Ivanov at CSC

WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
Ivanov at CSC
Posted: 10/19/12 at 11:30am
Caught Ivanov at CSC last night, and thought it was mighty fine. The three leads (Ethan Hawke, Joely Richardson, Juliet Rylance) are so superb it's ridiculous. Of course they are surrounded by strong talent with the likes of Roberta Maxwell and, in a delightful comic turn, George Morfogen. (I don't think CSC is allowed to put on shows without Maxwell in the cast, nor should they. She is a true gem and a hard-to-find-these-days character actress.)

Austin Pendleton, who had to step in for a small part last night, has coaxed such nice performances out of everyone; you can tell he really is an actor's director. The three hours flew by, and even though the characters are such self-involved, whiney, pathetic, greedy, egocentric, surly creatures, I couldn't think of people I'd rather spend an evening with.
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
WithoutATrace
Broadway Legend
joined:11/27/04
Ivanov at CSC
Posted: 10/19/12 at 01:28pm
I agree. The cast last night was sensational. I am in awe of how excellent these CSC productions are lately. Top notch. Definitely go see this if you can snag a ticket.
dreaming
Broadway Legend
joined:4/24/09
Ivanov at CSC
Posted: 10/19/12 at 04:53pm
Is there a rush of some nature?
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Ivanov at CSC
Posted: 10/19/12 at 05:50pm
I'm glad to hear it, Whizzer! On the page, I find the play one of Chekhov's most difficult and least rewarding. I'm glad somebody sorted it out on its feet.
LimelightMike
Broadway Legend
joined:6/21/06
Ivanov at CSC
Posted: 10/28/12 at 11:38pm
Is there a Playbill for this one?
Would love to see the cover art!

LimelightMike's 2010-2011 Theatergoing Schedule: THE PITMEN PAINTERS (10.03.10) A LIFE IN THE THEATRE (10.10.10) BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON (10.16.10) THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS (11.06.10) WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN (11.13.10) BRIEF ENCOUNTER (11.22.10) THE PEE-WEE HERMAN SHOW (11.28.10) LA BETE (12.23.10) A SMALL FIRE (01.13.11) THAT CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON (03.09.11) ARCADIA (03.16.11) BLACK TIE (03.19.11) PRISCILLA: QUEEN OF THE DESERT (03.21.11) THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST (03.26.11) BENGAL TIGER AT THE BAGHDAD ZOO (03.30.11) GHETTO KLOWN (03.31.11) HOW TO SUCCEED... (04.07.11) ANYTHING GOES (04.12.11) JERUSALEM (04.20.11) SISTER ACT (04.29.11) iHO: (05.22.11)
aaronb
Broadway Star
joined:6/3/12
Ivanov at CSC
Posted: 10/29/12 at 02:23am
Good to hear. Seeing it this Saturday.
Check out my theater blog, http://www.scribicide.com
AC126748
Broadway Legend
joined:7/15/06
Ivanov at CSC
Posted: 10/29/12 at 10:26am
I don't think CSC is allowed to put on shows without Maxwell in the cast, nor should they. She is a true gem and a hard-to-find-these-days character actress.

Agreed. Her performance as Queen Margaret in CSC's Richard III about five years ago is still one of the best Shakespearean performances I've ever seen. She's a treasure.
"You travel alone because other people are only there to remind you how much that hook hurts that we all bit down on. Wait for that one day we can bite free and get back out there in space where we belong, sail back over water, over skies, into space, the hook finally out of our mouths and we wander back out there in space spawning to other planets never to return hurrah to earth and we'll look back and can't even see these lives here anymore. Only the taste of blood to remind us we ever existed. The earth is small. We're gone. We're dead. We're safe." -John Guare, Landscape of the Body
aaronb
Broadway Star
joined:6/3/12
Ivanov at CSC
Posted: 11/11/12 at 06:27pm
What could have been a decent production is absolutely ruined by Ethan Hawke--one of the worst actors I have ever seen in a big-budget production. I reviewed it here: http://scribicide.com/2012/11/11/scenes-from-a-marriage/
Check out my theater blog, http://www.scribicide.com
henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
Ivanov at CSC
Posted: 11/11/12 at 07:14pm
Aaron, notwithstanding your objections to Hawke's performance, which may be well justified for all I know, is it appropriate to say in your review that he is "now dabbling in Chekhov"? Twenty years ago Hawke played Treplev on Broadway (directed by Marshall W. Mason, with Tyne Daly, Jon Voight and Laura Linney); he has also played Trofimov for The Bridge (directed by Sam Mendes with Sinead Cusack, Simon Russell Beale and Rebecca Hall).

Hawke may arguably not have succeeded. But having played Ivanov, Treplev and Trofimov in major productions, over a period of two decades, he has surely more than "dabbled" in Chekhov. I think it would be safe to say that few American actors, let alone well known ones, have Chekhov credits comparable to Hawke's.









Updated On: 11/15/12 at 07:14 PM
aaronb
Broadway Star
joined:6/3/12
Ivanov at CSC
Posted: 11/11/12 at 07:31pm
I take your point--and perhaps I was being unfair. I am well aware of Hawke's history with Chekhov, and a friend of mine, whose opinion I greatly respect, has been raving about his performance in THE CHERRY ORCHARD for years.

Still, I tend to group him in the category of actors who earn parts because of celebrity and not talent (though, admittedly, that might not have been the case in his Broadway debut). Therefore, "dabble" is meant to suggest that his relationship with the theater is cynical and superficial, even if he does have the credentials and the history.

It is frustrating for me to see so many great performers relegated to smaller productions and smaller roles because bigger names draw bigger audiences (and, therefore, more money)--so that's where I was coming from with that comment.
Check out my theater blog, http://www.scribicide.com
TheEnchantedHunter
Broadway Legend
joined:6/27/05
Ivanov at CSC
Posted: 11/11/12 at 11:07pm
Hawke is fine in a good, if somewhat disjunctive (accents, acting styles, etc) production of a tough play. The first half is largely exposition and can be a bit of a slog. But it all pays off in the second half, which is quite compelling. It's an early work in Chekhov's output but Ivanov contains all the themes we've come to expect in the classic plays.

Late in the play, Hawke breaks the fourth wall and addresses the audience directly in a ten-minute monologue, and the communion between actor and audience is nothing short of magical. That alone was worth the price of admission, IMO.
whatever2
Broadway Legend
joined:8/25/06
Ivanov at CSC
Posted: 11/12/12 at 04:03pm
> his relationship with the theater is cynical and superficial.

Except it isn't.

Hawke's appeared in dozens of plays, on and off Broadway, and in some of the country's most highly-regarded regional companies (e.g., Steppenwolf). He's directed twice, and even won an obscure-ish award for his commitment to theater.

I take the larger point about film stars dabbling, but Hawke's stage cred is more than sufficient.
"You, sir, are a moron." (PlayItAgain)
aaronb
Broadway Star
joined:6/3/12
Ivanov at CSC
Posted: 11/13/12 at 08:33pm
I just can't see how appearing in lots of plays automatically excludes your relationship to the theater from being called "cynical" or "superficial."

I could name quite a few politicians who have been campaigning for decades and could still be called both.
Check out my theater blog, http://www.scribicide.com
wickedfan
Broadway Legend
joined:12/25/03
Ivanov at CSC
Posted: 11/13/12 at 08:41pm
That's a poor comparison, aaronb.

Politicians are cynical and superficial by nature. They are the only types of people who can make it so far in politics.

By calling Hawke's relationship with theater "superficial," it implies that he does it for some sort of credibility, like when Julia Roberts did Three Days of Rain or when Madonna did Speed the Plow. Hawke continually works in the theater in different kinds of dramatic works and in different positions and not always at prominent theaters. I'd hardly call that "superficial."

That being said, having seen him in interviews he does come off as a bit of a douche. But that has nothing to do with his theater work.
"Sing the words, Patti!!!!" Stephen Sondheim to Patti LuPone.
EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
Ivanov at CSC
Posted: 11/13/12 at 08:55pm
Hawke definitely has a recognizable name, but is he even that huge a draw? He hasn't done a major Hollywood movie (unless you count this year's Sinister) in a 7-8 years, and seems to persue other interests (writing, directing, theatre, indie movies) now. That's not to say whether he's good or not--the last films I've liked him in have been Richard Linkletter ones like Before Sunrise and the film version of the play Tape, which I believe the cast did for next to nothing as a favour to the director and the playwright.

I remember he did promote a novel he wrote on Oprah years back, and I read some of it and found it awful--but I wouldn't say I see him doing so much theatre as cynical.
EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
Ivanov at CSC
Posted: 11/13/12 at 09:07pm
Oh and aaronb, Ethan HAS played Hamlet on film--that modern day one from ten years or so that used a lot of modern media--I admit I have largely forgotten about it myself, though at the time I remember thinking it sorta worked.
themysteriousgrowl
Broadway Legend
joined:11/10/10
Ivanov at CSC
Posted: 11/14/12 at 07:20am

I'm curious as to what EH would have to do to legitimize him in aaronb's eyes.
CHURCH DOOR TOUCAN GAY MARKETING PUPPIES MUSICAL THEATER STAPLES PERIOD CUM OIL
aaronb
Broadway Star
joined:6/3/12
Ivanov at CSC
Posted: 11/14/12 at 06:04pm
I actually liked Almereyda's HAMLET, if only because he had the courage to try something new.

And I don't think it's fair to say that politicians are superficial and cynical by nature--and that ONLY those kind of people can be successful in politics--seems like kind of an easy statement to make. I don't know any personally, but I would guess there are plenty who are genuinely good people.

"Superficial" can imply more than just a bid for credibility (though for me, that's definitely part of it)--it can also mean he's stupid, which I suspect he is, that his relationship with the texts he's performing are not as interesting as they would be if the part were in the hands of a better actor. You can throw as much Shakespeare and Chekhov as you want at him, but if he doesn't have the talent, it's not going to make much of a difference.

I guess, based on these comments, that the only good performance Hawke has given is the one where he plays a serious actor.

@themysteriousgrowl--something knowing and self-effacing, like those great cameos on EXTRAS. Certainly turned me around on Orlando Bloom.
Check out my theater blog, http://www.scribicide.com
NYC4Life
Broadway Star
joined:1/23/06
Ivanov at CSC
Posted: 11/14/12 at 06:39pm
Wow. We get it, you didn't like his performance. You have every right to not think he is a good actor.

I for one think he is extremely talented. I also know for a fact he is not stupid and that he is actually quite intelligent, extremely kind and thoughtful man. Your opinions seem to turn extremely personally. Why make assumptions about ones personal character when discussing his performance.

Ethan has done so much for the arts and is extremely passionate, dedicated and focused regarding anything he does artistically. He is far from mainstream hollywood, (Not that there is anything wrong with that) and he is always stretching as an artist.
Laurelei
Chorus Member
joined:7/14/11
Ivanov at CSC
Posted: 12/5/12 at 08:55pm
This is a long shot, but does anyone have a ticket they want to part with? It's sold out until Sunday and I'm desperate to see it... If you do, please PM me or send me an email at laure.ientale at gmail.com ?
"There's a Sondheim song for that."
whatever2
Broadway Legend
joined:8/25/06
Ivanov at CSC
Posted: 12/5/12 at 11:44pm
I wish you luck, but don't kick yourself if things don't pan out. The cast really tried, but it was like watching paint dry.

I swear to you my first thought at the end of the play when we finally heard the gunshot was, "why couldn't you have done that a half-hour ago???"
"You, sir, are a moron." (PlayItAgain)