Playing at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theatre, located at the Lincoln Center Theater (150 West 65th street). It runs two hours twenty minutes with one intermission. The play closes on June 16, 2013.
Jane Greenwood is the costume designer and is also doing the costumes for the play “The Assembled Parties” now at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre”. She has been nominated for sixteen Tony Awards.
Richard Nelson (playwright) won a Tony Award in 2000 for Best Book of a musical for James Joyce’s “The Dead”. He was nominated for the Tony Award Best Play “Two Shakespearean Actors” (1992) and the Drama desk Award for outstanding new play for “Some Americans Abroad” (1990).
David Cromer is directing this production. He received six Lucille Lortel Award nominations in 2008. In 2008 he won the Lucille Lortel Award and the Obie for “Our Town”.
Michael Cerveris won a Tony Award and Outer Critic Circle Award in 2004 for “Assassins”. He was nominated for a Tony Award in 2006 for “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” and in 2012 for “Evita”.
John Glover won a Tony Award for his dual roles in “Love! Valour! Compassion!”. He received a Tony nomination in 1990 for”Waiting for Godot”. He is known for his role as Luther in “Smallville” from 2001-2008.
Blair Brown won a Tony Award in 2000 for “Copenhagen”. She was nominated for five consecutive Emmy Awards for her role in “The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd”.
Stephen Kuken was nominated for a Tony Award in 2010 for “Enron”.
Kathryn Erbe was nominated for a Tony Award in 1991 for “The Speed of Darkness”. She is known for her role in Law & Order: Criminal Intent from 2001-2009.
There are eighteen actors in this show.
The play takes place one weekend at Lucia’s farmhouse outside Westport, Connecticut in the spring of 1948.
Friends have been gathering to celebrate Sergey Sydekin (Alvin Epstein) birthday. His former wife Vera Stravinsky (Blair Brown) and her husband composer Igor Stravinsky (John Glover) are among the guests. He is a set designer and has worked with the other people there. Sergey is quit fragile.
The guests are all Russian. Three Americans arrive later. They are bringing out tables and chairs from inside the house to the back yard.
Nikola “Nicky” Nabokov (Stephen Kunken) is talking to his first wife Natasha Nabokov (Kathryn Erbe). Nicky is a composer and helps his friends when they are in trouble.
Nicky friend George Balanchine (Michael Cerveris) is a choreographer and is married to an American Maria Tallchief (Natalia Alonso). She is a dancer.
When all the guests arrive they have dinner outside. After dinner most of the men go inside. The remaining friends talk about what is going on in their lives.
The second half of Act One George is putting on a show in the barn converted into a studio for his friends. His wife and fellow American Nicholas (Michael Rosen) do an act from a show George is doing. Late guests arriving are Serge Koussevitsky (Dale Place) a conductor and Charles “Chip” Bohlen an American. He is a former state department official who speaks fluent Russian.
The second act is later that night. They are in the living room. Different people come and go holding conversations with each other. Among the revelations is Nicky wants to compose again; it’s been twenty years since he has. He tells Chip he does not want to work with him anymore. Chip is not happy about it.
Eventually you learn who is who. It gets a little confusing.
When the cast members are talking in English they have a Russian accent.
There too many characters to mention. And maybe that is the problem. The story is stretched. There is no character development.
Stephen Kunken, Michael Cerveris and Kathryn Erbe are good with what they have to work with.
One redeeming thing is the great set. There is the back of the house with a little peek of the inside in the first act. Then in the second half of the first act it is a barn made into a studio. The second act is the living room with a grand piano. Marsh Ginsberg is the set designer.
It was a nice idea but maybe with fewer characters it would have been a better play.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich.
Photos by Annazor.
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