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THE HEIRESS BROADWAY REVIEWS
Opening Night: November 1, 2012
Synopsis: In the 1850s young Catherine Sloper lives with her father, Dr. Austin Sloper. Catherine is shy, unsophisticated and plain-looking. Morris Townsend courts her, seeking her fortune and not really in love with her. Catherine, however, loves Morris and does not see that he is only after her money. When her father forbids her to marry, she suggests to Morris that they elope. Morris, realizing that her fortune will not be hers if they do so, leaves. Morris eventually returns, but when he seeks to meet with Catherine she refuses to see him, and he understands that his intentions have been discovered; Catherine is now aware.
NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW:
"Oh, boy, candlelight and brandy snifters! Big taffeta dresses and brocade wallpaper and extra-crisp consonants! And let’s not omit that never-fail one-two punch of a literary name (Henry James, in this case) and a Hollywood name (Jessica Chastain, the latest It Girl of thinking person’s cinema). And bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens."
"The gasps of pleasure that accompanied the stage entrance of Dan Stevens in The Heiress on press night indicated a large contingent of Downton Abbey fans in the audience. And the actor is a savvy casting choice in a part that requires beguiling charm and sufficient sincerity to keep us wondering about his character’s motives. But the good news doesn’t extend to the actress in the title role of this plush Broadway revival. An underpowered Jessica Chastain, hampered by questionable directorial choices, dilutes the emotional impact of this nonetheless compelling melodrama."
"The frizzy wig Jessica Chastain wears in the Broadway revival of The Heiress does her no favors — but that is exactly the point. Her Catherine Sloper is the plain Jane living in 1850 New York City who becomes tongue-tied in the company of everyone other than her disarming widowed aunt (Judith Ivey)."
""The Heiress," a 1947 costume drama by Ruth and August Goetz based on the 1880 Henry James novel "Washington Square," has been revived on Broadway with the same regularity as other far more important classics of American drama."
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