Man and Boy on Broadway Reviews
Langella’s Suave Mogul Crashes in ‘Man and Boy’ - Score: 9
From: Bloomberg News By: Jeremy Gerard Publication Date: 10/09/2011
“Man and Boy” isn’t first-rate Rattigan along the lines of “The Browning Version” and “The Winslow Boy.” But it’s first- class entertainment, especially in our post-Madoff era. The notion that one man’s cunning criminal behavior can have such far-reaching consequences not only for the wealthy, but for the recipients of his largesse, seems thoroughly credible.
‘Man and Boy’ studies a scoundrel and his son - Score: 9
From: New Jersey Newsroom By: Michael Sommers Publication Date: 10/10/2011
Sure, Roundabout Theatre Company's "Man and Boy" revival may be dismissed as merely so much cheese and ham by some viewers, but I find it yummy. Anyone with a taste for old-fashioned Broadway theatrics richly furnished will enjoy the production that opened Sunday at American Airlines Theatre.
Man and Boy - Score: 9
From: ScheckOnTheater By: Frank Scheck Publication Date: 10/10/2011
The Roundabout Theatre Company is presenting a cannily timed revival of this largely forgotten work—a flop in its original 1963 London and Broadway productions—that offers a juicy star turn for Frank Langella. The 73-year-old delivers a mesmerizing performance as Gregor Antonescu, a Romanian financier whose fraudulent empire is on the verge of collapsing. Pursued by both the media and the authorities, he takes refuge in the basement Greenwich Village apartment of his long-estranged son Vasily (Adam Driver), who has taken the new name of Basil Anthony.
Man and Boy - Score: 9
From: Time Out New York By: David Cote Publication Date: 10/09/2011
It's hard to imagine a more commanding and forceful actor in the city. Langella is such a master manipulator of space and time, it's hard to believe that his character is destined for a semitragic fall. English director Maria Aitken ("The 39 Steps") deserves full credit for taking a solid cast and keeping them all on the same page. Under her steady gaze Man and Boy clips along, a cynical tale of fathers, sons and human bonds sold for profit. Adam Driver continues to impress.
Man and Boy - Score: 9
From: Variety By: Marilyn Stasio Publication Date: 10/09/2011
Frank Langella was born to play fabulous monsters like Richard Nixon, Count Dracula, and now, Gregor Antonescu, the international financier beset by ruinous scandal in Terence Rattigan's 1963 drama, "Man and Boy." Play is set during the Great Depression, but feels eerily contemporary in its cynical portrayal of industry barons who think nothing of robbing the innocent and endangering the economy with their reckless power games. Secondary roles are exceptionally well cast in Maria Aitken's well-oiled production, providing solid support for Langella's suave and superbly nuanced perf of a towering figure teetering on the edge of a moral precipice.
Man and Boy - Score: 8
From: Entertainment Weekly By: Keith Staskiewicz Publication Date: 10/11/2011
This unhealthy father-son dynamic should make for excellent theater, but strangely - and despite what the play's title might suggest - these two characters' relationship feels underdeveloped. Basil awkwardly vacillates between petulant rejection of his father and pure adulation. Driver can't come close to matching his costar's stage presence and the struggle ends up lopsided, with Basil's accuastory speech to his father at the end of the first act hitting with all of the force of overcooked spaghetti.
Fraud in the Family - Score: 8
From: Wall Street Journal By: Terry Teachout Publication Date: 10/11/2011
Rattigan wrote stronger plays than "Man and Boy," "The Deep Blue Sea" and "Separate Tables" in particular, and he would have been even better served had the Roundabout revived one of them instead. Nor does this production, save for Mr. Langella's ennobling presence and Ms. Aitken's shrewd cuts, make the best possible case for "Man and Boy." But it's still what the Brits call a rattling good show. If you don't know how able a playwright Terence Rattigan was, you can now find out what you've been missing.
The Art of Wreaking Havoc With Other People’s Money - Score: 7
From: New York Times By: Ben Brantley Publication Date: 10/09/2011
But the main raison d'être of this production - and the one compelling reason to see it - is the occasion it gives its star to explore the pathology of power. Few performers are as good as Mr. Langella at using an actor's instinctive narcissism to capture the egomania that fuels (and sometimes topples) the wildly successful.
Frank Langella is the 'Man,' and it shows - Score: 7
From: USA Today By: Elysa Gardner Publication Date: 10/09/2011
It's ultimately Langella's show, though. His Gregor comes on as icy-smooth as Dracula. But as his fortunes threaten to crumble, the actor lets that fa?ade dissolve, subtly and masterfully. This mogul is a complicated man who never appears entirely defeated. "Never, in the future, let the truth make you cry," Gregor tells Basil in a particularly dark moment. It's a bit of practical advice that seems as timely as ever at this juncture.
Man and Boy - Score: 6
From: Backstage By: David Sheward Publication Date: 10/09/2011
In spite of the confused second act, this "Man and Boy" has a strong balance sheet, thanks mostly to Langella. As he did in "Frost/Nixon," Langella creates an irresistibly strong leader who draws us to him despite his despicable actions. Watch how Antonescu twirls a telephone cord while stalling for time or subtly maneuvers an opponent out of the chair with the most advantageous position in the room. You have to admire this robber baron for his skill and cunning despite his ruthlessness. Langella makes the game of international finance a fun one.
Langella riveting in cheesy 'Man and Boy' - Score: 6
From: Newsday By: Linda Winer Publication Date: 10/09/2011
The critical relationship between father and son strains for Ibsenesque revelation. In lieu of anything near that, we get to watch Langella demonstrate how much a master can communicate with the weary flick of a cigarette and deliver sophisticated, horrifying lines as if words actually leave their tastes in his mouth. Dare you to take your eyes off him.
Langella shines again on Broadway in 'Man and Boy' - Score: 5
From: Associated Press By: Mark Kennedy Publication Date: 10/09/2011
What emerges is a somewhat clunky and sometimes limp seven-character play about the complicated relationship between fathers and sons that gets a surge of electricity whenever Frank Langella - at his fussy, oily best - appears. Yet so strongly does the actor loom that he threatens to destabilize the production.
'Man and Boy' - Score: 5
From: New York Daily News By: Joe Dziemianowicz Publication Date: 10/10/2011
We've reasonably come to expect dramatic fireworks when Frank Langella acts on Broadway. But even a triple Tony-winning powerhouse can't make damp gunpowder flash and ignite. And "Man and Boy" - a melodrama of high finance and low morals - is packed with the stuff.
An Overleveraged Man and Boy - Score: 5
From: New York Magazine By: Scott Brown Publication Date: 10/11/2011
Basil lacks his father's diamond-tipped ruthlessness; he's "soft," a condition he tells his saucy American girlfriend Carol (Virginia Kull, doing her best as a one-woman exposition service) that his father equates with being "queer." This notion is then borne out, rather literally, in a highly entertaining but largely ridiculous game of insinuation and sexual leverage, in which Antonescu lures a potential merger target, Herries (Zach Grenier), to Basil's grungy Village apartment, and convinces his closeted guest that he's among kindred spirits — indeed, that Basil himself might be “un petit pederaste,” if the price is right. This should be appalling, but, as directed by Tricycle Theatre's Maria Aitken, it's mostly just amusing — the best leg of the show, in fact. Grenier and Langella share a fascinating pas de deux, a battle of body language that's a treat to see. As Antonescu's majordomo Sven, the right-hand man who's expert at pretending not to know what the left hand is doing, Michael Siberry proves himself, once again, the Roundabout's secret weapon and sine qua non. (In just three syllables — perhaps the most spectacularly insincere "I'm sorry" ever uttered on any stage or in any medium — Siberry sums up the mendacity of the entire politico-financial apparatus he serves. When does this guy get his own miscalculated Roundabout revival?)
Frankly, Langella’s co-star can’t keep up - Score: 5
From: New York Post By: Elisabeth Vincentelli Publication Date: 10/09/2011
Zach Grenier and especially Michael Siberry, terrific as Antonescu's shifty confidant, give excellent support, but there are too many stretches when Langella is left to fend for himself. Too bad: "Man and Boy" isn't a great play, but with equal sparring partners, it could have been a very good show.
Man and Boy - Score: 5
From: The Hollywood Reporter By: David Rooney Publication Date: 10/09/2011
Having directed a generally well-received West End revival of this play in 2005 with David Suchet as Antonescu, Aitken is perhaps too trusting of the material, which has been shorn here of roughly a half-hour. She pulls together a physically sharp production on a detailed set by Derek McLane that evokes bohemian, pre-gentrified Village living, right down to the rust-stained ceilings. But for a play that ends with one character condemned and another presumably scarred for life, it’s a curiously bloodless affair that leaves little aftertaste.
Actors in Command - Score: 5
From: Yonkers Tribune By: John Simon Publication Date: 10/10/2011
Maria Aitken has decently directed a highly competent cast, all of them, however, suffering from not enough to work with. What comes off best is Derek McLane’s brilliant design of a Greenwich Village basement pad in 1934. But this not being a musical, you can’t exit humming the scenery.
Man and Boy: On With the Showy - Score: 3
From: Village Voice By: Michael Feingold Publication Date: 10/12/2011
Some of this last shortcoming might stem from Maria Aitken's mostly apt-looking, but oddly off-kilter production. Faridany doesn't fit any of the clues the script gives Antonescu's wife; Kull and Siberry play effectively but without warmth. Grenier is expectably reliable; Hutchison has apparently been pushed toward caricature. Then there's Driver, one of the most arresting, and maddening, young actors around. His frequent moments of interest here are never sustained; the performance becomes a series of intermittent blurts, a sketch by an artist who doesn't know how to make his lines add up to form a picture. That's no way to hold the stage opposite Langella's canny, painstaking flamboyance.
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