CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF Reviews

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CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF Reviews#1
Posted: 3/6/08 at 3:46pm
Up way too early is AM New York, which is DAAMMMNN Negative:

Anika Noni Rose is 35 years old, but looks 22 and far too pure and prim to credibly play a rough and tough gal like Maggie the Cat. Clad in a hot yellow dress displaying ample cleavage, she looks more like a model than a character who grew up in desperate poverty.

Terrence Howard is horrible as Brick. We would say his acting is as wooden as the character's crutch, but here the crutch is anachronistically made of titanium. Allen has reset the play, which premiered in 1955, into the present. Again, not a bad idea, but she awkwardly messes traditional and modern designs together.


http://www.amny.com/entertainment/stage/am-cat0307,0,1730443.story

"Y'know, I think Bertolt Brecht was rolling in his grave."
-Nellie McKay on the 2006 Broadway production of The Threepenny Opera, in which she played Polly Peachum
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re: CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF Reviews#2
Posted: 3/6/08 at 3:49pm
I completely disagree with that assessment. I thought it was terrific.
"It's not so much do what you like, as it is that you like what you do." SS

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re: CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF Reviews#2
Posted: 3/6/08 at 3:50pm
Also up way too early is Newsday, which is Very Positive:

The physical production is not the best looking "Cat" on Broadway in recent decades. Despite its conventional sets and hokey lighting effects, Debbie Allen has directed a shimmering ensemble that honors America's great poet of bruised humanity.

Nobody wrote like Tennessee Williams. On the other hand, no one overwrote like him, either. As we learned from the overripe 1990 revival with Kathleen Turner and the weakling 2003 staging with Ashley Judd and Jason Patric, "Cat" has not aged as gracefully as we may have hoped. After the sexual revolution and gay liberation let the air out of his high-compression chambers, even gorgeous imagery about sensual menace and mendacity can be less majestic than ludicrous.

How remarkable, then, that this cast finds such earthy conversational ease in the emotional humidity of Williams' Southern gothic milieu. Whatever problems one may have seeing the family in the larger society, they disappear within the closed circle of a drama about lies, greed and the mixed blessings of legacy.


http://www.newsday.com/entertainment/stage/ny-etlede5602891mar07,0,6731984.story
"Y'know, I think Bertolt Brecht was rolling in his grave."
-Nellie McKay on the 2006 Broadway production of The Threepenny Opera, in which she played Polly Peachum
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re: CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF Reviews#3
Posted: 3/6/08 at 5:00pm
AM New York hits it on the nail.
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re: CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF Reviews#5
Posted: 3/6/08 at 7:14pm
I AM SOOOO OFFENDED!!!!! To not like the show is one thing, but to compare it to moments in black sit-coms is just bad writing. I am really sorry that some people dont understand how black people in the south deal with things especially an 80 million dollar inheritance might be world of difference from what has previously been seen on Broadway however that doesnt make it any less accurate or wrong.
"Rashad, who is Allen's sister, is lurching, broad, and unbearable; utterly absent is the icy temerity she's brought to recent stage roles in A Raisin in the Sun (for which she won a Tony Award) and Bernarda Alba, replaced by curious gropes toward the Aunt Jemima stereotype she's shunned her entire career." RACIST!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Aunt Jemima are you kidding me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Updated On: 3/6/08 at 07:14 PM
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re: CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF Reviews#6
Posted: 3/6/08 at 7:22pm
Said it once and I'll say it again: Debbie Allen has directed "Tyler Perry's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." Let's see what Brantley says, but I have a feeling he'll feel much the same way.
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re: CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF Reviews#7
Posted: 3/6/08 at 7:36pm
Everybody knows the only opinion that matters is Ned Beatty's.
PEACE.
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re: CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF Reviews#8
Posted: 3/6/08 at 7:38pm
Variety is Mixed-to-Positive:

After bouncing between top directors and watching a string of marquee-name actors circle and then withdraw due to scheduling conflicts, producer Stephen C. Byrd's long-gestating project to mount an all-black "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" on Broadway seemed to acquire an air of doom. But the venture has come together as a sexy, starry entertainment, its artistic shortcomings likely to be overshadowed by its commercial strength. While Debbie Allen's inexperience as a director shows in pedestrian physical staging with a tendency toward heavy-handedness, she lucks out where it most matters -- with her powerhouse cast.

http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117936428.html?categoryid=33&cs=1
"Y'know, I think Bertolt Brecht was rolling in his grave."
-Nellie McKay on the 2006 Broadway production of The Threepenny Opera, in which she played Polly Peachum
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re: CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF Reviews#9
Posted: 3/6/08 at 7:43pm
I'm surprised Anika hasn't gotten many fantastic reviews yet.
"Y'know, I think Bertolt Brecht was rolling in his grave."
-Nellie McKay on the 2006 Broadway production of The Threepenny Opera, in which she played Polly Peachum
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re: CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF Reviews#10
Posted: 3/6/08 at 7:51pm
*chuckles*
What great ones do the less will prattle of
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re: CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF Reviews#11
Posted: 3/6/08 at 7:59pm
The Associated Press is Mixed:

In his memoirs, written in the mid-1970s, Williams revealed that, among all the plays he had written, "Cat" (in its published version) was his personal favorite. "It is really very well put together, in my opinion, and all its characters are amusing and credible and touching," he wrote.

One wonders what he would have thought of this often florid, only partially successful production.


http://news.columbian.com/entertainment/entertainmentNews/AP03062008news288907.cfm
"Y'know, I think Bertolt Brecht was rolling in his grave."
-Nellie McKay on the 2006 Broadway production of The Threepenny Opera, in which she played Polly Peachum
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re: CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF Reviews#12
Posted: 3/6/08 at 8:10pm
"Y'know, I think Bertolt Brecht was rolling in his grave."
-Nellie McKay on the 2006 Broadway production of The Threepenny Opera, in which she played Polly Peachum
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re: CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF Reviews#13
Posted: 3/6/08 at 8:20pm
San Francisco Chronicle


`Cat' Gets an Excessive, Uneven Revival

"Brick is passive during her outbursts of loquaciousness. He finally comes alive in the second act when he and Big Daddy attempt to communicate with each other. Both Jones and Howard are superb in this scene — tellingly, one of the most quiet in the production."

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2008/03/06/entertainment/e155926S12.DTL
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re: CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF Reviews#14
Posted: 3/6/08 at 8:26pm
Gotta say, based on the people I've talked with who saw it in previews, AM New York nailed it with Howard. One person could see Debbie Allen literally cringing in the box every time he opened his mouth in that particular performance.
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re: CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF Reviews#15
Posted: 3/6/08 at 10:14pm
That would have been me seeing Allen cringing (btw, "Hi" Jordan !!!- and everyone else--- Greetings from DisneyWorld !)

Everytime Howard opened his mouth, she looked like she was gonna jump off her seat !!!

Honestly, dont know how any publication can give this production a "rave"-

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re: CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF Reviews#16
Posted: 3/6/08 at 10:20pm
Brantley is Mixed-to-Negative (but not nasty):

What sounded promising was the matching of performers and roles. James Earl Jones, of the earth-shaking baritone and overpowering stature, as the tyrannical, filthy-rich Big Daddy; Phylicia Rashad, who won a Tony as the long-suffering matriarch in the recent revival of “A Raisin in the Sun,” as his long-suffering wife: it was as if these parts were their birthrights.

Most tantalizing of all was the idea of Mr. Howard as their alcoholic son, Brick. Mr. Howard brought an eye-opening freshness to the perennial screen archetype of the sensitive but manly brooder in his Oscar-nominated turn as a small-time pimp in “Hustle & Flow.” The big question, it seemed, was whether Ms. Rose, hitherto known as an able supporting actress (“Caroline, or Change” and the film version of “Dreamgirls”), would be able to hold her own in such daunting company.

As it turns out, Ms. Rose more than holds her own. She pretty much runs the show whenever she’s onstage, and when she’s not, the show misses her management. Mr. Howard and Mr. Jones have moments that suggest what they might have made (and possibly still could make) of their roles. And Ms. Rashad presents a creditable, if arguably misconceived, Big Mama. But this time it’s Maggie who rules the Pollitt family’s dusty old house of lies.


http://theater2.nytimes.com/2008/03/07/theater/reviews/07roof.html
"Y'know, I think Bertolt Brecht was rolling in his grave."
-Nellie McKay on the 2006 Broadway production of The Threepenny Opera, in which she played Polly Peachum
Updated On: 3/7/08 at 10:20 PM
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re: CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF Reviews#17
Posted: 3/6/08 at 10:46pm
Theatermania is mostly positive....


Theatermania- An Obvious Success
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re: CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF Reviews#18
Posted: 3/6/08 at 11:06pm
Brantley's full review is up. (Link above.)

"Eh" for the production, glowing rave for Rose.
"If you are going to do something, do it well. And leave something witchy." -Charlie Manson
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re: CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF Reviews#19
Posted: 3/7/08 at 1:02am
Brantley's review was surprisingly kind. Especially for Ms. Allen.
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re: CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF Reviews#20
Posted: 3/7/08 at 1:05am
Yeah I was shocked too, he didnt rip it to shreds as some had assumed he would.
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re: CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF Reviews#21
Posted: 3/7/08 at 1:16am
I think Brantley more or less hits the nail on the head. I actually think I agree with just about everything he says in his review except for his assessment of Anderson and Esposito whom I thought were brilliantly conniving and intolerable in this production.
His love letter to Anika Noni Rose is right on the money, he put my feelings of her performance in writing. Brilliant.
And may I just say that while Debbie Allen makes some problematic choices (no one can figure out why the hell she has the saxophone at the beginning of each act), she actually managed to put on a beautiful production of Williams' play. Not only did she made a few bold casting choices (taking a risk on casting Rose, a no-name actress, in her first leading Broadway role), but she also creates some beautiful stage portraits. Act I is fascinating.
I'm thrilled that Rose got such a rave from the Times.
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re: CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF Reviews#22
Posted: 3/7/08 at 1:35am
I wouldn't call Rose a "no name." While she isn't a star, she's hardly a no name.
"If you are going to do something, do it well. And leave something witchy." -Charlie Manson
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re: CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF Reviews#23
Posted: 3/7/08 at 1:40am
I cant find any opening night photos anywhere.....
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re: CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF Reviews#24
Posted: 3/7/08 at 2:07am
Tomorrow.
"If you are going to do something, do it well. And leave something witchy." -Charlie Manson