Review Roundup: SEMINAR on Broadway Starring Alan Rickman - All the Reviews!
Two-time Tony Award nominee, Emmy Award and Golden Globe winner Alan Rickman is making his eagerly-anticipated return to Broadway starring in the World Premiere of SEMINAR, a new comedy by Pulitzer Prize finalist and Peabody Award winner Theresa Rebeck.
Directed by acclaimed Obie Award winner Sam Gold in his Broadway debut, the production also stars Tony Award nominee Lily Rabe, Obie Award winner Hamish Linklater, film and television star Jerry O'Connell in his Broadway debut and actress Hettienne Park.
Produced by Jeffrey Finn, Jill Furman, John N. Hart Jr., Patrick Milling Smith, Roy Furman, David Ian, David Mirvish, Amy Nauiokas and James Spry, SEMINAR officially opened on Sunday, November 20. What did the critics think? Let's find out...
Ben Brantley, The New York Times: Finally there comes a turning point, about an hour and 15 minutes into the show, when Mr. Rickman is allowed to embody something more than brisk intellectual sadism. Handed a really good piece of writing by one of his students, Leonard responds with a quietly potent mix of antagonism, humility, fear and something like joy. Of course this mélange of feelings, magnificently orchestrated by Mr. Rickman, is arrived at after Leonard has only glanced at the first couple of pages of a vast manuscript. But for the first time I felt an authentic rush of pleasure and the exhilaration of being reminded that in theater, art comes less from landing lines than in finding what lies between them.
Mark Kennedy, Associated Press: Rickman is clearly very good at playing arrogant and sneering, but he shows a touchingly vulnerable side while also delivering a lacerating monologue about what the publishing industry does to young talent and how words can really hurt. Rabe has a coltish immaturity that ages into weary pride by the end, and Linklater is excellent as the nerdy — but needy — wannabe intellectual who is really just a boy. Who turns out to be the best writer of the bunch? That's easy — Theresa Rebeck.
Elysa Gardner, USA Today: (* * * out of four) ...Thanks to these performances, Seminar proves an enriching study.
David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter / Reuters: Bottom line: A slender but enjoyable play about the courage and self-knowledge required of any artist, with an ace ensemble led by Alan Rickman in fine form.
David Sheward, Backstage: There are consolations, chief among them Rickman, who wisely understates Leonard's prickly intelligence, colossal ego, and enormous self-loathing. The actor is absolutely delicious as Leonard slides a metaphorical knife in so smoothly and off-handedly that the victim can't even feel it. Watch Rickman as Leonard delivers a blistering assessment of a student's bleak future. Only gradually does it become apparent that the teacher is speaking about himself. This is the kind of part that could have been played with fireworks, but Rickman sounds subtle and beautiful grace notes. Linklater gives spine to Martin's neediness, Rabe lights a fire under the seemingly placid Kate, O'Connell lends depth to the jerky Douglas, and Park gives Izzy a refreshing spark.
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