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Blogger Roundup: THE SNOW GEESE

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With the lines blurring between professional and amateur drama critics, and indeed between anointed critics and avid theatergoers, we thought it worth hearing from more alternative voices. Click here to check out the official Snow Geese Review Roundup.

Manhattan Theatre Club and MCC Theater's world premiere of Sharr White's The Snow Geese opened October 24, at MTC's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (261 West 47th Street).

Directed by Daniel Sullivan, The Snow Geese features Tony and Emmy Award winner Mary-Louise Parker, four-time Tony Award nominee Danny Burstein, Tony Award winner Victoria Clark, Evan Jonigkeit, Brian Cross, Christopher Innvar, and Jessica Love.

Here are some reviews from the blogosphere:

Jonathan Mandell, New York Theater: "Mary-Louise Parker, whose performance in Sharr White's play marks her sixth time on Broadway, has said that "The Snow Geese" feels like "a lost Chekhov" - and that's about right, although not in the way she surely meant. It loses in the Chekhov competition to last season's far more lively Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike...(D)espite Daniel Sullivan's polished direction, an extraordinary cast, especially Danny Burstein and Victoria Clark; a beautiful and inventive set design by the reliable John Lee Beatty; Jane Greenwood's as-usual spot-on costumes; and Japhy Weideman's strikingly atmospheric lighting, "The Snow Geese" leaves you feeling at a loss as to what to make of the play."

Matthew Murray, Talkin Broadway: "There should be no reason that people on these shores can't star in their own pretentious, ponderous dramas mourning elevated pasts and social chivalry long since dead. But as Sharr White's new play The Snow Geese, which just opened at the Samuel J. Friedman in a Manhattan Theatre Club production, delivers on all this, it doesn't make the premise look as attractive as you may have hoped...By its final scenes, it's considerably powerful indeed. But it takes too long to realize, or even recognize, its promise"

Scott Harrah, StageZine: "half-baked attempt at Chekhovian-style dramatic angst...leaves us feeling empty.Playwright Sharr White covers far-too-familiar territory (family financial woes, sibling rivalry, and class elitism) in this World War I-era epic..."

Lindsay Davis, The Broadway Blog: "Broadway veteran Burstein, fresh off his role in Talley's Folly at the Roundabout, proves once again he is a master of dialects and comedy, while Clark portrays the austere reserve of a woman hardened by her adversity. Love's Ukrainian maid is spot-on both in affect, accent and understatement...Despite its ambitious themes The Snow Geese never really takes flight."

John Mondschein, Third Row, Mezzanine: Director Daniel Sullivan manages to rise above the weaknesses in the script, supported by his strong cast. John Lee Beatty's sliding platform sets are excellent,even if some of the set elements are a little reminiscent of Cinderella which is playing around the corner and up Broadway. Jane Greenwood's costumes are spot on.

Jeff Miele, From a Normal Eye: "I walked out of the American Airlines Theatre adoring "The Winslow Boy" and, quite unfortunately, walked out of the MTC's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre wanting so much more from "The Snow Geese."

Sara, Letters From The Mezzanine, compares The Snow Geese to The Winslow Boy - both are plays about "families dealing with difficult events on the brink of World War I."

Tulis McCall, Usher Nonsense: "Mr. White manages to remain on the surface of things. We move from one event to another as if we were watching an old newsreel.....What was lost is conveyed in words only. There is little heart in the matter."

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Jonathan Mandell is a third-generation New York City journalist who saw his first show at age four at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, because (read more...)