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Review Roundup: AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE

Manhattan Theatre Club’s production of a new version of Henrik Ibsen’s AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE by Rebecca Lenkiewicz, directed by Tony Award winner Doug Hughes opened last night at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (261 West 47th Street). 

AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE features Boyd Gaines, Richard Thomas, Maïté Alina, Gerry Bamman, Kathleen McNenny, Randall Newsome, John Procaccino, Michael Siberry, and James Waterston. The ensemble also includes Mike Boland, Victoria Frings, Andrew Hovelson, John Robert Tillotson and Ray Virta.

Let's see what the critics had to say...

Charles Isherwood, New York Times: The pedal-to-the-metal approach has its advantages. With voices clamoring from the stage at top volume for much of the evening, your attention is rarely likely to stray from the finely spun web of ideas animating Ibsen’s play, about the ruckus raised in a Norwegian spa town when the local doctor discovers that the waters are poisoned. 

Joe Dziemianowicz, NY Daily News: One word comes up more than a dozen times in the new Broadway revival of “An Enemy of the People”: “restraint.” Ironically, it’s exactly what’s lacking in this amped-up production of the Henrik Ibsen classic, which is broader than the Otra River.

Elisabeth Vincentelli, NY Post: Gaines, who often plays good guys and saps, makes the most of his sympathy capital. At first you feel for his character, especially since he has noble intentions. But then he claims, self-servingly, that “the majority is the most insidious enemy to freedom.” So much for democracy.

Mark Kennedy, Associated PressBoyd Gaines and Richard Thomas are marvelous as the battling brothers at the heart of the play, but there are terrific turns also by Gerry Bamman, Michael Siberry and Kathleen McNenny. Director Doug Hughes paces it like a thriller, with the heat rising steadily.

Linda Winer, Newsday: Don't be put off by any grumbles about the conversational, tightened two-hour adaptation that the Manhattan Theatre Club uses for the rare Broadway production of this timely classic. Yes, British playwright Rebecca Lenkiewicz tosses off the occasional jarring anachronism -- "cash cow," "restraining order," etc.

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