Posted by sundayclothes2 2012-10-06 23:24:48
Posted by futureaviator 2012-10-06 23:32:11
Posted by givesmevoice 2012-10-06 23:42:34
I really looking forward to hearing how Jessica Chastain and Dan Stevens fared.
Posted by WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel 2012-10-07 00:14:04
I was there and really enjoyed it. The Heiress is a very slow burn; if you'll pardon the analogy it's like edging yourself for three hours: a pleasurable journey of teasing and taunting with a guaranteed big payoff.
The set is beautiful. There's wall to wall carpeting, two large pillars, and 15 foot windows with lavish red curtains. It makes a strong impression when the curtain rises. The costumes are amazing too.
I'll warn upfront that I'm a crazy Chastain fan. I was worried though- what if all her brilliant film performances don't translate to the stage? Could she deliver live? The answer is a resounding yes. She is the real deal.
Act One: awkward, shy, clumsy, naive, trusting, loving. It's all the more juicy knowing that she's going to get to really have some fun in Act Two. The first scene in Act Two when her father really lays into her was terrifying. I couldn't even pay attention to David Strathairn. I could only watch Chastain's face as she reacted to his cruel words. A click went off and her character wasn't going to be the same again. The following scene at night when everything came crashing down finally sent her over the edge enough to deliver the final vindictive acts. Is this where the phrase "revenge is a dish best served cold" come from?
Why aren't the producers doing a better job marketing that Judith Ivey is in the show? They do realize that she'll get a Tony nomination right? She was so funny, scoring laughs with nearly every line.
Strathairn was better in the second act than the first. He was good, but I think could play up the cruel nature of his character a little more.
Dan Stevens was best in the final scene. He's so lovable and affable (I realize he needs to be charming) that his scheming isn't in the slightest bit transparent. You honestly believe he's only in it for love. Chastain needs to believe that, but we don't. It makes it better if we get to have our doubts about his motives.
I definitely want to see this again. It's one of the strongest offerings of this season so far. I hope The Heiress marks the beginning of a long, long stage career for Chastain.
Posted by futureaviator 2012-10-07 00:14:43
Posted by Leadingplayer 2012-10-07 01:20:11
How does Chastain look in the show? Is she de-glamourized? I always thought she is too attractive for this role.
Posted by WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel 2012-10-07 08:58:42
Chastain was de-glamorized for sure. She had a frumpy wig and appeared to be wearing very little make-up.
Posted by Luv2goToShows 2012-10-07 09:03:37
As always, WhizzerMarvinTrinaJasonMendel, thanks for your feedback. Looking forward to seeing this.
Posted by Getting_Ready 2012-10-07 09:28:46
I'm really hoping to see this! Thanks for the great review! Do you see this on TKTS frequently or will this sell out? I myself, am leaning toward the latter but I want to see other peoples opinions.
Posted by WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel 2012-10-07 09:43:20
This may sell out when the word of mouth spreads, but right now it is not selling out. It seems the producers are playing a game where they're acting like a hit from the onset- it's not on tdf, the discount code is stingy, etc. There is a student rush for $30, and the seats are in the balcony.
I don't think it would be a bad idea for them to give a better discount for previews and really pack the house to generate word of mouth.
Getting Ready, Don't waste you time in the TKTS line. The discount code for performances during the week is $69, which is what you'd pay at TKTS anyway.
Posted by macnyc 2012-10-07 10:14:14
I had to google "edging," but thanks for the heads-up about the show!
Posted by kadu335 2012-10-07 10:26:30
i'm seeing this November 11... I'm really excited about it!
Thanks for all the info WhizzerMarvinTrinaJasonMendel!
Posted by EricMontreal22 2012-10-07 13:05:43
Thanks Whizzer--that sounds like the perfect way to do The Heiress. I have some issues with the play itself--as an adaptation of Washington Square it can seem to miss the subtlety of the novel, and be rather workmanlike when not played for the plays strengths--which, as you say, is that slow burn.
Obviously, not having seen it, I do think that's how Morris should be played though--as completely full of charm, and that the audience never suspects anything, but that may be because of how I read Monty Clift in the part in the movie. I'm glad Stevens seems to do well in the role--I only know him from Downton Abbey and especially The Line of Beauty, in both pieces where he plays an outsider who the audience identifies with as he gets to experience an elevated life.
Posted by defyingravity11 2012-10-07 15:54:30
I have to agree with Whizzer. I was there last night as well and I absolutely loved Jessica Chastain. Judith Ivey is delightful and David Strathairn may need a few more performances to get a more layered performance. It was very tight for a first preview (and an added preview at that).
Posted by RippedMan 2012-10-07 18:12:18
How was Kaufman's direction? I think he can be very hit or miss.
Posted by WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel 2012-10-07 19:19:42
The direction is fine, but not noticeable. There's nothing revolutionary going on, but I don't think the play calls for that. He lets the text speak for itself, and relies on the actors rather than directorial gimmicks to make it work. (When you have Chastain at the helm why do anything else?)
Truly the more I think about it the more I wish I could go back again this week.
Posted by little_sally 2012-10-07 21:17:52
What is the current running time?
Posted by TalkinLoud 2012-10-07 22:07:41
Whizzer, from the sounds of it, it's in pretty solid shape? No need to wait a few weeks for it to catch its footing?
Posted by defyingravity11 2012-10-08 09:50:20
^I think it ran just over 2 hours and 45 minutes the night I saw it.
Posted by little_sally 2012-10-08 10:03:18
Posted by WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel 2012-10-08 10:06:30
TalkinLoud- It is in very solid shape. I think in a week or two Stevens and Strathairn will have added some needed finesse to their performances, but it is certainly worth seeing now if you can't wait!
Posted by After Eight 2012-10-08 10:25:30
To the most esteemed and estimable critic in this purlieu,
Thank you or so elegantly assessing the experience of seeing The Heiress.
The metaphors here have been so charming of late.
Posted by Misha515 2012-10-08 11:03:40
Thanks for the info. Whizzer! I am a crazy Chastain fan,too and I have tix for the end of the month. What's the seating like? I have 3rd row center and I hope I'm not TOO CLOSE to the stage. I like seeing the actors expressions so good sightlines is important to me. I am so excited that the production sounds like a good one. I hope this is the start of something big for Jessica Chastain on Broadway.
Posted by dave1606 2012-10-11 00:32:09
Saw this tonight and pretty much agree with Whizzer. What I want to convey first off though is the set is STUNNING.
Slight SPoiler: When the curtain liftedn to reveal the maid lighting the chandelier it took my breath away. That little bit of action alone would make any play worthwhile. However, a little actress known as Jessica Chastain more than accomplishes that.
She is truly excellent in this role that is certainly built for a star vehicle. She has no less than 5 changes in the first act and almost as many in the second. And what gorgeous costumes they are. Superficially one of the best looking productions overall I have ever seen.
For me the one weak link was David Strathairn. I felt like alot of his lines were read a bit flat. But, perhps this will improve with a few more performances. Judith Ivey was having fun with the part, and getting lots of laughs. I do agree aboubt Dan Stevens. He came on and I just wanted to like him. I feel like we needed a more slimy guy than him.
But overall this is Jessica's role. She takes us on a journey and it really is chilling when we get to the final scene. Finally a Broadway show and Actoress living up to the hype.
On an interesting side note, I would encourage anyone interested in the world of the Heiress to visit the Merchant House Museum. Much of the play/book(Washington Square) and design have ties to it, and its inhabitants. Plus it is one of the most interesting in sights to see in Manhattan.
One more note. The last two rows of the mezz are priced at $50 for previews. I would encourage anyone to take advantae of this. (The best deal outside of a student rush). The view was perfect.
Also, as for stage dooring, I waited tonight, and Dan Stevens and Jessica Chastain both signed and couldn't be nicer. They both came out after a relatively short amount of time. The crowd was quite small too.
Posted by WithoutATrace 2012-10-11 00:55:14
LOVED the show so much tonight. The cast was perfect, and the script (which I was not familiar with) was outstanding. I highly recommend this, and frankly, I want to go back soon. A very quick three hours. Congrats to all involved.
Posted by April Saul 2012-10-11 01:22:19
So good to hear all this right after I got myself a ticket to see it in December...although you guys are making me want to see it sooner! And to anyone who wants to see it now, it was up at TKTS for tonight's performance...
Posted by henrikegerman 2012-10-11 08:04:43
Shouldn't Maurice Townsend be likable and his motives be ambiguous? After all this is Henry James, not Clyde Fitch. All the characters' arcs become more disturbing if Townsend is persuasively loving. As a matter of fact isn't that exactly why the movie is so brilliant? Clift was not outwardly slimy at all and keeps us guessing to - and beyond - the end.
Posted by Wilmingtom 2012-10-11 16:02:56
I agree that Townsend needs to be likable and his motives ambiguous. If the audience knows that he's not all he appears to be too early, it throws off the balance of the relationships. Would love to see this, although memories of Cherry Jones' revelatory performance are still with me. Big Chastain fan and delighted that she's doing so well.
Posted by EricMontreal22 2012-10-11 17:16:57
Henrik, I agree completely. That seems to be the very point of the play (more so than the novel, which is of course considerably more complex), and I like that it can be strongly argued either way at the end (at least of a good production). I assume Stevens would play that quality very well (while more sympathetic, I know many people seemed to see something similar in his characterization of social climber Nick in the Davies adaptation of The Line of Beauty)
Posted by Auggie27 2012-10-11 18:16:52
This and WOOLF were the two shows I was most anticipating this season (both revivals, irony not lost). More than the Albee play, THE HEIRESS competes in my mind with the iconic film, DeHavilland's finest hour, unequaled even by the sterling Cherry Jones, whom I admired greatly. Every time I watch it I marvel anew at Olivia's mastery of Catherine's emotionally epic journey, the way she is almost defeated by every obstacle until she finds her soul as much as her voice. She's heartbreaking yet never pitiful, and in some ways heroic. And Richardson manages the impossible: to make us understand the nature of his disappointment in his only child. When Catherine forces his hand, Richardson grows vulnerable, deeply shaken by the predicament (entirely of his making, duly noted) he finds his family in. It's one of the most carefully drawn family dynamics ever put on film, as blistering and truthful as anything in contemporary movies. The Goetz's great contribution is their ability to shape the story and carve out scenes of searing emotional suspense. And of course, the ending is entirely theirs, as James doesn't conclude his story with anything like the wallop of a crescendo in the play and film. I dare say, the coda is one reason the story works in such a heart-stopping way. The Goetz's gave us a period on the story that now almost defines it. I'm pleased to hear it's nailed in this production, and as noted, can't wait to see it in November.
Posted by henrikegerman 2012-10-12 11:28:04
And what a period! With one of the most iconic lines in history.
Posted by bobs3 2012-10-12 16:10:53
Aunt Lavinia: Can you be so cruel?
Catherine: Yes, I can be very cruel. I have been taught by masters.
Posted by Jane2 2012-10-12 16:47:26
I've only seen the film but to me, Maurice's motives became clear pretty early on. Way before he stood her up. It didn't ruin the story for me though. I love it, and hope to see Chastain in it.
Posted by bobs3 2012-10-12 21:21:25
Catherine with money is a lot more attractive than Catherine without money.
Posted by TalkinLoud 2012-10-13 12:46:44
I thought this was really, really good.
For those wondering: rush was super easy. We were the first to arrive on Friday at 9am. When the box office opened at 10...we were still the only ones there.
And as for stage door, Jessica and Dan came out and signed and posed for everyone. Extremely, extremely friend. Judith came out, but didn't sign, though I'd imagine if someone asked her to she would have. David snuck out elsewhere.
Posted by violet72 2012-10-15 08:46:17
I am going Nov 17th. I am a big fan of the movie, the play, and book. Have any of you see Jennifer Jason Leigh in Washington Square? It follows the book more and is meaner. I highly reccomend it to anyone who is a fan of The Heiress
Posted by WiCkEDrOcKS 2012-10-15 10:56:04
Are the rush seats in the balcony? How's the view?
Posted by TalkinLoud 2012-10-15 11:03:02
Yes, the rush seats are in the balcony. If you've never sat there, the seats are high and steep. You're definitely "looking down." However, the staging is such that you don't miss anything.
Posted by dreaming 2012-10-15 11:16:42
I hate the balcony at that theater, particularly for plays, as it can be hard to hear. I also just hate how high it is and looking down is a bit unnerving for me.
Posted by TalkinLoud 2012-10-15 11:17:27
You can hear everything fine for this show.
Posted by spike3 2012-10-15 12:37:16
The show has been starting at exactly 3 min past the hour, they are strict with that, as well as with the length of intermission. Show comes dwn at 10:45, or 10:46. The sound for this show is fine, no matter where you are sitting
Posted by WiCkEDrOcKS 2012-10-18 17:19:59
Has anyone rushed this recently? Is it still a relatively easy rush? Thanks!
Posted by jeffmiele 2012-10-20 12:21:51
I got my ticket for the matinee today at 12:00 and there are still 8 seats left.. Listening to people ahead of me the theater sounds to be pretty sold out as there are not too decent seats left.. But yes, Rocks, for a Saturday matinee it was very easy.. First row center balcony
Posted by ClydeBarrow 2012-10-25 10:58:00
The rush for yesterday's matinee was very easy. I got there at 10 and scored and ticket in the second row of the balcony.
The height is unsettling to me at first but you get used to it. The problem that I have are all the lights on up there. There are lights on each end of the aisle and it's very distracting. Plus there are very bright lights behind you in the stairwell. I wish someone would fix that.
Play is great also. Jessica and Dan are unbelievable.
Posted by nasty_khakis 2012-10-26 00:12:04
I got a rush ticket for tonight's show around 3:30 pm today and there were still empty seats in the balcony. I moved down to the 3rd row at intermission and had a much better view. Whizzer was right, Chastain's face is not to be missed during the scene she is spoken so harshly to by her father. It's literally like a flip is switched and her emotion changes so instantaneously yet naturally.
Every one is great in this production. I LOVED how ambiguous Stevens's intentions were almost the entire play. I love when Townsend isn't played like a total gigolo creeper from moment one or like an innocent true love sick pony the entire time either. I found myself guessing if he truly cared for her (but wanted the money as well, don't get me wrong) the entire time, including his final scene. I know the novel fairly well so I knew it was coming, but it still pleased me that he kept me pondering the entire time.
Strathairn was wonderful as well. He was viciously cutting when he needed to be, but he wasn't entirely heartless as I've seen the character played before. I think he does love his daughter even with his deep-rooted blame and disappointment.
Ivey was delightful and I agree will be nominated. She was flighty and imposing, but never shrill or annoying.
Chastain was all she is hyped to be. Truly a masterful performance and in total control of herself and the character at all times. Her gradual changes scene to scene were beautifully done and subtle. She truly has fun in the last scene and the smile that creeps over her face during the final moments while ascending the staircase were chilling (as was the beautiful lighting). My only qualm is how beautiful she is. Blah blah gray makeup and frumpy wig, but Chastain is strikingly beautiful even from the Kerr balcony. The first time her father mentions how "ugly" she is the audience laughed. I kept misremembering the play and assumed it was a "she's not her mother so he doesn't think she's as pretty, etc etc" but then when other characters agreed I laughed. If only I were half as "plain" as she.
As mentioned before the sets and costumes make a STRONG impression. All you need to know about the characters can be seen in their clothing scene to scene.
The direction, to me, was skillful. Yes, he lets it speak for itself and isn't trying to reinvent the wheel, but this play does not need gimmicks, tricks, or anything new or inventive to shine. He lets each character be an entity and not the archetypes they can be and usually are. Direction IS 90% casting after all.
I except even Brantley will RAVE.
Posted by henrikegerman 2012-10-26 07:34:46
Stevens in interviews has addressed his choice, quite persuasively, that Morris falls in love with the good life but is not in his mind using Catherine. That he sees in Catherine a sweetness, trust and need for him that goes along with the sweet life she offers him. That she is a kind, loving woman who is part of a golden future, of the seduction. This is also interesting to view in terms of sexual politics; it is arguably indistinguishable from the way a great many women saw the appeal of wealthy men who were good men but not any girl's idea of a romantic prize. Then and now.
Posted by bobs3 2012-10-26 10:04:09
In 1850, Catherine has a private income of $10,000/year. In 2012 dollars that income would have purchasing power of between $300,000 and $600,000.
If she inherited her father's money she would have an income of $30,000/year or purchasing power of between $900,000 and $1.8 million in 2012.
Even at the low end, is Morris so greedy he could not live quite comfortably on Catherine's $10,000? In 1850 you buy a high-quality custom made men's suit for $50. He could have hired a live-in valet for about $3.00 per month. They probably could not have afforded the upkeep on a large Washington Square townhouse but they could have moved to a nice but smaller one a few fashionable blocks away.
Posted by henrikegerman 2012-10-27 18:29:31
Saw today's matinee. Good crowd. The set is perfect. This is an elegantly restrained and intelligent production with the drama volume turned down, which will likely disappoint many (granted, most of us think of The Heiress as a chance for high tor dramatic tension in the classic vein). I found the toned down take refreshing and psychologically nuanced. Thought provoking in a very different kind of way. What Austen does to Catherine by seeing her in a certain light (which we rarely see quite as clearly) takes center stage. Chastain's Catherine is more awkward than homely, resistant to the expectations of society as well as her father, making Strathairn's Austen much more complicated, personalized, in his judgment and grief. It also makes Stevens's lie-of-the-mind sincerity very persuasive. Kaufman has given us a very different vision, consistently entertaining but far more subtle. Strathairn is much more likeable than one might expect, he seems always to be doing what he thinks is right for his daughter and to have a tragic flaw of never being able to encourage and help her because he is so set in his vision of her as unaccomplished and dim. The end is very different. Rather than a bitter Catherine, we are left with a woman who has experienced closure and is ready to put down her needlework and..... something. She reminded me a lot of Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio and Ivey reminded me a lot of Estelle Parsons.
Posted by nasty_khakis 2012-10-27 18:40:03
Henrick, when I saw the play I kept thinking how much Ivey sounded like Parsons! Her sing-songy deliveries and general nosiness sounded exactly like the voice and tone Parsons used on Roseanne.
Posted by Dollypop 2012-10-27 18:52:35
I was planning to skip this play and cherish the memories of the production with Cherry Jones and Michael Cumpsty. After reading these comments, I may have to reconsider my decision.
Posted by vegas2 2012-10-27 19:44:33
The performances were outstanding across the board. The Sunday night audience was truly into it, and completely sympathized with Catherine -- they audibly gasped at some of the thoughtless comments by her father and aunt. It was funny how we reacted as though it was all real. I think that's a pretty strong indication of the quality of this production.
Posted by ClydeBarrow 2012-10-27 20:08:19
I definitely agree with the Judith Ivey/Estelle Parsons comparison.
Posted by givesmevoice 2012-10-27 20:37:44
I was at today's matinee and loved it. The performances were truly incredible, the scenic design is sumptuous and, not being familiar with the play, had a totally satisfying payoff.
Posted by Misha515 2012-10-29 08:03:28
I saw this Friday night and was blown away. Hands down best show I have ever seen. The performances were riveting and the set was beautiful. It was a different take than the original movie but I felt it was a lot more lively and emotional. The entire cast was perfect and Jessica Chastain as Catherine Sloper was Tony worthy. The audience sat in silence as her father tore her down. So good I want to see it again!
Posted by jaxandmci 2012-10-29 09:27:03
I saw the Saturday matinee and must agree that it is an outstanding show in all aspects. I was a bit worried that a 2 3/4 hour play might leave me a bit restless (or nap prone since I got little sleep the night before) but it was riveting and the time just flew by. A superior cast led by a very strong Jessican Chastain. See it!
Posted by kyl3fong2 2012-10-29 10:59:46
How is the stage door at the show? Are there a lot of people or is it relatively easy to get photos with both Chastain and Stevens?
Posted by givesmevoice 2012-10-29 12:18:38
After the Saturday matinee there were probably about 30 or so people at the stage door and both Chastain and Stevens were very sweet, signing and taking pictures with anyone who asked.
Posted by WickedOne2 2012-10-29 16:30:16
I would love to see this as I am a big fan of Jessica Chastain. Does she come out the stage door at matinees?
Posted by tokki2 2012-10-29 22:49:20
Yes, she does. She's said that she tries to come out the stage door after every show and to my knowledge she has done just that. Very kind and lovely person :)
Does anyone know if she'll sign non-Heiress related things? I'm planning to catch the show again and would like to maybe get a DVD signed.
Posted by bobs3 2012-10-30 02:48:33
I wonder if they will reschedule the opening. It's due to open Thursday evening. Assuming Tuesday and Wednesday performances are critics previews and with the Tuesday performance cancelled and who knows what will happen Wednesday. I don't know what the weather forecast is for Wednesday.
Posted by Misha515 2012-10-30 09:08:31
My guess is that Jessica would sign anything. She's a lovely person and I can't see her saying "NO" to a fan.
Posted by Playbilly 2012-10-30 10:24:02
Will they post-pone opening night due to Sandy?
Posted by tokki2 2012-10-31 19:26:08
Posted by jaxel614 2012-10-31 20:08:22
Does anyone know if there is going to be a rush for opening night tomorrow? Nothing to do so I thought I might as well give it a go.
Posted by tokki2 2012-10-31 20:21:35
Very unlikely. If you check telecharge, there seems to be only a few balcony seats left.
Posted by cglaid 2012-10-31 21:18:09
I was there for the matinee. It was EMPTY. Seats available all over the orchestra and mezzanine. I grabbed a ticket 10 minutes before curtain. However, it didn't stop the audience from truly getting into it. Like someone else said, there were audible gasps after comments from Catherine's aunt/father. Jessica Chastain is amazing in this show. Notable mentions to David Stratairn and the always amazing Judith Ivey. I thought Dan Stevens was very over the top and caricature-ish in act one, but they made a comment about him being less animated or something in act two, and I liked him better in act two.
On another note, the set is absolutely breathtaking.
I only stayed for Jessica Chastain/Dan Stevens at the stage door. Both stayed and posed/signed for EVERYONE. Michael Urie came to visit Jessica and as she came out she was so excited and announced to everyone, "THIS IS MICHAEL URIE EVERYBODY, WE WENT TO COLLEGE FOR FOUR YEARS TOGETHER." So happy I saw this show. Definitely recommend.
Posted by darion 2012-11-01 15:04:31
i saw the show last saturday and it was amazing. everyone was great especially Judith Ivey who lit up the stage and Jessica Chastain who absolutely amazed me with her ability to change emotions in a flash and get her tears to stream down her face at a moments notice. afterwards she and dan came out and were so gracious and friendly, you would have thought this was their first acting jobs ever.
Posted by jaxel614 2012-11-01 15:19:48
How is the rush post-Sandy? I know there haven't been too many performances and tonight is opening night, but I'm deciding whether or not to get a ticket tomorrow morning.
Thanks for your help.
Posted by ChairinMain 2012-11-02 03:25:58
Reviews are out...Brantley managed to write a review that made me want to punch him. Not because I disagreed with him (though in large part I did) but because of the dismissive, "I'm-so-witty" tone usually reserved for outright pans rather than a mixed but favorable review. The tone of the review hurts the show more than anything he actually critizes it for, and it seems the revival's biggest crime is not being as good as the Cherry Jones vehicle was. Pretty annoyed.
Posted by henrikegerman 2012-11-02 07:53:52
Charin, you said a mouthful. He is turning into a major bitch. I may agree with him less than you did, but my sentiments and yours are the same. I feel that Brantley didn't even try to see/express what this production was going for - less melodrama and more of a more Jamesian psychological study of the characters - and then finding it unsuccessful for the reasons he did. The fact that I find it very successful and he did not is fine. The fact that he was so arrogantly dismissive is what made me also want to take him out.
Posted by RippedMan 2013-01-02 18:26:52
I kind of agree with Brantley. I saw the show's matinee today and was totally into the story, but I thought the performances - besides Ivey and the supporting cast - were pretty boring. Chastin kept doing this weird like sing-song way of saying her lines. Even a simple yes was said "yesssSSSs" and it just got annoying. Her best moment was during the "will someone love me" scene in the dark, but otherwise I didn't see her change at all. The change was too small and too drastic.
The set was gorgeous, and I loved the lighting at the end with the transparent walls. Almost wish there had been more of that. I always expect gorgeous lighting and stage craft from Kaufman. The mezz had about 20 people in it.
Posted by greatwhiteway72 2013-01-02 21:01:03
Did she come out the stage door after the matinee?
Posted by RippedMan 2013-01-03 00:26:05
Didn't stick around to see. Dan Stevens did, so I imagine she probably did?