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Cat Up On A Hot Tin Roof Reviews

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Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
Cat Up On A Hot Tin Roof Reviews
Posted: 1/17/13 at 10:07pm
I guess Limelight Mike doesnt like Sar-Jo!

I'm on my phone and can't post em but go on ahead if you can find them!
chanel
Leading Actor
joined:1/28/04
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Visceral_Fella
Broadway Star
joined:1/18/12
Cat Up On A Hot Tin Roof Reviews
Posted: 1/17/13 at 10:14pm
Ms. Johansson must be giving a stellar performance if Brantley liked her.
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NewYorkTheater
Broadway Star
joined:1/23/10
Jordan Catalano Profile Photo
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
Cat Up On A Hot Tin Roof Reviews
Posted: 1/17/13 at 10:16pm
She actually is.
Tom-497
Stand-by
joined:12/18/05
Cat Up On A Hot Tin Roof Reviews
Posted: 1/17/13 at 10:40pm
Financial Times is 3 out of 5 stars. I don't know if the link will work.

All the physical production co-ordinated by director Rob Ashford for this Tennessee Williams masterpiece is indelible....

Hinds hasn’t quite the rotundity that we expect from Broadway Big Daddys.... But the actor’s southern accent isn’t syrupy, and he achieves genuine pathos in the act-two showdown with Brick....

Monk’s Big Mama prods and pokes Maggie with the practiced skill of a professional character actor....

If Benjamin Walker gives us a solid Brick awash in whisky, Johansson delivers a Maggie with a whisky voice.... Johansson shies away from the poses that can turn Maggie the Cat into Maggie the Sex Kitten, but she doesn’t find much biting humour in the role – the way that Elizabeth Taylor did in the 1958 movie version. The performance is modestly accomplished, but furnishes little insight into the character....

FT
Tom-497
Stand-by
joined:12/18/05
Cat Up On A Hot Tin Roof Reviews
Posted: 1/17/13 at 10:47pm
New York is mixed.


Johansson puts up a hell of a fight in the first act, but even her radiance is no match for a staging that seems to absorb and diffuse heat as fast as the actors can generate it. She starts strong, a ready pugilist, and she has to be: Act One belongs entirely to her. Yet Johansson’s Maggie resides not in her blooming body or her more reticent soul, but in her throat: The character seems like a meticulous aural creation, and feels oh-so-created....

Luckily, Ciarán Hinds’ Big Daddy lopes in for Act Two, and he and Walker strike up a rowdy chemistry.... Hinds, regularly employed as a movie heavy, is clearly having a ball. There’s no detail work in his rendition: He just performs like the roof’s on fire—when, in fact, the room remains mystifyingly tepid throughout.

New York
QuirkyGuy
Swing
joined:9/18/12
Cat Up On A Hot Tin Roof Reviews
Posted: 1/17/13 at 10:55pm
Entertainment Weekly is mixed. Grade: B


EW
Tom-497
Stand-by
joined:12/18/05
Cat Up On A Hot Tin Roof Reviews
Posted: 1/17/13 at 10:56pm
Hollywood Reporter is mixed.

For an actor whose experience is primarily in film, Johansson has innate stage presence, as she showed in her Tony-winning turn opposite Liev Schreiber in A View From the Bridge in 2010. She has no trouble playing sultry and looks alluring in Maggie’s iconic slip. Johansson has made some bold choices in the demanding role, aging herself with a coarsened, growling voice, knowing humor and a refusal to soften the character’s abrasive edge. There’s no kitten in her cat. But keeping Maggie’s vulnerability hidden until the final act seems a mistake. Without the underlying wounds she’s just a shrew....

There are real sparks in the father-son faceoff because Hinds gets the determination and frustration of Big Daddy, a crude man accustomed to buying or bullying his way out of any situation. It’s a cruel irony that the exception is self-destructive Brick, the only member of the family he truly loves. Ashford and his actors do right by this sometimes-neglected aspect of the play, forging a kinship that exists between the two characters contrary to all logic.

Hollywood Reporter
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NewYorkTheater
Broadway Star
joined:1/23/10
Cat Up On A Hot Tin Roof Reviews
Posted: 1/17/13 at 11:02pm
I thought it was dull. Maybe I saw it on an off night.
Tom-497
Stand-by
joined:12/18/05
Cat Up On A Hot Tin Roof Reviews
Posted: 1/17/13 at 11:05pm
Backstage is fairly negative.

In his stage directions Williams calls Maggie a role that is “almost sung” and notes that her voice has “range and music.” Johansson’s froggy instrument rarely varies in pitch as she races through the words on a single level of truculence, as if Maggie thinks that she can get her alcoholic husband, Brick, to sleep with her just by bullying him. Johansson’s mangled rhythms and self-consciously thick Southern accent frequently impede clarity, and the actor is never able to show us Maggie’s shifting strategies for achieving her goal....

The proceedings perk up a bit when Ciarán Hinds’ Big Daddy shows up in Act 2.... Though Hinds is never convincingly Southern and also exhibits a tendency to charge through his lines unheedingly and indistinctly, he goes doggedly toward Big Daddy’s objective, and Benjamin Walker, as Brick, finally has something to play against....
Backstage
Tom-497
Stand-by
joined:12/18/05
Cat Up On A Hot Tin Roof Reviews
Posted: 1/17/13 at 11:10pm
AP is mixed to positive.

Whether all the sound effects are meant to enhance the performances onstage or cover up the acting is unclear. What's not unclear is that an unnecessarily noisy production opened Thursday at the Richard Rodgers Theatre. The ruckus distracts from some fine performances and a play that deserves - as most of the men in it also wish - silence sometimes.

Scarlett Johansson turns in a nifty turn as Maggie, finding humor and barely hidden desperation in her role as frustrated wife and mother-to-be....

Benjamin Walker, as her husband Brick, is slow to boil but savage when he does....

The older couple in this three-act melodrama - Debra Monk as Big Mama and Ciaran Hinds as Big Daddy - are excellent as a long-married pair whose love has turned poisonous....

AP
Tom-497
Stand-by
joined:12/18/05
Cat Up On A Hot Tin Roof Reviews
Posted: 1/17/13 at 11:14pm
AM NY is two stars.

... an unconvincing, cheesy and cheap-looking production.

At least Johansson is terrific, bringing a sultry, ferocious spirit to the famous role.
AM NY
Tom-497
Stand-by
joined:12/18/05
Cat Up On A Hot Tin Roof Reviews
Posted: 1/17/13 at 11:21pm
Philadelphia Inquirer is pretty negative.

The prominent Irish stage actor Hinds (TV’s “Game of Thrones) plays Big Daddy without any of the grand Southern style and the entitlement we expect, but rather like a cigar-smoking CEO. Walker (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson) plays Brick as a very contemporary sort of mess: where is that icy detachment, the “broken, tragic elegant figure” crucial to the role? None of these actors seems a good fit for these characters.

This is especially true for Johansson, although much of what seems missing at the heart of all their performances may be in Rob Ashford’s direction.
philly.com
Tom-497
Stand-by
joined:12/18/05
Cat Up On A Hot Tin Roof Reviews
Posted: 1/17/13 at 11:25pm
Daily News is 2 out of 5.

Broadway’s starry but misguided new take on Tennessee Williams’ 1955 Pulitzer winner about secrets, lies and love is a dim and soggy affair....

Johansson is alarmingly one-note....

Director Rob Ashford, known for staging and choreographing musicals, does her no favors with a preposterous set by Christopher Oram....
Daily News
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jeffmiele
Broadway Star
joined:11/6/07
Cat Up On A Hot Tin Roof Reviews
Posted: 1/17/13 at 11:26pm
Johansson and Monk give great performances, Ashford puts together a great physical production, smart move to eliminate ghost skipper http://tinyurl.com/auweojz
Tom-497
Stand-by
joined:12/18/05
Cat Up On A Hot Tin Roof Reviews
Posted: 1/17/13 at 11:30pm
Newsday is mixed.

What we have not had, at least in my experience, is a sedate Maggie in a tasteful, even timid revival....

But here is Scarlett Johansson.... In her much-anticipated star turn as one of the theater's juiciest women, she works so admirably to avoid Maggie-the-Cat cliches that the actress and the character almost disappear in sensitive, levelheaded, ladylike restraint....

For heat, we must look to the moody, alcoholic Brick (played with dashing, elegant disdain by Benjamin Walker)....
Newsday
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broadwaybabytn
Broadway Star
joined:12/30/10
Cat Up On A Hot Tin Roof Reviews
Posted: 1/17/13 at 11:31pm
That's actually a post from your blog, Jeff.
Tom-497
Stand-by
joined:12/18/05
Cat Up On A Hot Tin Roof Reviews
Posted: 1/17/13 at 11:38pm
Bloomberg Businessweek is 4 out of 5.

Don’t be lulled by Scarlett Johansson’s steamy come-hither look on the posters for “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” Her Maggie the Cat is more tigress than the kitty so often portrayed in this role.

This gutsy production pairs the sultry star with the equally sizzling Benjamin Walker (“Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson”) as her dissolute, disinterested husband....

Ashford lets the show get a little fussy, what with the singing tykes and the ever-primping Mae (a rather one-note Emily Bergl). But Hinds is admirably coarse and Debra Monk is touching as the much maligned Big Mama. Michael Park is snakelike as the son whose very competence leaves his dying father cold.
Bloomberg
Tom-497
Stand-by
joined:12/18/05
Cat Up On A Hot Tin Roof Reviews
Posted: 1/17/13 at 11:56pm
Boston Globe is mixed to negative.

It’s vital that Johansson generate sufficient electricity to transfix us during the Maggie-centric first act....

But Johansson doesn’t. The outlines of a fine performance are visible, but not the thing itself....

Nor is there much acting chemistry between her and Benjamin Walker, who portrays Brick, Maggie’s alcoholic ex-jock of a husband. Still, Walker (“Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson’’) manages to deliver the most fully realized performance....

There’s a languid athleticism and sensuality to Walker’s Brick, who’s broken his ankle in a drunken attempt to clear some high hurdles. Hobbling in circles on a crutch, his foot in a cast, Walker moves like a tranquilized panther who’s still capable of one last lethal lunge....
Boston Globe
Tom-497
Stand-by
joined:12/18/05
Cat Up On A Hot Tin Roof Reviews
Posted: 1/18/13 at 12:02am
USA Today is 3 out of 4.

The performance is, in other words, as insightful and as lacking in vanity as Johansson's last stage effort. If it's also less nuanced, that can be attributed at least in part to the material and to Rob Ashford....

As Brick tries to drink himself into a comfortably numb state, Walker makes him both a foil to Maggie's ferocious life force and, in his own repressed rage, a worthy sparring partner. He's just as potent in Brick's crucial scene with Big Daddy, Cat's alpha dog, played here by a duly commanding, savagely funny Ciaran Hinds.
USA Today
Tom-497
Stand-by
joined:12/18/05
Cat Up On A Hot Tin Roof Reviews
Posted: 1/18/13 at 12:07am
Theatermania is positive.

Of course, supplicants of subtlety and subtext will find the whole production overdone. However, this Cat is exactly the play Williams wrote, melodramatics intact. Earlier, coy productions were victims of a more mendacious time in which producers feared audiences wouldn't stomach the unalloyed truth of the play. In this version at least, the cat is out of the bag.

Theatermania
Tom-497
Stand-by
joined:12/18/05
Cat Up On A Hot Tin Roof Reviews
Posted: 1/18/13 at 12:13am
Talkin' Broadway is mixed.

Spending most of the first act, over which Maggie traditionally rules, barking lines upstage, adjusting various parts of her outfit behind the bed or perched on a partially obscured chair, and basically doing everything except revel in the critical sexuality with which Maggie can no longer arouse Brick, Johansson captures none of the character's essential spirit and fails to set her up for the crucial role she'll play in defusing the powder keg of lies later on....

Benjamin Walker, however, makes an unusually dynamic Brick, a notable change from the thoroughly anesthetized lumps that so often appear in the play. If Walker doesn't project the dying glow of heat for Maggie that should give his early scenes some tension, his refusal to let Brick descend into complete self-pity believably animates a young man who's struggling to discover where (or whether) he belongs in an unfamiliar world. And Ciarán Hinds is a boomingly threatening Big Daddy, utterly convincing as an uneducated farm hand elevated to royalty beyond his ken and beyond his reason.
Talkin'
Tom-497
Stand-by
joined:12/18/05
Cat Up On A Hot Tin Roof Reviews
Posted: 1/18/13 at 12:20am
WSJ is extremely negative.

Scarlett Johansson, who made a solid Broadway debut in the 2010 revival of "A View From the Bridge," is no good at all this time around as Maggie, speaking her lines in a half-intelligible pseudo-Southern accent that suggests a concerto for ice pick and eardrums.

Rivaling her in the weird-accent department is Ciarán Hinds, who plays Big Daddy, the cancer-ridden Mississippi plantation owner, as an Irish blowhard, an innovation that is as inexplicable as it is inappropriate. Benjamin Walker, cast as Brick, Maggie's unhappy husband, seems to be pretty good, though the rest of the show is so bad that he might simply be coming off well by contrast.
WSJ
Tom-497
Stand-by
joined:12/18/05
Cat Up On A Hot Tin Roof Reviews
Posted: 1/18/13 at 12:28am
NY Post is 3 out of 4.

While her performance often lacks nuance and starts off too shouty, the star eventually gains in confidence. Spitting out Williams’ florid lines in a low-throated growl reminiscent of the young Kathleen Turner (herself a Broadway “Cat” in 1990), Johansson successfully brings to the fore Maggie’s rough edges....

Hinds and Walker dominate Act 2, beautifully bringing out the men’s fraught but strangely caring bond.
NY Post
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henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
Cat Up On A Hot Tin Roof Reviews
Posted: 1/18/13 at 01:59am
In this instance, Musto gets it exactly right:

"Johansson has fun with Maggie's imaginative way with language, but with her raspy voice and overly direct approach, she seems to be playing Maggie's extreme coarseness at the expense of her sultriness or vulnerability. Her high-volume take is interesting, but it's hard to believe the emotionally (and physically) crippled Brick wouldn't grab his crutch--as it were--and hobble away for miles rather than just roll over to the other side of the bed."

My thoughts exactly. And the play suffers because of it (and I blame Ashford, not Scarlett).

But what's interesting is how the reviewers all see it differently, some saying she's too demure, some too strident, some say too ladylike, some say too coarse, some (inexplicably) see flashes of vulnerability, some (all too correctly) see none. Of course critics can interpret performances in different ways, but these diametrically opposed conclusions make little sense unless they saw different previews in which she was giving wildly different performances or they are just seeing what they "want" to see to make their point, or worse, in some instances just making something up so they have something to write to hide the fact that they are incapable of forming a genuine opinion about anything.





Updated On: 1/18/13 at 01:59 AM

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