Of Mice and Men BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Richard Phibbs
  • OfMiceAndMenSM
  • NY TIMES

  • TIME OUT

  • HR

  • NBC

  • EW

Opening Night:
April 16, 2014
Closing:
July 27, 2014

Theater: Longacre Theatre / 220 West 48th Street, New York, NY, 10036

Synopsis: 

James Franco & Chris O'Dowd star in a new production of Of Mice and Men. Set in California during the Great Depression, and follows two migrant workers George, a sharp but uneducated, short-tempered man, and Lennie, a large but simple-minded man. Together they hope to one day acquire their own piece of land. But when Lennie stirs up trouble on the job, George must choose between protecting his friend or staying the course towards his version of the American dream.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Of Mice and Men

    Hey, George, We Made It Back to Broadway | James Franco and Chris O’Dowd in ‘Of Mice and Men’

    Ben Brantley

    April 16, 2014: See those two guys sitting up there on the stage — the big, slow feller and his smaller, quicker pal? Don’t you somehow get the feeling they’ve been crouched at that campfire forever? And that you’ve been watching them for just about as long? Such responses may bedevil you as you settle in for the respectable, respectful and generally inert revival of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, which opened on Wednesday night at the Longacre Theater, with the film stars James Franco and Chris O’Dowd making their Broadway debuts. Even if you’ve never seen a previous production of this play — or the movies it inspired, or the 1937 novella they’re based on — you’re likely aware in some corner of your mind of the odd couple at its center, George (Mr. Franco), the feisty dreamer, and Lennie, the childlike Goliath. They’re as planted in our country’s collective imagination as Mutt and Jeff, Laurel and Hardy, Beavis and Butthead.

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  • TIME OUT NEW YORK REVIEW OF Of Mice and Men

    Of Mice and Men: Theater review by David Cote

    David Cote

    April 16, 2014: When Depression-era migrant workers George Milton (Franco) and Lennie Small (O’Dowd) roll into a California ranch, the hands say it’s “funny” that the guys travel together. There’s a faint suggestion in such remarks that furtive George and simpleminded Lennie have a bond that goes beyond friendship. Mainly, though, the others are surprised by partners in a line of work that attracts loners. Truth is, the men need each other—just as Franco needs O’Dowd to help him achieve full stageworthiness in John Steinbeck’s 1937 theatrical adaptation of his novel Of Mice and Men. Franco gives an easy, well-shaded performance, but it’s O’Dowd who stuns with a harrowingly real Lennie.

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  • HOLLYWOOD REPORTER REVIEW OF Of Mice and Men

    Of Mice and Men: Theater Review

    David Rooney

    April 16, 2014: There's a special attachment to great books first encountered in high school that stays with readers throughout their lives, and John Steinbeck's tender tragedy, Of Mice and Men, is up there with the most cherished of them. The headline news in this stirring Broadway remount is the stage debut of peripatetic artistic adventurer James Franco, starring opposite the wonderful Chris O'Dowd as itinerant ranch workers George and Lennie. But the real satisfaction comes from those unforgettable characters, their joy and wrenching sorrow, and the enduring power of their story of friendship sustained by illusory dreams in a world of solitude.

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  • NBC NEW YORK REVIEW OF Of Mice and Men

    Review: Franco, O'Dowd Are "Men" for All Seasons

    Robert Kahn

    April 16, 2014: Celebrated director Anna D. Shapiro pulls no punches in her savage take on Of Mice and Men, the American lit classic about migrant farmhands in Depression-era California, now open at the Longacre Theatre. It certainly helps that she has two gifted performers as her leading men, James Franco and Chris O’Dowd, both making memorable debuts. As matters get underway, George Milton (Franco) and Lennie Small (O’Dowd) are quarreling over the dead mouse Lennie has in his pocket. It’s soft, and it’s Lennie’s pet, and we see the sadness in O’Dowd’s eyes when Franco hurls the creature into a river. That moment sends a clear signal: the prevalent theme in this staging is our need for companionship.

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  • ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY REVIEW OF Of Mice and Men

    Stage Review Of Mice and Men

    Thom Geier

    April 16, 2014: The tirelessly prolific James Franco can check off another box on his ever-expanding résumé: Broadway star. And he gives a creditable performance as George, the itinerant ranch hand in a solid new revival of John Steinbeck's 1937 novella-turned-play Of Mice and Men. In his Broadway debut, Franco shows a relaxed stage presence and real charisma, though his occasional explosions of anger or frustration seem to rely more on turning up the volume dial rather than digging for any deeper nuance. At times, George's motivations can be as veiled as the actor's trademark heavily lidded eyes. The real surprise in Anna D. Shapiro's finely staged production is Chris O'Dowd (Bridesmaids) as George's mentally challenged travel companion, Lenny.

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  • ASSOCIATED PRESS REVIEW OF Of Mice and Men

    Review: Chris O'Dowd Shines in 'Of Mice and Men'

    Mark Kennedy

    April 16, 2014: There are hordes of teenage girls waiting outside the Longacre Theatre each night hoping to squeal over uber-muffin James Franco. But true theater fans should be waiting for his co-star to emerge. Chris O'Dowd, known more for films like Bridesmaids and Friends With Kids, turns in a very impressive performance as the mentally challenged Lennie in a fine revival of Of Mice and Men. Franco? He's pretty good in his Broadway debut as George, but O'Dowd, in a tricky role, steals the show.

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  • USA TODAY REVIEW OF Of Mice and Men

    Broadway's new 'Of Mice and Men' starry and stinging

    Elysa Gardner

    April 16, 2014: It's hard to think of a character in American fiction more heartbreaking than Lennie, the gentle, doomed giant in Of Mice and Men. Even if you've never read John Steinbeck's 1937 novella, or seen the play he adapted from it, you'll sense early on that this guileless creature who loves soft animals — and can crush them easily, without meaning to — is destined for tragedy. In the new Broadway production of Mice (* * * ½ out of four stars), which opened Wednesday at the Longacre Theatre, Lennie is played by Irish actor Chris O'Dowd, known for rather lighter fare such as the films Bridesmaids and Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel.

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