ORPHANS Reviews

LimelightMike
Broadway Legend
joined:6/21/06
ORPHANS Reviews
Posted: 4/18/13 at 04:45pm
Pullin' double duty on the B-Dubya-Dbuya tonight.

Post 'em here! :)
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)
bjh2114
Broadway Legend
joined:4/19/06
ORPHANS Reviews
Posted: 4/18/13 at 06:56pm
Financial Times is mixed to negative (at best) - 2 out of 5 stars:

"The role of Harold exposes Baldwin’s limitations as an actor. The character does allow him to show off his gift for fast-talking Irish blarney, in a more working-class way than his awards-strewn portrayal in TV’s 30 Rock of media executive Jack Donaghy. But too much of Baldwin’s charm relies on our acknowledging that he’s the smartest guy in the room. And once that charm is exhausted, and he is, as Harold, required to mine more unsettling emotions, he doesn’t come up with much that’s substantial."

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/5d74b9ba-a675-11e2-885b-00144feabdc0.html?ftcamp=published_links%2Frss%2Flife-arts_theatre-dance%2Ffeed%2F%2Fproduct#axzz2QrIjH3Or
bjh2114
Broadway Legend
joined:4/19/06
ORPHANS Reviews
Posted: 4/18/13 at 07:54pm
The AP is mixed to negative:

"The biggest problem here is that the three actors are determined to be in different plays and director Daniel Sullivan hasn’t been able to make them gel. Perhaps there wasn’t enough time.

Tom Sturridge plays Philip as if he’s looking for an Academy Award nomination — a bundle of tics, prone to leaping to and from pieces of furniture or sitting in a crouch, using a whiny voice and with hands that hang in front of him. With his long hair, Sturridge seems to be trying to resemble a bird trapped in a cage. He should really stop doing that.

Ben Foster, who bravely took LaBeouf’s role when he left during rehearsals, has a more naturalistic take on Treat but lacks the killer instinct to be truly menacing while in full Hulk mode. Foster, though excellent when he’s in psychic pain or mimicking Harold, can’t quite become a monster.

It’s clear why Baldwin wanted to play Harold, a wiseguy who turns out to be an orphan himself. Baldwin gets to hop around in a chair while tied up, be elegant, funny and worldly, teach his young charges about bouillabaisse and offer them an “encouraging squeeze.” Baldwin’s natural aristocratic side fits nicely here. It’s just that he’s paired with a bird-boy and a guy acting really hard to be scary."


http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/theater_dance/review-broadways-orphans-starring-alec-baldwin-generates-little-light/2013/04/18/5a4d28f4-a881-11e2-9e1c-bb0fb0c2edd9_story.html
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
ORPHANS Reviews
Posted: 4/18/13 at 07:56pm
I wouldn't want to be around Alec Baldwin tonight.
bjh2114
Broadway Legend
joined:4/19/06
ORPHANS Reviews
Posted: 4/18/13 at 07:58pm
Backstage is mixed (C+):

"In 1985 director Gary Sinise gave the show an enveloping claustrophobia in the intimate Westside Arts Theatre, emphasized by Phillip’s habit of leaping, loping, swinging, and climbing about the house like a caged animal. Sturridge does the same at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, but helmer Daniel Sullivan is stuck with too much space on John Lee Beatty’s airy set and can’t pull off the same pressure-cooker atmosphere. Still, he gets strong performances out of his actors. In a fearlessly physical turn, Sturridge gives Phillip sweetness and vulnerability, emphasizing his all-but-smothered intelligence and wide-eyed desire to learn. Foster’s Treat is at first a boiling cauldron of rage, his lid ready to blow at the slightest provocation. But once the household dynamics shift, Foster brilliantly plays a range of emotions, first cocky and eager to please Harold, then unraveling with panic and despair due to his new mentor’s disapproval and his own spiraling lack of control, ending in the abject anguish of an abandoned child. Broadway veteran Baldwin snaps with paternal authority as Harold and is amusingly sentimental in the man’s desire to help these two boys, to whom he refers in a running cinematic reference as “Dead End kids.” The actor misses, however, the edgy sense of menace that Mahoney brought to the role. Baldwin’s smirking Harold rarely seems dangerous."

http://www.backstage.com/review/ny-theater/broadway/orphans-lyle-kessler-alec-baldwin-ben-foster-tom-sturridge/
bjh2114
Broadway Legend
joined:4/19/06
ORPHANS Reviews
Posted: 4/18/13 at 09:58pm
Entertainment Weekly is positive (A-):

"As played with catlike energy by the remarkable British actor Tom Sturridge (On the Road), he also bounds around the sparsely furnished house as if it were a jungle gym, bounding from the sofa to the window sill or the staircase bannister in unlaced sneakers.

His older brother, Treat, has become a surrogate father figure — one who resorts to petty crime and sidewalk holdups to keep the cupboards full of canned tuna and Hellman's mayonnaise. Ben Foster (The Messenger), who stepped in for LaBeouf, imbues the role with all the contradictions it demands — from moment to moment, he can be brotherly or threatening, blindly self-absorbed or sweetly vulnerable."


http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20364394_20692605,00.html
bjh2114
Broadway Legend
joined:4/19/06
ORPHANS Reviews
Posted: 4/18/13 at 10:02pm
Brantley is negative:

"The first problem with Mr. Sullivan’s production is that nobody exudes a sense of, or even a sense of hunger for, power. The arguable exception is Mr. Sturridge, who portrays Phillip, the agoraphobic, seemingly autistic brother who stays at home while the older Treat (Mr. Foster) earns his living by mugging the citizens of Philadelphia at knife point. (It would appear that Mom and Dad disappeared when the boys were tots.)

Mr. Sturridge is playing the sort of role that comes with “Tony nominee” tattooed on its forehead, that of a mentally challenged, education-deprived person who learns to assert himself. But the physicality with which he inhabits his part is something else. He occupies John Lee Beatty’s vast, derelict set (lighted by Pat Collins) with an obsessive knowledge of its every crevice, moving as if he suspected it were rigged with land mines."


http://theater.nytimes.com/2013/04/19/theater/reviews/orphans-with-alec-baldwin-at-the-schoenfeld-theater.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
Borstalboy
Broadway Legend
joined:2/9/04
ORPHANS Reviews
Posted: 4/18/13 at 10:17pm
Baldwin doesn't do menace very well onstage, does he? I seem to remember his Stanley Kowalski being downright cuddly.
"It's now rather very common to hear people say 'I'm rather offended by that'. As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more than a whine. It has no meaning, no purpose. It has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that'. Well, so f**king what?"--Stephen Fry
CapnHook
Broadway Legend
joined:5/12/03
ORPHANS Reviews
Posted: 4/18/13 at 10:33pm
I think Brantley just helped Sturridge to receive this show's only Tony nom.
"The Spectacle has, indeed, an emotional attraction of its own, but, of all the parts, it is the least artistic, and connected least with the art of poetry. For the power of Tragedy, we may be sure, is felt even apart from representation and actors. Besides, the production of spectacular effects depends more on the art of the stage machinist than on that of the poet."
--Aristotle
bjh2114
Broadway Legend
joined:4/19/06
ORPHANS Reviews
Posted: 4/18/13 at 10:57pm
I don't know about that. It seems like he was saying he was playing the role in a way that said "give me a Tony nomination!!!" ... not that he actually deserves one.
Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
ORPHANS Reviews
Posted: 4/18/13 at 11:13pm
I thought he was saying the role itself is award bait.
NewYorkTheater
Broadway Star
joined:1/23/10
ORPHANS Reviews
Posted: 4/18/13 at 11:40pm

In the much-publicized fracas over “Orphans,” when Shia LaBeouf was fired after clashing with co-star Alec Baldwin and replaced by Ben Foster, the one actor in the cast barely mentioned was Tom Sturridge. Sturridge’s performance turns out to be the best reason to see the first Broadway production of Lyle Kessler’s 30-year-old play...
[Baldwin's]Harold could surely do with a greater sense of menace. Foster could probably do with a little less menace, or at least more variations of it.....
Orphans Review: Alec Baldwin Without Shia LaBeouf..But With Tom Sturridge

Leadingplayer
Broadway Star
joined:5/12/03
ORPHANS Reviews
Posted: 4/18/13 at 11:43pm
I bet Shia is happy with the reviews.

Updated On: 4/18/13 at 11:43 PM
FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
ORPHANS Reviews
Posted: 4/18/13 at 11:45pm
The first problem with Mr. Sullivan’s production is that nobody exudes a sense of, or even a sense of hunger for, power.

He writes and he writes and he writes and he never gets any better at it.
yes, you
AC126748
Broadway Legend
joined:7/15/06
ORPHANS Reviews
Posted: 4/18/13 at 11:58pm
The reviews are spot-on. This is a classic example of a once-vibrant work of theatre becoming a museum piece.
"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
Leadingplayer
Broadway Star
joined:5/12/03
ORPHANS Reviews
Posted: 4/19/13 at 01:39am
Why do you think it became a museum piece? This production or changing times?
aaronb
Broadway Star
joined:6/3/12
ORPHANS Reviews
Posted: 4/19/13 at 01:45am
I actually enjoyed it--I thought Alec Baldwin was great.

"It should be obvious why Mr. Baldwin would be attracted to Harold, a more complex and funnier version of the 30 Rock character that has revived his career. He gives a virtuosic performance, commanding both the audience and his two onstage listeners with a delicious, earthy voice that imbues pithy remarks with a sense of esotericism; we would like nothing more than to sit at his feet and watch as he sips manly drinks and spouts wisdom. Mr. Foster and Mr. Sturridge, however, sag in their roles—Mr. Foster lacks the violence that gives Treat power in some situations, while Mr. Sturridge condescends to Phillip, playing the part like a movie star who equates retardation with Oscar."
My review of ORPHANS
Check out my theater blog, http://www.scribicide.com
NewYorkTheater
Broadway Star
joined:1/23/10
ORPHANS Reviews
Posted: 4/19/13 at 03:56pm
I thought Tom Sturridge's physical mimicry was inspired.