Broadway Review Roundup: ARCADIA
The new Broadway production of Tom Stoppard's ARCADIA, directed by David Leveaux, opened March 17 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre (243 West 47th Street). Tickets for this limited engagement are on sale through Sunday, June 19, 2011.
The limited engagement stars Margaret Colin, Billy Crudup, Raúl Esparza, Glenn Fleshler, Grace Gummer, Edward James Hyland, Byron Jennings, Bel Powley, Tom Riley, Noah Robbins, David Turner and Lia Williams.
ARCADIA arrives on Broadway from the West End where this production became an instant sold out hit in 2009 and was deemed "Stoppard's most brilliant play" (The Observer), "one of the most exquisite plays of the 20th century" (The Independent), and "sexy, sophisticated, and killingly funny." (The Evening Standard). Did it receive the same warm welcome on Broadway? Find out here!
Ben Brantley, The New York Times: I encourage you to feel the heat rising from the stage of the Ethel Barrymore Theater, where a half-terrific revival of Mr. Stoppard's entirely terrific "Arcadia" opened on Thursday night...if this "Arcadia" lacks the uniform surface sparkle it had when I saw it (with a different cast) in London in 2009, it has acquired something more important: an emotional depth, viscerally rooted, to support its intellectual shimmer.
Scott Brown, NY Magazine: David Leveaux's exquisite if ever-so-slightly muted revival of Arcadia -- Tom Stoppard's 1993 masterpiece about sex, literature, epistemology, sex, landscaping, sex, the second law of thermodynamics, and the tantalizingly unrequited romance between mind and body -- both charms and challenges its audience...seldom has a more romantic finale been more rationally, stealthily staged - the impact sneaks up on you.
David Cote, NY1: Many people call "Arcadia" their favorite Stoppard. Indeed, it is surprisingly accessible and affecting. But the play doesn't work with anything less than a great cast...more than half the actors are miscast, from both sides of the pond. "Arcadia" is a play with marvelous potential to amuse, delight and inspire intellectual discussion late into the night, but this misjudged revival doesn't really crack the equation.
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter: The ideas leap off the stage in Tom Stoppard's multilayered 1993 play, but in David Leveaux's stubbornly unaffecting production, his ensemble keeps pace with the intellectual dexterity while under-serving the material's heart...in order for us to feel something for the characters, the actors must suggest the passions behind all the theorizing. Only half of Leveaux's cast is up to that task.
Mark Kennedy, Associated Press: This beguiling production of what Stoppard has called "a thriller and a romantic tragedy with jokes" is beautifully knit by Leveaux and led by some wonderful performances. This is, without doubt, not a play to watch passively. It takes as much energy as it gives, demanding at least a passing understanding of, say, Fermat's theorem and chaos theory. Even so, the ideas themselves are not as important as the search for knowledge, or, as one character says, "It's wanting to know that makes us matter. Otherwise, we're going out the way we came in."