The Columnist BROADWAY REVIEWS

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  • NY TIMES

  • AP

  • EW

  • HR

  • NEWSDAY

Opening Night:
April 25, 2012
Closing:
June 24, 2012

Theater: Samuel J. Friedman / 261 West 47th Street, New York, NY,

Synopsis: 

Columnists are kings in midcentury America and Joseph Alsop wears the crown. Joe is beloved, feared and courted in equal measure by the Washington political world at whose center he sits. But as the '60s dawn and America undergoes dizzying change, the intense political drama Joe is embroiled in becomes deeply personal as well.

David Auburn, whose Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning Proof dazzled audiences and critics alike, returns to MTC with this fascinating new work.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF The Columnist

    Revealing Naked Power Behind Mask

    Ben Brantley

    April 25, 2012: Nudity has been so commonplace for so long on Broadway that it is now shocking when it shocks you. So give credit to the creators of “The Columnist,” David Auburn’s scrupulously assembled historical drama, for delivering a truly troubling glimpse of exposed flesh in the play’s opening minutes, a glimpse — it turns out — that is anything but gratuitous.

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  • ASSOCIATED PRESS REVIEW OF The Columnist

    'The Columnist' is revealing but staid

    Mark Kennedy

    April 25, 2012: It's obvious why playwright David Auburn was so fascinated by the story of journalist Joseph Alsop. Just look at some of the elements: enormous political influence, a key role in the Vietnam War, Soviet blackmail and a secret life.

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  • ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY REVIEW OF The Columnist

    The Columnist

    Keith Staskiewicz

    April 25, 2012: The line between political theater's players and its spectators is not just porous but practically imaginary in The Columnist, David Auburn's smart but distracted new play about real-life newspaperman Joseph Alsop. In the play, set in the 1960s, the hawkish, closeted journalist and Beltway mandarin finds himself heading into the worst position imaginable: on the outside. John Lithgow puts on a pair of thick-rimmed O-shaped spectacles and his most WASP-ish demeanor to play Alsop, clucking his tongue and clacking his typewriter keys as he tries to hold onto his influence and, more importantly, righteousness as the Vietnam War he supports slogs on.

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  • HOLLYWOOD REPORTER REVIEW OF The Columnist

    The Columnist

    David Rooney

    April 25, 2012: Equipped with arrogance, fearsome intellect, vitriol and the punctilious armor of a man forced to live in denial, John Lithgow fully inhabits influential journalist Joseph Alsop in The Columnist. Director Daniel Sullivan brings his customary clarity and focus to a series of pithy scenes that place Alsop near the center of some important chapters in 20th century American political life. But while this is a potentially fascinating character study with no shortage of meaty material, playwright David Auburn hasn’t managed to shape it into a drama with a discernible through-line.

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  • NEWSDAY REVIEW OF The Columnist

    Superb John Lithgow in 'The Columnist'

    Linda Winer

    April 25, 2012: There was a time, not so long ago, when reporters pounded on Underwood typewriters, when major cities had five or six dailies and powerful newspaper columnists shaped political policy without screaming on talk radio or cable TV.

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