The Present BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Joan Marcus
  • NY TIMES

  • TIME OUT

  • AMNY

  • VARIETY

  • EW

Opening Night:
January 8, 2017
Closing:
March 19, 2017

Theater: Barrymore Theatre / 243 West 47th Street, New York, NY, 10036

Synopsis: 

Cate Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh succumb to the intoxicating power of lust and obsession in the Sydney Theatre Company’s production of The Present, coming to Broadway for 13 weeks only. A new adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s first play, most commonly referred to as Platonov, The Present unfolds over the course of a raucous weekend birthday celebration in the Russian countryside. Old flames ignite in this passionate and bitingly comic play. Performed by thirteen of Australia’s finest actors, The Present is adapted by Andrew Upton, who – with Ms. Blanchett – led Sydney Theatre Company in an acclaimed five-year tenure responsible for such watershed productions as A Streetcar Named Desire (BAM, 2009) and Uncle Vanya (Lincoln Center Festival, 2012). John Crowley (Fox Searchlight’s Brooklyn) directs. This strictly limited engagement marks the Broadway debuts of both Ms. Blanchett and Mr. Roxburgh.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF The Present

    ‘The Present’: Even in Russia, It’s Hard to Turn 40

    Ben Brantley

    January 8, 2017: As is so often the case, the party doesn’t really get going until everybody is good and drunk. Then, after much wine, vodka and awkward conversation, comes a fabulous eruption of runaway hedonism. Maybe, you think, coming to this shindig wasn’t such a bad idea, after all.

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  • TIME OUT NEW YORK REVIEW OF The Present

    In The Present, Cate Blanchett does Chekhov, Australian style

    David Cote

    January 8, 2017: Chekhov never wrote a play called The Present; that’s what Australian adapter Andrew Upton calls his remodeled Platonov. Then again, Chekhov never wrote a play called Platonov; that’s one of the titles historians have applied to the Russian dramatist’s untitled, unwieldy, unfinished work, found in a safe-deposit box 16 years after his death. I’ve never read or seen the piece: An uncut staging would run about five hours. Young Chekhov wrote it while in medical school, and by all accounts, it’s a dramaturgical train wreck (ending with suicide on actual train tracks—eat your heart out, Martin McDonagh!).

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  • AM NEW YORK REVIEW OF The Present

    Cate Blanchett makes Broadway debut

    Matt Windman

    January 8, 2017: Fireworks, here, are both metaphorical and literal: Halfway through the three-hour drama, the sensual leading lady detonates the countryside summer house where much of the first act has transpired. 40 ... it's the new 14? An adaptation by Andrew Upton, who is Blanchett's husband, "The Present" arrives at The Barrymore Theatre with its original Australian cast intact. Anna's foil, Mikhail, a childhood friend and former paramour, is played by Richard Roxburgh, who may be best known to American audiences from Baz Luhrmann's "Moulin Rouge."

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  • VARIETY REVIEW OF The Present

    Broadway Review: Cate Blanchett in ‘The Present’

    Marilyn Stasio

    January 8, 2017: Cate Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh lead the Sydney Theater Company in a sparkling production of “The Present,” Andrew Upton’s free-form treatment of Anton Chekhov’s “Platonov.” The original play, an early effort written when the playwright was 21, is quite the shaggy dog — rambling, unfocused and stuffed with gratuitous characters. But the spirit of Chekhovian farce shines bright, and the ensemble work of this Aussie company is just grand.

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  • ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY REVIEW OF The Present

    The Present: EW stage review

    Chris Nashawaty

    January 8, 2017: The soulful, rueful, and romantic Russian playwright Anton Chekhov is one of those evergreen, canonic dramatists who, like Ibsen, O’Neill, and Shakespeare, will never go out of fashion. No matter what continent or hemisphere you’re in, somewhere there’s guaranteed to be a stage where The Seagull or Uncle Vanya or Three Sisters or The Cherry Orchard is being performed. Rarely, though, do you get a chance to see his forgotten first play, Platonov. There are a couple of reasons for that: The first and most obvious is that, as written, the four-act drama is five hours long – an endurance test for even the heartiest and most devoted Chekhovian. Second, and more mysteriously, it’s just one of those plays that tends to get overlooked. It’s a second-tier work that seems to shrink when put under the same spotlight as Chekhov’s first-tier ones. It’s his Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2 — impressive, but no one walks around humming it.

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