THE WINSLOW BOY previews

Pammylicious
Broadway Star
joined:9/13/10
THE WINSLOW BOY previews
Posted: 9/20/13 at 01:20pm
First preview Saturday, post away
dave1606
Broadway Star
joined:12/8/07
THE WINSLOW BOY previews
Posted: 9/20/13 at 01:43pm
First preview is actually tonight. I will be there. Cautiously optimistic is how Ifeel.
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
THE WINSLOW BOY previews
Posted: 9/20/13 at 02:34pm
I'll be there tonight too.

I love Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio so I'm excited to see her, even if she's not singing. When is she going to do a Birdland cabaret act?
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
THE WINSLOW BOY previews
Posted: 9/20/13 at 03:12pm
Excited about this. I've never seen the play but love the Mamet movie. And I have a huge crush on Alessandro (then again I have one on Mrs. Nivola too).
Luv2goToShows
Broadway Star
joined:9/13/09
THE WINSLOW BOY previews
Posted: 9/20/13 at 04:26pm
I am going Sunday, will hit the Flea market before and after. I just checked the Roundabout website for the run time, it has 2:45.
Pammylicious
Broadway Star
joined:9/13/10
THE WINSLOW BOY previews
Posted: 9/20/13 at 04:58pm
That is one long play.....Roundabout loves them long....gives the gray hairs a nice nap!
Luv2goToShows
Broadway Star
joined:9/13/09
THE WINSLOW BOY previews
Posted: 9/20/13 at 05:56pm
Lately some of the Roundabout have been nap inducing for both subscribers & non. LOL! I hope that is not the case for The Winslow Boy.
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
THE WINSLOW BOY previews
Posted: 9/20/13 at 06:19pm
Pammy, don't discriminate! Young people are just as susceptible to napping at Roundabout productions as the gray-haired set.

Dozing off at the American Airlines can happen to anyone regardless of age, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation or creed.
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
Jonwo
Broadway Legend
joined:3/16/06
THE WINSLOW BOY previews
Posted: 9/20/13 at 06:32pm
The Winslow Boy is a transfer of the Old Vic production which was in London back in March but with a new cast so Roundabout won't be able to take full credit if its received well.

Updated On: 9/20/13 at 06:32 PM
MorningGlow2
Chorus Member
joined:8/6/13
THE WINSLOW BOY previews
Posted: 9/20/13 at 09:18pm
The last Roundabout production (also my first) I saw was Importance of Being Earnest and loved it! Am looking forward to seeing this one as well.

I am eligible for Hiptix Gold...do you think it's worth getting the orchestra seats for this show? I rather spend the extra money for a good seat, but not sure what orchestra seats are available to me with the subscription.

But it all hinges on the quality of the production. Looking forward to some initial impressions!
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
THE WINSLOW BOY previews
Posted: 9/20/13 at 11:31pm
I'm just getting home and thought the production was alright. The play has some built-in problems that can't be overcome. There are four acts, and Roundabout has placed one intermission between the second and third; the first two have stretches of dullness, but the last two are stronger. It is a one-set play, taking place in the Winslow family living room. All of the action occurs outside of the house and we get to hear the characters discuss it after the fact. This doesn't make for very high stakes or create much tension because everything has already happened.

The play begins with the early return from school of the youngest Winslow son. He has been expelled for stealing 5 schillings from another boy. (The way they are carrying on you would think he had been accused of rape or something.) His father will stop at nothing clear his son's name and sets legal proceedings into motion to do so. I wish there was more doubt as to whether or not the son was actually guilty, but that point is never in question.

The family is more concerned with the principle of the matter than his actual guilt anyway as he was never afforded a fair trial or representation when he was initially accused. There are lots of courtroom scenes that happen off-stage and then are recounted to us through newspaper articles and first hand accounts.

In Law & Order land we would have been treated to a sensationalistic trial with cliched power speeches. The boy would have been found innocent, only to reveal to his lawyers afterward that he had indeed stolen the money. We could feel good about the lawyers setting precedent to ensure fair trials for all, but it would be shaded with the fact that they had to get a guilty man off in order to do so.

The Winslow Boy isn't concerned with that, and although the trial is defining the plot the play really doesn't feel focused on it.

The acting is mostly strong, though most of the non-Brits had some degree of difficulty holding their accents. Roger Rees, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio and Charlotte Parry were the three best, and I especially enjoyed Rees and Parry's interactions in the fourth act. Parry really became the emotional center of the play and frankly I was more interested in her story (a young suffragette channeling Glynis John in Mary Poppins) that anything to do with the trial.

The two sons, who thankfully had smaller roles, were weak.

I don't think the play is strong enough to deserve a full Broadway revival; perhaps it would have played better in a more intimate off-Broadway house, but it was a definite step up from the fare normally offered at the American Airlines!



Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
Updated On: 9/20/13 at 11:31 PM
dave1606
Broadway Star
joined:12/8/07
THE WINSLOW BOY previews
Posted: 9/21/13 at 12:16am
I was there tonight and for me the play was the definition of "An Old Chestnut." It was simply hard to relate as Whizzer mentions. If it were on TV it would be a nice BBC miniseries or movie.

There were definitely some nice scenes interspersed, particularly, the last scene of the first act with the Lawyer (I thought it was a fantastic closer and for the first time in a long time at the American Airlines, kept me from leaving at intermission).

I really loved Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio even if her part wasn't quite as significant. Her moments in the second act were excellent and I found her very charismatic to watch.

Roger Rees certainly acquitted himself nicely after the dreadful performance he gave in The Addams Family. I really loved the scene in the second act with Charlotte and him reading and reacting to the letter they receive.

A minor note regarding the set. I found it rather uninspired and frustrating. The drab wallpaper may have been period appropriate, but it certainly wasn't very exciting to stair at for nearly three hours. What's more they have created an elaborate second room that the audience can barely see. Normally I would appreciate the extra depth, but I found it more frustrating than anything. To add to this, the whole set is slightly at an angle so parts of this room were cut off, and I could not the entire outside to the right of the stage until I moved at intermission. If you are buying tickets, aim to be more in the center to avoid this.

Overall I may have been rather harsh but I thought it was a nice evening. The play almost shrugs itself off in the end, but I couldn't help but be happy with the outcome.

BroadwayBaby2012
Swing
joined:10/23/12
THE WINSLOW BOY previews
Posted: 9/21/13 at 08:55am
I was there as well. I am surprised no one has mentioned Michael Cumpsty's performance. Though he has less stage time than some others, in some ways I thought he was the standout performance of the play. He brought a balance of humor and sweetness to his early scenes that was very endearing and I found his last scene with Charlotte Parry to be the most moving scene of the play. He gave such a complete fully defined portrait in a less flashy role. I thought it was a very worthy follow up to his excellent work in End of the Rainbow.
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
THE WINSLOW BOY previews
Posted: 9/21/13 at 10:02am
^ You're right about Michael Cumpsty- he was very good, but unfortunately it's a bit of a thankless role. His plot with Parry felt straight out of Jane Austen. I enjoyed it, but it was underwritten.

Still he has to be commended for turning it into what he did.
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
AC126748
Broadway Legend
joined:7/15/06
THE WINSLOW BOY previews
Posted: 9/21/13 at 11:48am
Is the 2:45 running time listing accurate?
"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
wonkit
Broadway Legend
joined:9/30/08
THE WINSLOW BOY previews
Posted: 9/21/13 at 02:31pm
I am seeing this in a few weeks, so my comments are based on the movie version and my understanding of English history. As I recall, the boy is in Naval College, and if his honesty is questioned, he can forget about the Navy as a career. So it is the issue of the 5 shillings (no "c") but more a question of protecting the boy's "character" - meaning his personal reputation. It was a matter of principle but also of having any sort of future career and advancement, and the family teeters on the edge of complete bankruptcy to protect him. Not trivial at all, especially in the early twentieth century, when there so few ways to raise one's social standing.
Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
THE WINSLOW BOY previews
Posted: 9/21/13 at 02:36pm
Yes, for the time period, stakes are incredibly high.

But a century later, you have to really effectively communicate that and not bank on audience members knowing that.
dave1606
Broadway Star
joined:12/8/07
THE WINSLOW BOY previews
Posted: 9/21/13 at 02:37pm
AC the 2:45 runtime is accurate. We were out on the street at exactly 10:45 with a pretty close to on-time start time at 8:00pm.
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
THE WINSLOW BOY previews
Posted: 9/21/13 at 02:49pm
I mean I could tell by the family's reactions that they felt the stakes were high, but the play undercuts this in two ways:

1. The case doesn't become about his guilt or innocence, or even clearing his character/family name. The lawyer and his sister are purely concerned the rights of the individual being granted fair trials and proper representation, something Ronnie was denied when originally found guilty of the theft. Catherine remarks that she believes her brother to be innocent, but she doesn't really care if he did it or not. She just wants fair and open trials.

2. The tone of the play remains fairly light throughout. There are moments of tension, but since the characters are reflecting on past events rather than experiencing them in front of us, they are reasonably calm and collected.

The movie can open the play up and take us to the courtroom, etc. We don't get to hear any of the impassioned speeches or see the crowd reactions. We only get second hand accounts and that puts on a major damper on empathizing with the stakes.

Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
wonkit
Broadway Legend
joined:9/30/08
THE WINSLOW BOY previews
Posted: 9/21/13 at 04:30pm
You are right, whizzer. It is a tough dramatic balance if Catherine makes it seem like a generic human rights issue. The movie did a good job of making the family unit's tension over expenses and the effect on the son the most important points, even when it opened up to the outside world. I do love this cast, and hope they can somehow make the best of it - Excellent observations, whizzer, and very helpful - thanks!
Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
THE WINSLOW BOY previews
Posted: 9/21/13 at 04:37pm
The Mamet movie is also nearly an hour shorter than this production.
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
THE WINSLOW BOY previews
Posted: 9/21/13 at 04:42pm
I look forward to hearing your thoughts after you see it, wonkit.

Has anyone seen the BBC version with Emma Thompson as Catherine?
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!

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