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The Young Man From Atlanta at Signature

Falsettolands
Chorus Member
joined:11/18/13
Chorus Member
joined:
11/18/13
The Young Man From Atlanta at Signature#1
Posted: 11/17/19 at 11:45pm

Caught this tonight on a last minute whim. Bless these Off-Broadway Sunday evening shows.

Kristine Nielsen is giving one helluva performance in Foote's Pulitzer Prize winning play. Nielsen has always had a magnetism about her, but in the role of a Texan, grieving housewife in the 1950's she has never been better. And I mean that sincerely.

The entire cast has a strong grip on what's required to make Foote's language and characters work best- utmost honesty and genuine care, even in roles that have such potential to fall into such stereotypes or plainness. Michael Wilson's steady hand has delicately guided the piece to a place where even the most nuanced glances create echos of grief, nostalgia, and depth. It's as though the production team came together and said, "the play will do it's thing. Let's not try to get in the way of it by reinventing the wheel." Jeff Cowie's scenic design is lush and gorgeous, while also remaining oftentimes bare and sad, consistently reminding us that the Kidder's have yet to commit to transitioning to this new chapter in their lives post-death of their son.

The audience understands very early, very blatantly the nature of the son's relationship to "the young man from Atlanta," and despite the consistent dodging around the subject, it isn't any less heartbreaking and almost dangerous when it is finally verbally revealed what has been lying under the surface the whole play. What I find the most brilliant about this piece is how perfectly Foote captures how unfathomable and incapable it is for these character to articulate what they're coming to terms with. Quinn, Neilsen, and the rest of the cast do this play due justice.

High, high recommendation from me. 

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JPeterman
Broadway Star
joined:7/22/14
Broadway Star
joined:
7/22/14
The Young Man From Atlanta at Signature#2
Posted: 11/18/19 at 4:42am

Great review, thank you Falsettolands. Thanks to you, I will have this on my radar for my upcoming trip. Hopefully it will extend a couple weeks and I will be able to see it .... but I don’t know if they typically extend their shows.

Updated On: 11/18/19 at 04:42 AM
After Eight
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/09
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/5/09
The Young Man From Atlanta at Signature#3
Posted: 11/18/19 at 6:01am

An expert production of a profound and moving play, whose resonances linger long after the performance ends.  it. As each of his plays is revived, Horton Foote's stature as a playwright only grows.

Kristine Nielsen is giving one of her finest performances here. 

 

AlfredDrakeII
Chorus Member
joined:11/28/17
Chorus Member
joined:
11/28/17
The Young Man From Atlanta at Signature#4
Posted: 11/19/19 at 10:25am
Wow, it must be good, After Eight never likes anything!!
LarryD2
Broadway Legend
joined:9/1/14
Broadway Legend
joined:
9/1/14
The Young Man From Atlanta at Signature#5
Posted: 11/19/19 at 11:07am

I saw the original Broadway production. I mostly remember is Rip Torn red-faced and braying and Shirley Knight wallowing in pathos. I'm hoping Quinn and Nielsen give more subtle performances when I see it later in the week. 

Falsettolands
Chorus Member
joined:11/18/13
Chorus Member
joined:
11/18/13
The Young Man From Atlanta at Signature#6
Posted: 11/25/19 at 12:29am

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/24/theater/young-man-from-atlanta-review.html

"If you haven’t seen a Foote play recently, it may take you a while to accustom yourself to his distinctive art of accretion. Wilson, who often collaborated on productions with Foote (including the monumental “The Orphans’ Home Cycle&rdquoThe Young Man From Atlanta at Signature, knows you can’t hurry this Southern storyteller’s rhythms."

A helpful tip from Brantley before viewing this show if you're not accustomed to Horton Foote's writing. 

Falsettolands
Chorus Member
joined:11/18/13
Chorus Member
joined:
11/18/13
The Young Man From Atlanta at Signature#7
Posted: 11/25/19 at 12:29am

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/24/theater/young-man-from-atlanta-review.html

"If you haven’t seen a Foote play recently, it may take you a while to accustom yourself to his distinctive art of accretion. Wilson, who often collaborated on productions with Foote (including the monumental “The Orphans’ Home Cycle&rdquoThe Young Man From Atlanta at Signature, knows you can’t hurry this Southern storyteller’s rhythms."

A helpful tip from Brantley before viewing this show if you're not accustomed to Horton Foote's writing. 

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clever2
Understudy
joined:5/19/19
Understudy
joined:
5/19/19
The Young Man From Atlanta at Signature#8
Posted: 11/25/19 at 2:49am

Fresh from the opening night party and the news is good.

Michael Wilson has given us the play on the play's terms, allowing the many facades of denial to grow thicker and thicker until they are suddenly crushed to the ground by a mother's revelation and the anguished, broken, private screams that show us her nightmare isn't over. It's just beginning.

This is a simple and attractively designed production, populated with performances that can be hysterically funny seconds before they smack your face, punch your heart, and then make you laugh again. Horton Foote's THE YOUNG MAN FROM ATLANTA is presented in a structure so classic, it matches any number of plays from the 1950s. And the mentality of that era is firmly set in place. Here father knows best, mother obeys father, sons marry nice girls and deliver grandchildren, sons don't disappear into secret lives, sons only die honorably in a war, sons do not commit suicide.

But Will and Lily Dale Kidder's son is dead. Drowned. Nothing honorable about it. Yes, the picturesque rooms in their picturesque home, which undoubtedly sits in the most picturesque corner of Houston, Texas suburbia, provide the ideal backdrop. But father doesn't know a thing, mother's a liar, and the only one in power is the young man from Atlanta. The young man who insists on being seen. The young man who knows more about their son than they could ever want to know. The young man who is ignored, dismissed, called a liar, and avoided. He waits outside Will's office. He waits outside Will and Lily Dale's home. He waits to be heard.

Ultimately, the time for pretending must end. What follows is so gut wrenching, it feels like we have no business looking at it.

This cast is astonishing. The direction is masterful, allowing the tension to creep up on you ever so slightly that you don't know it's there until its suffocating you. This is GREAT theatre.

Go.

P.S. Often, New York dialect coaches and actors have a tendency to make Southerners sound very stupid with that generic draaaaaaaaaw. And it's grotesquely inaccurate. The state I'm from can have up to eight  dialects within a 150 mile radius, all alarmingly different. While the actors in this production of YOUNG MAN are ALL tremendous, their Houston accents are less Houston and more common Texan. Which I will take! Because they sound like real people and the accents do not get in the way. Much appreciation to Michael Wilson and his team for pushing toward authenticity and not making me cringe each time someone opens their mouth. This is a big deal, ya'll.

Updated On: 11/25/19 at 02:49 AM
nasty_khakis
Broadway Legend
joined:3/15/07
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/15/07
The Young Man From Atlanta at Signature#9
Posted: 11/25/19 at 10:21am

I didn't particularly understand what was so amazing about this play at all. The subject matter was old hat even in the 1990s. I didn't connect with any of the characters and found most of the performances to be one note. I walked out of the theatre last week thinking "how did this win a Pulitzer?" I don't need a play to have twists and turns or be plot heavy, but I'd like something to root for or think about.