It's perfectly understandable if years from now, or maybe fifteen minutes after leaving the theatre, the only thing you clearly remember about the Roundabout's new production of A Man For All Seasons is Frank Langella's extraordinary performance as the highly-principled Chancellor of England, Sir Thomas More, who refused to support Henry VIII's wish to separate from the Vatican and form the Church of England in order for him to divorce the aging Catherine of Aragon and wed Anne Boleyn in hopes of their union producing a son and heir. Not that director Doug Hughes' sturdy mounting of Robert Bolt's 1960 historical drama doesn't contain fine work from the rest of the ensemble, but in a play where the central figure so dominates the proceedings - especially with this production's removal of the narrator/commenter character known as The Common Man - Langella linguistically feasts on the dense, wordy text and gracefully conveys the complexities of a family man who refuses to betray his conscious, no matter the cost to his loved ones or his own head.
Santo Loquasto's set resembles the wooden framework of a great cathedral, but effectively assumes many locations under David Lander's lights. Catherin Zuber's period costumes are wondrously elegant.
Posted on October 23, 2008 - by
About the Author:After 20-odd years singing, dancing and acting in dinner theatres, summer stocks and the ever-popular audience participation murder mysteries (try improvising with audiences after they?ve had two hours of open bar), Michael Dale segued his theatrical ambitions into playwriting. The buildings which once housed the 5 Off-Off Broadway plays he penned have all been destroyed or turned into a Starbucks, but his name remains the answer to the trivia question, "Who wrote the official play of Babe Ruth's 100th Birthday?" He served as Artistic Director for The Play's The Thing Theatre Company, helping to bring free live theatre to underserved communities, and dabbled a bit in stage managing and in directing cabaret shows before answering the call (it was an email, actually) to become BroadwayWorld.com's first Chief Theatre Critic. While not attending shows Michael can be seen at Citi Field pleading for the Mets to stop imploding. Likes: Strong book musicals and ambitious new works. Dislikes: Unprepared celebrities making their stage acting debuts by starring on Broadway and weak bullpens.