, now on Broadway after a run at Chicago's Goodman Theatre, defies popular conceptions of the play and O'Neill's work in general. This is not one of O'Neill's most frequently produced plays. If not staged properly, its thick plot of oedipal passions exploding on a 19th-century New England farm can come across as soap opera rather than grand opera.

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  • VARIETY REVIEW OF desire under the elms broadway

    Nobody could accuse Robert Falls of taking the safe route with "Desire Under the Elms." As in Simon McBurney's "All My Sons" revival earlier this season, the director layers on bold auteurial flourishes in a stylized bid to fire up the molten Greek tragedy in a naturalistic American drama. And as with that production, responses will range from rejection to rapture. Transferring from Chicago's Goodman Theater, where it was the centerpiece of a Eugene O'Neill festival, the staging is grimly overwrought, with an intensity that never quite translates into emotional impact, yet its unyielding harshness is undeniably compelling.

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  • AM NEW YORK REVIEW OF desire under the elms broadway

    At present, there is no Tony Award for Best Suggestive Sex Scene in a Play. But if there were, this year’s award would surely go to selections from Robert Falls’ powerful but problematic revival of Eugene O’Neill’s hot and steamy melodrama “Desire Under the Elms” starring Brian Dennehy, Carla Gugino, and Pablo Schreiber.

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