the philanthropist BROADWAY REVIEWS

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  • NY TIMES

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  • USA TODAY

  • VARIETY

  • DAILY NEWS

Opening Night:
Closing:
January 1, 2009

Theater: American Airlines / 227 West 42nd Street, New York, NY, 10036

Synopsis: 

Matthew Broderick returns to the stage as Philip, an insular college professor who obsesses over the details of his bourgeois life while the world is falling apart around him. The Prime Minister and his cabinet have been murdered, and England’s finest writers are being killed. Meanwhile, a university professor ponders everything from marriage and anagrams to the meaning of life.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF the philanthropist

    The Mildest of Manners Have Perils

    CHARLES ISHERWOOD

    April 27, 2009: Watching “The Philanthropist,” a moribund revival of a 1969 play by Christopher Hampton that opened Sunday night at the American Airlines Theater, is like being stuck in a stuffy room with a bunch of pompous, malicious or dreary writers and academics.

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  • ASSOCIATED PRESS REVIEW OF the philanthropist

    Philip, the title character in Christopher Hampton's "The Philanthropist," is enamored of words, words, words and more words. They are the downfall of this professor of philology, and, come to think of it, the problem with the Roundabout Theatre Company's sleepy revival of this English comedy, which opened Sunday at its American Airlines Theatre.

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  • USA TODAY REVIEW OF the philanthropist

    In the new Broadway revival of The Philanthropist, Matthew Broderick is cast as Philip, a terminally agreeable English professor for whom the study of literary texts and linguistics is not so much a way of life as a means of avoiding it. "You're so incredibly bland," his girlfriend, Celia, tells him. "You just sit there like a pudding, wobbling gently."

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  • VARIETY REVIEW OF the philanthropist

    Director David Grindley had a hit in 2005 with his Donmar Warehouse revival of Christopher Hampton's "The Philanthropist," its cast headed by Simon Russell Beale, an actor who could locate the emotional undertow in even the most distancing role. There's no reason to question the endorsement of London critics, but every reason to suppose the change of venue and lead actor must have taken a dire toll on Grindley's production. With Matthew Broderick reducing the title character to a cartoon, performing in his own hermetic space that excludes everyone else onstage, the play sits inertly, its poignancy lost and its clever dialogue hollowed into empty banter.

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  • NEW YORK DAILY NEWS REVIEW OF the philanthropist

    As the title character in "The Philanthropist," Matthew Broderick is a mousy professor who has only nice things to say about people. Unfortunately, it's hard to be generous about this zzzz-inducing Roundabout revival, which fails to flatter its star, director or the play.

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