Review Roundup: MTC's THE MADRID with Edie Falco, John Ellison Conlee & More

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Review Roundup: MTC's THE MADRID with Edie Falco, John Ellison Conlee & More

Manhattan Theatre Club's world premiere of The Madrid, the new play by Liz Flahive, directed by Leigh Silverman opened on Tuesday, February 26. The limited engagement has already been extended through Sunday, April 21.

THE MADRID stars Seth Clayton (MTC debut), Tony Award nominee John Ellison Conlee (Murder Ballad at MTC), Four-time Emmy Award winner and Tony Award nominee Edie Falco ("Nurse Jackie," The House of Blue Leaves, "The Sopranos"), Brooke Ashley Laine (New York debut), two-time Obie Award winner Heidi Schreck (Circle Mirror Transformation), Phoebe Strole (Spring Awakening), two-time Tony Award winner Frances Sternhagen (The Heiress), and Obie Award winner Christopher Evan Welch (Lincoln).

THE MADRID was commissioned through the Bank of America New American Play Program. For more information on MTC, visit www.ManhattanTheatreClub.com.

Let's see what the critics had to say:

Ben Brantly of the NY Times says: The play begins promisingly, laying out an evocative road map for the direction it intends to pursue. Martha, seated before a festively adorned chalkboard, is reading from her pupils' descriptions of their families. One little girl (a highly effective Brooke Ashley Laine) wants to know about her teacher's family, and begins shouting questions. Martha responds impatiently and by rote, as if those answers really meant nothing. "Do you want to pretend to be me?" she asks her tiny interrogator and then walks out of the room, her job and her life, leaving the little girl in charge.

Michael Bracken of the Metro says: There's certainly something to be said for the fresh dialogue, zippy zingers and well-drawn characters in Manhattan Theater Club's "The Madrid" at City Center. They make for striking interchanges and more than a few good laughs. But ultimately Liz Flahive's latest doesn't add up to much. A black hole at its center drains its energy and marginalizes its impact.

Jeremy Gerard of Bloomberg News reports: Of all the ingredients "The Madrid" is missing, however, intensity ranks first among them in Leigh Silverman's atypically enervating production. It's evident early that subtlety may not be Flahive's strong suit: Martha's first act of departure is from the 5-year- olds in her kindergarten class, in the middle of a lesson about families. When she splits for points unknown, husband John (John Ellison Conlee) and daughter Sarah (Phoebe Strole) begin disposing of their worldly goods (rather too quickly, I thought).

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