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Review Roundup: THE FATHER at Pasadena Playhouse - What Did the Critics Think?

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Review Roundup: THE FATHER at Pasadena Playhouse - What Did the Critics Think?

Pasadena Playhouse presents The Father, written by Florian Zeller, translated by Christopher Hampton and directed by Jessica Kubzansky, February 5 to March 1, 2020.

The production stars Alfred Molina as "Andre", alongside Sue Cremin (Neva at Kirk Douglas Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, SCR) as "Anne;" Michael Manuel (Buried Child at A Noise Within) as "Pierre;" Pia Shah (Orange at SCR) as "Laura;" Hugo Armstrong (Mysterious Circumstances at The Geffen Playhouse) as "Man;" and Lisa Renee Pitts (Sweat on Broadway) as "Woman."

Tickets for The Father start at $25 and are available at pasadenaplayhouse.org by phone at 626-356-7529, and at the box office at 39 South El Molino Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101.

Let's see what the critics are saying...


Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times: The play, however, is more adventurous in its format than it is expansive in its vision. The subject matter has a personal resonance for many of us, and I found myself gripped by the accurate depiction of the dementia dilemma. But I wanted more from the drama than an ingenious theatrical illustration of the problem. I yearned to leap from the medical impairment into metaphor. André can be as volatile as Lear, as Frank Langella took pains to point out in his grandstanding Tony-winning performance. More grounded, Molina draws out the ferocity of a peremptory patriarch in stark decline. But the play doesn't have the poetic architecture to support the Shakespearean analogy.

Melanie Hooks, Colorado Boulevard: Alfred Molina plays the titular character (a father named André) in a small cast on that large stage, and without anyone saying it directly, we realize his reality is cracking wide open. Scene after scene showcases his daily life - in snippets rather than a joined narrative - with people he knows well - his daughter, his son-in-law, his nurse - appearing quite unrecognizable from moment to moment. Even if you've never seen the disease up close and personal, Tony and Olivier award-winning playwright Florian Zeller's bombastic intellectual André, especially as portrayed by the ever sharp and vulnerable Molina, will crack your heart wide open.

Steven Stanley, StageSceneLA: As eye-opener of a play with as thrilling a lead performance as you'll see any time soon, The Father will not only hold you on the edge of your seat. You'll be talking about what you've witnessed long after its devastating final scene fades to black.

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