Review Roundup: GOLDEN BOY Opens on Broadway - All the Reviews!
Opening Night is tonight, Thursday, December 6, for Lincoln Center Theater's 75th Anniversary production of the Clifford Odets classic Golden Boy, directed by Bartlett Sher, at the Belasco Theatre (111 West 44 Street), the same theatre where the play premiered in 1937.
GOLDEN BOY's cast features Michael Aronov, Danny Burstein, Demosthenes Chrysan, Anthony Crivello, Sean Cullen, Dagmara Dominczyk, Ned Eisenberg, Brad Fleischer, Karl Glusman, Jonathan Hadary, Daniel Jenkins, Danny Mastrogiorgio, Dion Mucciacito, Seth Numrich, Vayu O'Donnell, Lucas Caleb Rooney, Tony Shalhoub, Yvonne Strahovski and David Wohl.
GOLDEN BOY has sets by Michael Yeargan, costumes by Catherine Zuber, lighting by Donald Holder, sound by Peter John Still and Marc Salzberg and fight direction by B.H. Barry. GOLDEN BOY tells the story of Joe Bonaparte (Numrich), a young, gifted violinist who is torn between pursuing a career in music and earning big money as a prize fighter.
Let's see what the critics had to say...
Charles Isherwood, The New York Times: The skills [Sher] evinced in that rewarding revival ["Awake and Sing!"] are on view here, too: a knack for making Odets's vernacular language feel like fresh mint instead of stale corn, and a gift for cutting to the emotional quick of a conventionally structured melodrama…As the young hero, who is determined to make himself over into the kind of man the world reveres, Mr. Numrich ("War Horse") moves with an antic grace in the play's early scenes...There is music in the way Mr. Numrich moves that hints at the lyric temperament Joe once felt as a salvation..., and now feels as an inhibiting burden…The process is watched from a distance by his loving father, played with impressive delicacy by a sad-eyed, soft-spoken Tony Shalhoub….Mr. Shalhoub infuses his performance with an elegiac tenderness that never descends into the maudlin…."Golden Boy" is at times dragged down by predictable plot mechanics that obscure the ripped-from-the-gut honesty that glittered more fiercely in earlier Odets plays. Some passages are too bluntly written, tapping out the play's moral message in telegraphic language that makes you wince….But even the play's pulpier excesses...are brought home with conviction by the cast.
Mark Kennedy, Associated Press: A dazzling revival of Clifford Odets' "Golden Boy" opened Thursday, still packing a punch after 75 years. Tyson could do well to watch how to successfully put together a show about the rise and fall of a boxer…Tony Shalhoub is a stand-out as Bonaparte's father, a role whose lines are written in broken Italian-accentEd English which could be a disaster in the wrong hands...But Shalhoub is so skilled that only a deeply felt character emerges…Numrich, who starred as the young farm boy Albert Narracott in "War Horse," is a nimble former "shrimp with glasses" here, maintaining his air of insecurity despite a toned physique and a solid left hook. The actor nicely does impetuousness and brashness, but also you can feel his inner tumult at betraying his father….Sher has embraced the realism of this dark world - the sweat, gore and rushes of blood to the head. There are passionate kisses but always a lingering threat of violence. The place reeks of leather and failure.