The Lincoln Center Theater production of John Guare's new play, A FREE MAN OF COLOR, directed by George C. Wolfe, opened tonight (Thursday, November 18) at 6:45pm at the Vivian Beaumont Theater. The cast features Yao Ababio,Peter Bartlett, Nicole Beharie, Arnie Burton, Rosal Colón,Veanne Cox, Paul Dano, Sara Gettelfinger, Derric Harris,Justina Machado, Joseph Marcell, John McMartin, Nick Mennell, Mos, Teyonnah Parris, Postell Pringle, Esau Pritchett, Brian Reddy, Reg Rogers, Triney Sandoval, Robert Stanton, Wendy Rich Stetson, Jerome Stigler, Senfaub Stoney, David Emerson Toney and Jeffrey Wright.
Ben Brantley, NY Times: Eclecticism has always been essential to Mr. Guare's writing, which at its best juggles mismatched elements of culture, high and low, with daring and dizzying skill. This is the man who memorably combined tabloid prurience (and famous-name dropping) with classic poetic lyricism... But here, in his first new play on Broadway in 18 years, he seems less to be juggling than tossing bright balls of allusion and information onto the stage and praying that they'll land in a coherent pattern.
Joe Dziemianowicz, NY Daily News: You can't say John Guare's new play "A Free Man of Color" isn't ambitious in scope or awash in extravagant eye candy. Or that the huge cast of 33 isn't fully committed. But unfortunately that doesn't add up to a satisfying evening.
Elisabeth Vincentelli, NY Post: A spectacular folly has just crash-landed at Lincoln Cen ter Theater. Eight years in the making, John Guare's latest play, "A Free Man of Color," is an ambitious, awkward, fascinating, lumbering endeavor about the mapping of America's modern physical, social and racial borders. Most of the show, directed by George C. Wolfe, is a maddening slog. But the last 30 minutes are so brilliant that you can't dismiss the whole thing.
Robert Feldberg, NorthJersey.com: I suspect that "A Free Man of Color" was a lot more fun to write than it is to watch.
David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter: While the thematic expansiveness of John Guare's first new Broadway play in 18 years is audacious, George C. Wolfe's extravagant staging and Jeffrey Wright's mannered lead performance make an overstuffed work even heavier.
Marnie Hanel, Vanity Fair: Despite the production's clever direction, gorgeous costumes, inventive sets, and skilled cast, it's a toughy. With an original run time of five and a half hours (now coming in at three), one can imagine director George C. Wolfe's trimming Guare's script as a tailor would Cornet's jacket. But there's only so much one can do when given too much fabric.
Posted on November 19, 2010 - by
About the Author:Robert Diamond founded BroadwayWorld.com in 2003, which has now become the largest theatre web site in the world. He also serves as the site's Editor-in-Chief, covering Broadway and beyond, with specific local coverage for 100 cities in the United States, 30 countries worldwide and 15 other related areas of entertainment - including dance, opera, fashion, concerts, comedy, films, television and more. The 2001 Syracuse University graduate (School of Information Studies) is also the owner of Wisdom Digital Media, an award-winning leading design company for entertainment and technology web sites. In his previous life, he held an executive position for the world's leading publisher of technology magazines, web sites and conferences and, as a result, was named among the "Top thirty magazine industry executives under the age of 30" by FOLIO Magazine. Diamond got his start in the entertainment field, accidentally, when he created the 'official web site' (while in college) for Michael Crawford, the popular actor and original Tony and Olivier Award-winning star of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. (He still blames Crawford - and credits him - for anything that goes particularly right or wrong during an average day.) As a respected member of the Broadway and theatre community, Diamond also served as Lead Producer for a series of sold-out shows using the BroadwayWorld.com 'brand' for a set of 'Standing Ovations' concerts, which also branched out into titles that included Holiday Shows and even more specific concerts like 'From Stage to Screen and Back Again' in tandem with publishers and movie studios. All proceeds were in turn donated to Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS, the industry's leader in aid for performers in need. Robert lives in Manhattan with his wife and two dogs, growing the business and getting little sleep. In addition, you can usually find him in a theatre many nights a week. Robert's very popular blog, 'The Broadway Pulse' appears daily on BroadwayWorld.com and he also writes weekly about theatre for the USA Network's Character Approved blog. In December of last year, Diamond was one of 5 Syracuse University Alumni, all having achieved success in the world of start-ups, business growth and venture capital, participating on a panel addressing young alumni who are currently pursuing their dreams of running their own business and experiencing the day to day challenges of a startup. It is part of the university's new Student Accelerator Program, for which Rob was recommended by Syracuse University's i-School.