Review Roundup: BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S Opens on Broadway - All the Reviews!
Tony Award winning playwright Richard Greenberg's new play, Breakfast at Tiffany's opens at the Cort Theatre (138 W 48th Street) tonight, March 20, 2013. Directed by Sean Mathias, the stage adaption of Truman Capote's classic novella will star Emilia Clarke (HBO's "Game of Thrones") in the iconic role of 'Holly Golightly,' Cory Michael Smith as 'Fred,' and George Wendt as 'Joe Bell.'
Based on Truman Capote's most beloved masterwork, Truman Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's is set in New York City in 1943. 'Fred', a young writer from Louisiana, meets Holly Golightly, a charming, vivacious and utterly elusive good-time girl.
The creative team for Truman Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's includes Tony Award-winner Derek McLane (Scenic Design), three-time Academy Award-winner and current nominee Colleen Atwood (Costume Design), Tony Award-winner Peter Kaczorowski (Lighting Design), Wendall K. Harrington (Projection Design) andRob Milburn and Michael Bodeen (Music and Sound Design).
Let's see what the critics had to say...Ben Brantley, The New York Times: Holly Golightly does not. Go lightly, that is. The new stage adaptation of "Breakfast at Tiffany's," Truman Capote's beloved portrait of a glamorous waif in 1940s New York, moves with a distinctly leaden step, as if it dreaded what might be waiting around every dark corner of the sinister city it portrays....Mr. Greenberg's adaptation incorporates far more of Capote's words than the Edwards film did, with shimmering passages of reminiscence that come directly from the book. Yet no matter how finespun the original ingredients, this particular soufflé seems doomed never to rise.Mark Kennedy, Associated Press: The cat is just one of the problems in this ill-conceived and poorly executed adaptation of a classic American tale that opened Wednesday at the Cort Theatre...The many scenes stubbornly refuse to add up to much and it remains as flat as Golightly is supposed to be effervescent. Richard Greenberg's adaptation of Truman Capote's classic 1958 novella is extremely faithful - some chunks of dialogue have been lifted directly from the book - without adding much. Actually, director Sean Mathias has tacked on more complexity to scenes for reasons that are unclear...Come to think of it, maybe the cat can be forgiven for bad behavior. It has, after all, had to sit through too much of this.
Joe Dziemianowicz, NY Daily News: Five days before the show's premiere, Sean Mathias sat in front of me at "Breakfast at Tiffany's." The British director had a pen in his hand and a notebook in his lap. By rights, Mathias should've been drafting an apology letter for stirring up this half-baked rehash of Truman Capote's singularly quirky book about Holly Golightly.
Elisabeth Vincentelli, NY Post: Clarke captures that survivor's drive, as well as the aching vulnerability that bubbles up under the cool, sophisticated exterior. This Holly is still in her teens, after all - a kid who had to grow up fast, she's putting on airs. "She's such a goddamn liar," says her Hollywood agent pal, OJ Berman (Lee Wilkof), "maybe she don't know herself anymore."
Thom Geier, Entertainment Weekly: Greenberg's entire first act is a slog, bogged down with dreary exposition and the introduction of far too many quirky but uninteresting characters. (Sean Mathias' listless direction does the script no favors.) It's telling that the supporting player who makes the strongest impression is Vito Vincent, who plays Holly's adoptive feline companion, Cat (Vito shares the role with Montie and Moo). There are too many scenes that just sit there, failing to delight and robbing the play of any semblance of narrative momentum. At one point, Smith's Fred even reads aloud from his journal: 'Time continues to pass without meaning.' Amen, brother. C-
Adam Feldman, Time Out: After a long gestation and a difficult labor, including a last-minute funding scare, Breakfast at Tiffany's arrives on Broadway meager and stillborn. Here is a story that-in both Truman Capote's 1958 novella and Blake Edwards's 1961 film-relies on the restive charm of its central figure: Holly Golightly, a beauteous young courtesan in 1940s New York, who conceals her hillbilly roots beneath a blithe, insouciant manner and a cultivated voice flecked with faux French. "She isn't a phony because she's a real phony," as someone explains to the writer who lives next door to her. "She believes all this crap she believes." In the Broadway version, she never seems to believe it for a moment; Breakfast at Tiffany's is phony through and through.
Jesse Green, Vulture.com: It's more like Breakfast at Woolworth's: grittier perhaps, but hardly aspirational. Can't a girl be left to her dreams?
Erik Haagensen, Backstage: Playwright Richard Greenberg has adapted Truman Capote's novella "Breakfast at Tiffany's" for the theater with remarkable fidelity-and that's the problem. Capote's wispy memory tale, told principally in carefully carved prose, may be hypnotic on the page, but it's dull onstage, with too much narration and not enough drama. Greenberg and director Sean Mathias haven't rethought it in theatrical terms. Add to that a game but awfully artificial performance by Emilia Clarke as Holly Golightly, and it's enough to give you a case of the mean reds.
Matt Windman, AM New York: ...there is very little excitement to be found in this drab and dragging stage adaptation, which was penned by Richard Greenberg ("Take Me Out") and is directed by Sean Mathias...For the most part, Greenberg simply lifts passages from the book and has the writer (Cory Michael Smith) awkwardly and constantly deliver first-person narrations directly to the audience. Clarke ("Game of Thrones") imbues Holly Golightly with the vulnerability of an outspoken but fragile young woman. Her emotionally revealing performance is undoubtedly the best part of this lackluster adaptation.
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter: It might be time to call for a moratorium on stage adaptations of Truman Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's...Sean Mathias has taken a blundering stab at turning it into a Broadway play, this time with a page-bound script by Richard Greenberg and a strained Emilia Clarke in the central role. Far more than the casting or writing, however, the insurmountable problem is Mathias' cloddish direction...Ultimately, this translation is an inert substitute for both the written and filmed versions, its central characters distant and lacking in warmth.
Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune: The problem here is of simpler vintage: There's no palpable connection between Fred and Holly, the unlikely and surely ill-fated couple of Capote's imagination...The other problem with Mathias' show...is that it misses the exuberance of the "Breakfast at Tiffany's" novella...Capote understood the dangers of trying to start from scratch - the past will come out, and all that - but he also knew its appeal...Greenberg tries to underscore this crucial ambivalence in his text, and he tries to set out a fatalistic celebration of courage, but the invasive mores of this production keep toppling all that.
Marilyn Stasio, Variety: It's like trying to ignore the elephant in the room, watching Richard Greenberg's stage adaptation of Truman Capote's 1958 novella "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and trying not to think about Audrey Hepburn's matchless performance in the 1961 Blake Edwards movie. The scribe and helmer Sean Mathias have walked the story back to its original World War II time frame, restored the pitiless ending and the sexuality of the gay narrator, and made Holly's source of income less ambiguous. Good for them. But having restored Holly's world, the creatives have neglected to put Holly in it.
Thom Geier, Entertainment Weekly: Richard Greenberg's new stage adaptation of Breakfast at Tiffany's is a meandering misfire lacking the charm and oomph of either Capote's 1958 novella or the 1961 movie that cemented Audrey Hepburn's reputation as the height of sophisticated urbanity. Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke has the thankless task of performing in the indelible shadow of Hepburn. And though the British-born actress struggles gamely to make the role her own, she comes off as shrill rather than insouciant...Greenberg's entire first act is a slog, bogged down with dreary exposition and the introduction of far too many quirky but uninteresting characters...There are too many scenes that just sit there, failing to delight and robbing the play of any semblance of narrative momentum. C-
Michael Musto, Village Voice: Richard Greenberg's adaptation of Truman Capote's classic novella Breakfast at Tiffany's turns out to be earnest, talky, and rather lifeless despite its good intentions. Telling the story of a chirpy socialite/hooker in 1943 New York and her interaction with a writer who isn't exactly straight, this production stays faithful to the book without turning it into a persuasive piece of theater.
Brendan Lemon, Financial Times: In Richard Greenberg's elegant Broadway adaptation of Breakfast at Tiffany's Holly Golightly has morphed into Holly Godarkly. I refer not merely to the tresses of Emilia Clarke, who plays her, which have gone from the porn-star blonde of her Daenerys in Game of Thrones to a lush brunette here. The tone of Tiffany's has also darkened...If the shift is truer to the spirit of Truman Capote's 1958 novella, it also makes for a rather dispiriting evening. So quickly apparent is Holly's phoniness...that the audience must strive mightily to develop much regard for her....Clarke is affected but not affecting, and a Breakfast without a fetching Holly isn't much of a meal.
Jeremy Gerard, Bloomberg: Greenberg's -- and Clarke's -- Holly comes off as a cold-eyed construct of a country girl on the lam from suffocating rural life. She's determined to pass as an urbane sophisticate no matter how much she's trembling underneath her chic dresses and silk robes. In this she's kin to Scarlett Johansson's unorthodox, tough Catherine a few blocks away in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." But Clarke lacks Johansson's feral stage charisma, let alone the dangerous chemistry between Holly and pretty much anyone who spins into her orbit that should make "Breakfast at Tiffany's" more than a sentimental coming-of-age tale.