Zorba! OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Sara Krulwich
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    May 6, 2015
    Closing:
    May 10, 2015

    Theater: New York City Center / 130 West 55th Street, New York, NY, 10019

    Synopsis: 

    "I live as if I would die any minute." So says Zorba (John Turturro), the force of nature at the center of John Kander and Fred Ebb's 1968 musical about love, loss, and what it means to be truly alive. "Zorba!" tells the story of a shy American intellectual named Niko (Santino Fontana) who befriends the irrepressible jack-of-all-trades Zorba. As they traipse across the island of Crete, the two men dance, philosophize, and pursue women—including a French innkeeper with a mysterious past (Zoë Wanamaker).

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Zorba!

    ‘Zorba!’ Starring John Turturro

    Ben Brantley

    May 7, 2015: Those of us allergic to human juggernauts admiringly described as “life forces” have reason to fear the 1968 musical “Zorba!,” which has been resurrected by the Encores! series of musicals in concert. (Uh oh, I just used two exclamation points in one sentence, usually a sure sign there’s a life force in the vicinity.) After all, this show — which opened on Wednesday night at New York City Center, where it runs through Sunday — has as its title character one of those lusty old peasants who is always breaking into spontaneous, explosive dance. He is also the sort of guy who keeps yelling that everybody should seize the day! With both hands! Right now! Before it’s all over! You may be relieved, or disappointed, to hear that I didn’t detect a single element that warrants an exclamation point in the rather melancholy Encores! “Zorba!,” which has a book by Joseph Stein and songs by the fabled team of John Kander and Fred Ebb. Directed by Walter Bobbie and starring John Turturro, “Zorba!” instead seems to keep trailing off into unexcited, brooding ellipses. This will no doubt surprise theatergoers who remember the 1964 film “Zorba the Greek.” As embodied by Anthony Quinn in the movie based on Nikos Kazantzakis’s novel, Zorba secured a permanent perch among irresistible eccentrics of the “live, live, live” school, a category that also embraces such exhausting elderly madcaps as Auntie Mame and Graham Greene’s Aunt Augusta.

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