Review Roundup: TWELFTH NIGHT & RICHARD III Open on Broadway - All the Reviews!
Two-time Tony Award-winner Mark Rylance stars in TWELFTH NIGHT and RICHARD III, two startlingly different performances in repertory, as the suddenly love struck noblewoman Olivia in Twelfth Night and as the ruthless and conniving title monarch in Richard III. The critically heralded all-male Shakespeare's Globe productions of Twelfth Night and Richard III, which delighted audiences and broke all box office records in London's West End earlier this year, opens tonight, Sunday, November 10 at the Belasco Theatre.
Let's see what the critics had to say...
Ben Brantely, The New York Times: "In this imported production from Shakespeare's Globe of London, deception is a source of radiant illumination for the audience, while the bewilderment of the characters onstage floods us with pure, tickling joy. I can't remember being so ridiculously happy for the entirety of aShakespeare performance since - let me think - August 2002...This "Twelfth Night" - which opened on Sunday in repertory with a vibrant and shivery "Richard III" that allows Mr. Rylance to show he's as brilliant in trousers as he is in a dress - makes you think, "This is how Shakespeare was meant to be done"... Because they know what they're saying - and where what they're saying comes from - we do, too. And even if you're an inveterate bardolator, you may find lines that you never fully grasped before making sense...Mr. Rylance's Olivia, the best I've ever seen, is a vulnerable woman newly come into power after the deaths of the men in her family...His interpretation of the crookback king is as thoroughly thought out as it is daring."
Joe, Dziemianowicz, New York Daily News: "Directed by Tim Carroll and designed by Jenny Tiramani, the plays come from Shakespeare's Globe in London. They were custom-built for the talents of British actor Mark Rylance, who won a Tony for the farce "Boeing-Boeing" and the contemporary epic drama "Jerusalem." He's famous for characterizations that are quirky and one-of-a-kind. And in both, he's on his game...But it takes more than one great actor to make Shakespeare really click. Rylance is surrounded by a sublime company, who move seamlessly between the plays. In "Twelfth Night" Samuel Barnett's endearing Viola; Paul Chahidi's foxy Maria; Stephen Fry's maligned Malvolio and Angus Wright's absurd Andrew Aguecheek are invaluable. In "Richard III," Joseph Timms and Liam Brennan stand out, respectively, as Lady Anne and the doomed Clarence."
David Finkle, Huffington Post: "[Rylance is] playing these two vastly different figures in William Shakespeare's works in yet another strong bid for a Tony. Not, mind you, that for him acting is a matter of accumulating awards. It's not. He's clearly out to take command of the theater realm, to make every word count...His imagination is so unbounded that anyone who relishes superlative acting can't take his or her eyes off him for fear of missing what unexpected subtle or broad gesture or inflection will occur next. Watching the surprisingly short and off-the-stage unassuming Rylance is a matter of studying someone who regards acting simultaneously as profoundly serious and unrestrainedly amusing."
Elisabeth Vincentelli, New York Post: "The shows are presented in repertory by London's Shakespeare's Globe. They kick it old-school: with an all-male cast in period 17th-century costumes - which they put on in full view of the audience in an entertaining pre-show ritual. The result, directed by Tim Carroll, is a feast for the senses...Samuel Barnett ("The History Boys") is a winsome Viola, as eloquent as she is romantic. And the comic second bananas take advantage of every single opportunity to score laughs, especially Paul Chahidi as a deceptively prim Maria, the scheming lady in waiting..."Twelfth Night" is the better show, but seeing both productions lets you watch the actors slip into completely different roles. You're not just going to the theater - you're experiencing what makes it magic.