Saturday, January 17, 2009

Stoppard's "Cherry Orchard"

Sam Mendes of "American Beauty" and "Revolutionary Road" is directing the Bridge Project production of Stoppard's new version of Anton Chekhov's "The Cherry Orchard." It boasts a stellar Anglo-American cast, including Sinead Cusack, Simon Russell Beale, Rebecca Hall and Ethan Hawke. So far, the critical consensus has been favorable.

Ben Brantley of the New York Times calls it a "nimble new version...that invites fresh comic shadings, pushes that sense of the incongruous not so much into farce (although there’s some of that) as into 'Alice in Wonderland' absurdity."

Terry Teachout has a review in the Wall Street Journal.

The review in Variety says: "The chief strengths of Stoppard's adaptation are its conversational ease and erudite humor, but there's a slight chill to the playwright's gaze that undercuts the melancholy strains of a great Chekhov production."

The New York Daily News also likes the production.

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