The Present is playing at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre located at 243 West 47th Street. It runs two hours fifty five minutes with one intermission. It closes on March 12, 2017.
The play was written by Chekhov but never finished. It was first published in 1923, nineteen years after Chekhov’s death.
John Crowley is the director. He was nominated for a Tony Award in 2005 for The Pillowman.
Cate Blanchett won two Academy Awards for The Aviator (2005) and Blue Jasmine (2014).
Anna (Cate Blanchett) is greeted by Nikolai (Toby Schmitz). He wishes her a Happy Birthday and hands her a birthday present. He proceeds to the table and plays with the chess board. Anna joins him. Nikolai tells her about the women he is seeing Maria (Ana Bamford). He’s not sure if she is right for him.
Sergei (Chris Ryan) arrives and tells Anna he has been married for three months. She tells him to bring Sophia (Jacqueline McKenzie) to the party.
Other guests arrive and greet Anna.
Nicholai farther Ivan (Marshall Napier) comes having had a few drinks before. His daughter Sasha (Susan Prior) is another guest. Her husband of seven years Mikhail (Richard Roxburgh) is with her.
Anna was married to the general who has recently died. This was their home. She was married when she was nineteen.
As things unravel one of the older men tells her all she was, was a trophy wife.
It seems all the women are hot for Mikhail and he is for them. Anna makes a comment to him that sometimes you love the person you are with and the sex stinks. Then you could be with someone you don’t like but the sex is great. But if you are lucky you love the person you are with and the sex is great!
The play is done in four acts. Act one is boring and shallow. There is nothing to spark your interest in the characters. Act two is better. We get to know more about the people. There is more life in act two. Act three is questionable. The final act is very good.
It’s up to you if you want to see it. This is one show I was disappointed with.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich
Photos by Annazor.
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