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2008-2009 DRAMA LEAGUE AWARD NOMINATIONS

2008-2009 DRAMA LEAGUE AWARD NOMINATIONS

 

Nominations for the 75th annual Drama League Awards, celebrating excellence in Broadway and Off-Broadway theatre, were announced this morning.

 

 

33 VARIATIONS has been nominated for Distinguished Production of a Play (Moisés Kaufman) and Distinguished Performance Award (Jane Fonda).

 

 

ACCENT ON YOUTH has been nominated for a Distinguished Performance Award (David Hyde Pierce).

 

 

ALL MY SONS has been nominated for a Distinguished Performance Award (Patrick Wilson), as well as an honor for previous Distinguished Performance Award winner John Lithgow.

 

 

THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN has been nominated Distinguished Revival of a Play (Garry Hynes) and Distinguished Performance Award (David Pearse).

 

 

DISTRACTED has been nominated for Distinguished Performance Award (Cynthia Nixon).

 

 

EXIT THE KING has been nominated for Distinguished Revival of a Play and two Distinguished Performance Awards  (Geoffrey Rush and Susan Sarandon).

 

 

GOD OF CARNAGE has been nominated for Distinguished Production of a Play and two nominations for the Distinguished Performance Award (Marcia Gay Harden and James Gandolfini).

 

 

MARY STUART has been nominated Distinguished Revival of a Play and two Distinguished Performance Awards (Janet McTeer, Harriet Walter).

 

 

THE NORMAN CONQUESTS has been nominated for Distinguished Revival of a Play and Distinguished Performance Award (Ben Miles).

 

 

PAL JOEY has been nominated for Distinguished Revival of a Musical and Distinguished Performance Award (Martha Plimpton).

 

 

RUINED has been nominated for Distinguished Production of a Play (Lynn Nottage) and Distinguished Performance Award (Saidah Arrika Ekulona).

 

 

THE SEAGULL has been nominated for Distinguished Revival of a Play and Distinguished Performance Award (Kristin Scott Thomas).  

 

 

SHREK THE MUSICAL has been nominated for Distinguished Production of a Musical and two Distinguished Performance  Awards (Sutton Foster , Christopher Sieber).

 

 

WAITING FOR GODOT has been nominated for two Distinguished Performance Awards  (John Glover , Bill Irwin).

 

 

Not for profit company nominations:

 

ATLANTIC THEATER COMPANY has been honored with two nominations for THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN.

 

 

MANHATAN THEATRE CLUB productions have been honored with three nominations including two for RUINED and one for ACCENT ON YOUTH.

 

 

ROUNDABOUT THEATRE COMPANY productions have been honored with five nominations including two for WAITING FOR GODOT, two for PAL JOEY and onefor DISTRACTED. In addition past recipients of the Distinguished Performance Award will be honored on the dais for their work this season which includes: Stockard Channing (PAL JOEY), Frank Langella (A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS) and Mary-Louise Parker (HEDDA GABLER). 

 

 

 TO READ THE COMPLETE LIST OF NOMINEES, VISIT: http://tinyurl.com/c7f89a

UPDATE ON THE CAST OF BROADWAY’S THE SEAGULL

THE CAST OF BROADWAY’S THE SEAGULL –

 WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

 

Earlier this season, Broadway audiences were wowed by director Ian Rickson’s critically acclaimed production of Anton Chekhov’s THE SEAGULL, in a new version by Christopher Hampton.  The production began performances on September 16, 2008, opened October 2, and ended its successful limited engagement on December 21 at the Walter Kerr Theatre.

 

Here’s what that extraordinary company has been working on since THE SEAGULL:

 

Kristin Scott Thomas (Arkadina) made her Broadway debut in THE SEAGULL.   In addition to her Golden Globe-nominated performance in I’ve Loved You So Long, Scott Thomas also appears in Confessions of a Shopaholic, the upcoming film version of Noel Coward’s Easy Virtue, and plays the role of John Lennon’s aunt in the film, Nowhere Boy, currently filming. 

http://www.theatermania.com/new-york/news/04-2009/easy-virtue-starring-kristin-scott-thomas-to-get-m_18413.html

 

Peter Sarsgaard (Trigorin) followed his Broadway debut in THE SEAGULL with another Chekhov role in Uncle Vanya at Classic Stage Company.  He can be seen in the current film, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, and also appeared in the recent Nick Hornby movie, An Education.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20090411.ASCHNELLER11ART1155/TPStory/Entertainment

 

Mackenzie Crook (Konstantin Treplev) made his Broadway debut in THE SEAGULL, and just completed filming The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn in Los Angeles. 

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/film/article6029048.ece

 

Carey Mulligan (Nina) made her Broadway debut in THE SEAGULL.  She recently caused a sensation at the Sundance Film Festival with roles in Nick Hornby’s An Education (also with Peter Sarsgaard) and in Shana Feste’s The Greatest.

http://hollywoodinsider.ew.com/2009/01/sundance-sweeth.html

 

Zoe Kazan (Masha) appeared in the film, Revolutionary Road, and has roles in the upcoming films, The Private Lives of Pippa Lee and I Hate Valentine’s Day.  She received enthusiastic reviews for her play, Absalom, which recently premiered at the Humana Festival.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/09/theater/09huma.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&hpw

 

Ian Rickson (Director) just staged the UK premiere of Jez Butterworth’s Parlour Song to critical acclaim at the Almeida Theatre where the production is currently scheduled to run through May 9.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/08/arts/08iht-lon8.html?ref=arts

 

THE SEAGULL starred Kristin Scott Thomas as Arkadina, Peter Sarsgaard as Trigorin and Mackenzie Crook as Konstantin, with Art Malik as Dorn, Carey Mulligan as Nina, Pearce Quigley as Medvedenko, Peter Wight as Sorin, Zoe Kazan as Masha, Ann Dowd as Polina, Julian Gamble as Shamrayev, Christopher Patrick Nolan as Yakov, Mary Rose as the Maid and Mark Montgomery as The Cook.  

Director Ian Rickson originally staged this production of THE SEAGULL as his farewell to the Royal Court Theatre, when he ended his seven-year tenure as the distinguished theatre’s Artistic Director. The limited run became a sold out smash hit and the biggest selling production in the Royal Court’s 50 year history.
 
THE SEAGULL was designed by Hildegard Bechtler, with lighting by Peter Mumford, sound by Ian Dickinson and music by Stephen Warbeck.  

THE SEAGULL was produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, Bob Boyett, Robert G. Bartner, Dede Harris, Norman & Steven Tulchin, Fox Theatricals, Dena Hammerstein, Sharon Karmazin, Olympus Theatricals, Spring Sirkin, Tara Smith, Morton Swinsky, Karl Sydow, The Weinstein Company, Falkenstein/deRoy, Florin/Hirschhorn and Gutterman/McGinnis.

 

 

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THE SEAGULL RECOUPS ON BROADWAY

THE ROYAL COURT THEATRE’S PRODUCTION OF
THE SEAGULL
RECOUPS ON BROADWAY

 

CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED PRODUCTION CONCLUDES
STRICTLY LIMITED ENGAGEMENT ON SUNDAY, DECEMBER 21

 

www.SeagullThePlay.com

 

The Royal Court Theatre’s critically acclaimed production of Anton Chekhov’s THE SEAGULL has fully recouped its capitalization costs, officially entering the hit column. THE SEAGULL, in a new version by Christopher Hampton and directed by Ian Rickson, is now in its final two weeks, concluding its limited engagement as scheduled on Sunday, December 21 at the Walter Kerr Theatre (219 West 48th Street).
 
Producer Sonia Friedman commented, “My fellow producers and I are tremendously proud of Ian Rickson’s exquisite production and this extraordinarily talented and sublime acting company.   New York audiences have been wonderful and proved that it’s possible for Chekhov to be a commercial success on Broadway, which is a huge achievement for all concerned.”
 
Ben Brantley, The New York Times, praised the Royal Court Theatre’s production of THE SEAGULL as Magnificent.  The finest production of Chekhov that I have ever known.”  John Lahr, The New Yorker, called it “Remarkable and thrilling.” David Rooney, Variety, described THE SEAGULL as “an incandescent, overwhelming production. This is powerful theater.” Peter Marks, Washington Post, hailed it as “a mesmerizing evening”.  John Heilpern, The New York Observer, raved, “It’s a pleasure to be in the company of the entire cast of Ian Rickson’s revelatory production. Let me throw my hat in the air and hail it as the finest production of Chekhov I’ve seen in a generation.”
       
THE SEAGULL stars Kristin Scott Thomas as Arkadina, Peter Sarsgaard as Trigorin and Mackenzie Crook as Konstantin, with Art Malik as Dorn, Carey Mulligan as Nina, Pearce Quigley as Medvedenko, Peter Wight as Sorin, Zoe Kazan as Masha, Ann Dowd as Polina, Julian Gamble as Shamrayev, Christopher Patrick Nolan as Yakov, Mary Rose as the Maid and Mark Montgomery as The Cook.  

Anton Chekhov’s THE SEAGULL, written in 1895 and the first of the playwright’s masterworks, concerns the romantic entanglements and regrets of a group of actors, writers and artists gathered on a Russian estate.  One of the theatre’s great plays about writing, THE SEAGULL conveys the struggle for new forms and the frustrations and fulfillment of putting words on a page.
 
Director Ian Rickson originally staged this production of THE SEAGULL as his farewell to the Royal Court Theatre, when he ended his seven-year tenure as the distinguished theatre’s Artistic Director. The limited run became a sold out smash hit and the biggest selling production in the Royal Court’s 50 year history.
 
THE SEAGULL is designed by Hildegard Bechtler, with lighting by Peter Mumford, sound by Ian Dickinson and music by Stephen Warbeck.  
 
Kristin Scott Thomas, Mackenzie Crook, Art Malik, Carey Mulligan, Christopher Patrick Nolan, Pearce Quigley, Mary Rose and Peter Wight are appearing with the permission of Actors’ Equity Association. The producers gratefully acknowledge Actors’ Equity Association for its assistance to this production.
 
Performances are Tuesday through Saturday at 8:00 PM, with matinees Wednesday and Saturday at 2:00 PM and Sunday at 3:00 PM. Tickets for THE SEAGULL are $110 for orchestra and mezzanine, rows A-F, $77 for mezzanine rows G-J, $41 for balcony and $25 for student rush and standing room.  Additionally, Jujamcyn Theatres offers 12 preferred orchestra aisle locations for $135 each, which may only be purchased in pairs.  

THE SEAGULL is produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, Bob Boyett, Robert G. Bartner, Dede Harris, Norman & Steven Tulchin, Fox Theatricals, Dena Hammerstein, Sharon Karmazin, Olympus Theatricals, Spring Sirkin, Tara Smith, Morton Swinsky, Karl Sydow, The Weinstein Company, Falkenstein/deRoy, Florin/Hirschhorn and Gutterman/McGinnis.

 

# # # #

www.SeagullThePlay.com 

THE SEAGULL STAR KRISTIN SCOTT THOMAS INTERVIEWED ON THE JOAN HAMBURG SHOW

 

THE SEAGULL STAR

KRISTIN SCOTT THOMAS

INTERVIEWED TOMORROW, WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 3

 ON WOR RADIO’S THE JOAN HAMBURG SHOW

 

 

Kristin Scott Thomas, the Olivier Award-winning star of the Royal Court Theatre’s critically acclaimed production of Anton Chekhov’s THE SEAGULL, will be interviewed tomorrow, Wednesday, December 3 at 10:30 AM on “The Joan Hamburg Show” on WOR Radio, 710 AM.   

 

The Royal Court Theatre’s production of Anton Chekhov’s THE SEAGULL, in a new version by Christopher Hampton and directed by Ian Rickson, is playing at the Walter Kerr Theatre (219 West 48th Street), where it opened on October 2.   The production plays a strictly limited engagement through December 21. 

 

Ben Brantley, The New York Times, hailed THE SEAGULL as “Magnificent.  The finest production of Chekhov I have ever known.  Ms. Scott Thomas’s performance is funnier, sadder and braver than it was in London.”  Clive Barnes, New York Post, wrote, “Kristin Scott Thomas is heaven-sent for Chekhov.  She gives a great performance in this wonderful production.”  Mike Kuchwara, Associated Press, called the production “A revelation.  Kristin Scott Thomas gives a striking, elegant performance.  THE SEAGULL reverberates with greatness.”

 

THE SEAGULL stars Kristin Scott Thomas as Arkadina, Peter Sarsgaard as Trigorin and Mackenzie Crook as Konstantin, with Art Malik as Dorn, Carey Mulligan as Nina, Pearce Quigley as Medvedenko, Peter Wight as Sorin, Zoe Kazan as Masha, Ann Dowd as Polina, Julian Gamble as Shamrayev, Christopher Patrick Nolan as Yakov, Mary Rose as the Maid and Mark Montgomery as The Cook. 

 

Anton Chekhov’s THE SEAGULL, written in 1895 and the first of the playwright’s masterworks, concerns the romantic entanglements and regrets of a group of actors, writers and artists gathered on a Russian estate.  One of the theatre’s great plays about writing, THE SEAGULL conveys the struggle for new forms and the frustrations and fulfillment of putting words on a page.

 

Director Ian Rickson originally staged this production of THE SEAGULL as his farewell to the Royal Court Theatre, when he ended his seven-year tenure as the distinguished theatre’s Artistic Director.  The limited run became a sold out smash hit and the biggest selling production in the Royal Court’s 50 year history. 

 

THE SEAGULL is designed by Hildegard Bechtler, with lighting by Peter Mumford, sound by Ian Dickinson and music by Stephen Warbeck

 

Kristin Scott Thomas, Mackenzie Crook, Art Malik, Carey Mulligan, Christopher Patrick Nolan, Pearce Quigley, Mary Rose and Peter Wight are appearing with the permission of Actors’ Equity Association. The producers gratefully acknowledge Actors’ Equity Association for its assistance to this production.

 

Performances are Tuesday at 7:00 PM, Wednesday through Saturday at 8:00 PM, with matinees Wednesday and Saturday at 2:00 PM and Sunday at 3:00 PM.  

 

Tickets for THE SEAGULL are $110 for orchestra and mezzanine, rows A-F, $77 for mezzanine rows G-J, $41 for balcony and $25 for student rush and standing room.  Additionally, Jujamcyn Theatres offers 12 preferred orchestra aisle locations for $135 each, which may only be purchased in pairs.  

 

THE SEAGULL is produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, Bob Boyett, Robert G. Bartner, Dede Harris, Norman & Steven Tulchin, Fox Theatricals, Dena Hammerstein, Sharon Karmazin, Olympus Theatricals, Spring Sirkin, Tara Smith, Morton Swinsky, Karl Sydow, The Weinstein Company, Falkenstein/deRoy, Florin/Hirschhorn and Gutterman/McGinnis.

 

# # # #

 

www.SeagullThePlay.com 

 

 

THE SEAGULL FEATURED IN HOWARD KISSEL’S DAILY NEWS BLOG

http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/culture/2008/10/the-seagull.html

 

Howard Kissel

The Cultural Tourist

Daily News Blogs

 

The Seagull

October 15, 2008

 

One of the inevitable, painful consequences of a lifetime in theater criticism is a fear of Chekhov.

 

Not Chekhov the great writer, the man who managed, in the midst of a career as a country doctor, to write hundreds of short stories and short plays as well as four great plays that describe “the human condition” as profoundly as anyone ever has.

 

No, I mean Chekhov the victim of innumerable directors and actors who replace his comedy with pseudo-profundity, which makes these plays almost unbearable to sit through. No one was more aware of this problem than Chekhov himself, who described Stanislavski’s production of “The Seagull” as “gloomier than gloom” rather than the comedy he thought he had written.

 

That is why no one who loves the theater can afford to miss the extraordinary “Seagull” that director Ian Rickson mounted for London’s Royal Court Theater, which is at the Walter Kerr Theater until Dec. 21. The cast includes Kristin Scott Thomas and Peter Sarsgaard.

 

Rickson’s understanding of the importance of the comedy is apparent in the first few minutes of this spellbinding production. The memorable opening of the play, when Masha is asked, “Why do you always wear black?” and the young woman replies, “Because I am in mourning for my life” is generally intoned with a heaviness that sets the mood for the whole evening. But Zoe Kazan, who plays Masha, makes us see the line as a reflection of her pretention and vanity rather than any profundity.

We are immediately in Chekhov’s world.

 

The sardonic pathos of this world is brilliantly limned in Christopher Hampton’s marvelous new translation. I suspect liberties have been taken here and there, but I consider that a minor sin when an adaptation can make an 1895 play seem as immediate as Hampton’s does.

 

Too often Chekhov is presented as if all the characters know the Revolution is not far off and they are indeed in mourning for their lives. Whatever premonitions Chekhov or his characters have of the unrest in Russia are surely secondary to their hopeless foolishness about themselves. The languor that infects most Chekhov productions is a kind of fog that prevents us from seeing the comedy at the heart of most of his plays.

 

The four great plays (“Seagull,” “Uncle Vanya,” “Three Sisters” and “Cherry Orchard”) are indeed the kin of the many little farces he wrote, which seldom are seen anywhere but acting classes. (An early instance of Paul Newman’s generosity, and I heard about this over 40 years ago, long before he was a superstar, was that he gave an actor named Michael Strong $10,000 — a considerable sum back then — so he could film his performance in such a farcical one-act, “The Dangers of Smoking Tobacco” to use as an audition piece in Hollywood.)

 

The best productions I have seen (there aren’t many) are the ones that recognize this kinship and find the humor, which is abundant.  …

 

When Chekhov works, you see the sadness beneath the comedy. That is certainly true in Kristin Scott Thomas’s arrogant, self-satisfied behavior as Mme Arkadina. She projects a sharp intelligence that only intensifies the sadness of her lack of self-awareness.

The role of her lover, Trigorin, is especially difficult because much of the time he seems to be a blank. But Peter Sarsgaard conveys a smugness that undercuts his world-weariness and intensifies the selfishness of his actions. Here is evil made entirely comprehensible.

 

Some have complained about the Britishness of this production. The good thing about Brits doing Chekhov is that they understand the class element, which is always significant.

 

In the year and a half I have been doing this blog I have generally refrained from commenting on the theater because I did not want to appear to be second-guessing my successor as theater critic at the News, Joe Dziemianowicz, in the way that my predecessor used a weekly column to second-guess me.

In this case I am simply seconding Joe’s enthusiasm, and I would consider myself derelict in my duties not urging people to see so definitive a production.

 

To read the complete article, please click on the following link: http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/culture/2008/10/the-seagull.html

 

# # # #

 

www.SeagullThePlay.com 

 

 

 

THE SEAGULL STAR ZOE KAZAN FEATURED IN THE NEW YORK TIMES

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/16/theater/16zoe.html?_r=1&ref=theater&oref=slogin

 

October 16, 2008

Animating the Underdog in Film and Stage Roles

By PATRICIA COHEN

THE NEW YORK TIMES

Zoe Kazan spends most evenings on a Broadway stage these days, but if she didn’t, she might instead be found handing out leaflets for Save the Whales, carrying grocery bags for elderly women or looking for a losing team to console with juice boxes and cookies.

And if she were to meet Masha, the terminally unhappy character she plays in “The Seagull,” she might enfold the mournful girl in her arms and feed her chicken soup. “I feel a need to rescue,” Ms. Kazan said on a recent sunny afternoon in a coffee bar near the apartment in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, that she shares with a friend from Yale.

Even as a child she befriended the outcasts and “broken birds in her class,” she said. When she read “Oliver Twist,” she wanted to adopt and mother the poor orphan. And when another girl bullied her in preschool, she came home and told her mother, “I’m going to teach this girl how to love.”

“That’s my response to being bullied,” said Ms. Kazan, who is 25 and has a pale, heart-shaped face and big blue eyes set off by dark brows.

Her sympathy for the underdog is what attracts her to roles like Chekhov’s Masha, who opens “The Seagull” by saying, “I’m in mourning for my life” – and it may be one reason she plays them so artfully.

In a rave review of the production, which stars Kristin Scott Thomas and Peter Sarsgaard, Ben Brantley wrote in The New York Times that “Ms. Kazan, who just gets better with every performance, tastily brings out the self-lacerating perversity in Masha’s defeatism.”

Ms. Kazan recalled her audition for the director Ian Rickson in a Los Angeles hotel room. When she walked in, two other actresses were already seated, dressed in miniskirts. She was wearing a long black dress and boots. “I thought, ‘I’m going to get this part,’ ” she said. As for Mr. Rickson, after meeting Ms. Kazan, he knew she was well suited to play Masha in the American production. “There can be a lot of pressure on young actresses in today’s culture to represent themselves in certain ways: manipulable, attractive, overeager,” he said recently by phone from London, recalling the audition. Ms. Kazan, by contrast, has “a fierceness of intelligence and independence that’s really important.”

Ms. Kazan, who graduated from Yale in 2005, did not expect to begin auditioning right away. She had intended to continue at the university’s school of drama. Then she met an agent who persuaded her to try acting first.

As it turned out, she never did go to drama school, and her success over the previous year is one that even experienced actresses would envy, appearing in three plays in addition to this Chekhov revival.

In one of them, “Things We Want,” she met Paul Dano, who has been her boyfriend ever since (and with whom she shared some lingering kisses outside the coffee bar that afternoon). Having his support while performing such an emotionally draining role has been wonderful, she said, adding that you cannot play such an addictive depressive personality (Masha is constantly reaching for a glass of alcohol or a vial of snuff) without touching on similar sentiments in yourself.

During that same period Ms. Kazan has also worked on four movies. A fifth, “Revolutionary Road,” which is due out in December, could be her breakout. This Sam Mendes film, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Frank Wheeler and Kate Winslet as his wife, April, is a classic story of stifling suburban conformity during the 1950s. Ms. Kazan plays Maureen, a naïve secretary with whom Frank has an affair out of boredom and spite. In the Richard Yates book, Maureen is “a figure of ridicule,” she said, but she was determined not to play that “preconceived notion.” She watched Marilyn Monroe in “Some Like It Hot,” and Shirley MacLaine in “The Apartment,” to capture their sense of innocent vulnerability and loneliness.

Yes, the name Kazan – the director Elia was her grandfather – has opened doors more quickly for her, she admits, but she maintains that her accomplishments are all her own. When an article about her in The Los Angeles Times provoked a letter writer to claim Ms. Kazan was only getting ahead because of her family relationship, she said: “I felt really hurt by it and bad for the person. It was self-defeating,” as if the letter writer had convinced her of her own inability to achieve without insider help.

Ms. Kazan’s parents, Robin Swicord and Nicholas Kazan, are both screenwriters, but, she said, they tried to give her a normal non-Hollywood childhood. She had no idea her grandfather was famous until she was 13 and a new teacher asked if she was related to the director. “No,” she replied, “his name is Papou Elia,” Greek for Grandfather Elia.

Only when she came home and related the conversation to her mother did she learn just who Papou Elia was. They watched some of his films, “Viva Zapata!,” “On the Waterfront” and “A Streetcar Named Desire.” (Tennessee Williams would become one of her favorite writers.)

Self-reliance was the key word in her household. Her parents, did not permit her and her younger sister to watch television, saying the commercials would rot their brains. If she wanted to know something, she said, they took her to the library to look it up. If there was a problem at school, they would talk it over with her but would not traipse down to the principal’s office to fix it. And she and her sister could dress as they pleased, which resulted in her spending a year wearing a pioneer outfit with a bonnet. (She attended a “hippie dippy school,” she added.)

On this afternoon she was wearing red-and-white checked overall shorts, a turquoise T-shirt and red moccasins. Her parents also believe in political engagement, Ms. Kazan said. Before she left for Yale, her father told her that if she got arrested or expelled for protesting, she shouldn’t worry, he would support her.

She is still extraordinarily close to her family. She describes her sister, Maya, as her best friend. “I’m so homesick,” she said earnestly.

The whole family is gathering in New York for Thanksgiving. Ms. Kazan, who loves to cook and often spends her Mondays off in the kitchen, making the recipes that her mother sends by mail, plans to help prepare the holiday feast. She’ll invite some of the play’s British cast members for the American ritual.

To read the complete article, click on the following link: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/16/theater/16zoe.html?_r=1&ref=theater&oref=slogin

RELATED SLIDE SHOW: http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2008/10/16/theater/20081016_KAZAN_SLIDESHOW_index.html

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www.SeagullThePlay.com  

THE SEAGULL -WHAT THE CRITICS ARE SAYING

WHAT CRITICS ARE SAYING ABOUT
THE SEAGULL

 

 

The Royal Court Theatre’s production of Anton Chekhov’s THE SEAGULL opened Thursday, October 2 at the Walter Kerr Theatre (219 West 48th Street).   The production stars Kristin Scott Thomas, Peter Sarsgaard and Mackenzie Crook, in a new version of the play by Christopher Hampton and directed by Ian Rickson.   THE SEAGULL plays a limited run through December 21 only. 

 

Here is what critics are saying about the production:

 

Ben Brantley

THE NEW YORK TIMES

http://theater2.nytimes.com/2008/10/03/theater/reviews/03seag.html

 

“Magnificent. The finest and most fully involving production of Chekhov that I have ever known.  The Seagull was Ian Rickson’s valedictory production as artistic director of the Royal Court Theater, and when I saw it there last year, I couldn’t imagine its being much better. Yet this Seagull has only ripened and deepened.  Ms. Scott Thomas’s performance is funnier, sadder and braver than it was in London.  With sly brilliance Mr. Sarsgaard presents Trigorin as an awkward, reticent man transformed by a worshipful public into a closely watched dandy.  The seeming contradictions of tone and character that have sent many a great theatrical artist stumbling into confusion here achieve a cohesiveness that sacrifices neither clarity nor complexity. It is, to make honest use of the language of hucksters, a limited, once-in-a-lifetime offer, as the show runs only through Dec. 21.”

 

Clive Barnes

NEW YORK POST

http://www.nypost.com/seven/10032008/entertainment/theater/gliding_with_a_snort_beyond_times_border_131877.htm

 

éééé (out of four).  It’s staged with natural fluency by Ian Rickson, with an elegant new adaptation by Christopher Hampton that sounds as though it were written the day before yesterday. Arkardina is a great role, and Scott Thomas gives a great performance. She gives a perfect portrait of an actress close to the top of that first downward swoop.”

 

Joe Dziemianowicz

DAILY NEWS

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/arts/2008/10/03/2008-10-03_kristin_scott_thomas_is_shining_star_of_.html

 

“With its crisp, conversational script by Christopher Hampton and graceful, steady-handed direction by Ian Rickson, the production is as stirring as it is entertaining. Scott Thomas is sly-eyed, sharp-tongued and sure-footed and holds you rapt while just standing motionless. In short, she’s heaven in her Broadway debut.  No less phenomenal is Carey Mulligan, who plays Nina and instantly captures your heart with her teary-eyed, exquisitely emotional portrayal. Mackenzie Crook seems to draw from a deep well of sadness as Konstantin, the experimental playwright hopelessly in love with her.”

 

Linda Winer

NEWSDAY

http://www.newsday.com/services/newspaper/printedition/friday/partii/ny-etgull5866311oct03,0,3014594.story

 

“How thrilling, finally, to have a version of The Seagull that understands why we cherish Anton Chekhov.  Kristin Scott Thomas makes her glorious Broadway debut with her Olivier-winning portrayal of Arkandina.  Carey Mulligan makes a luminous Nina. Zoe Kazan finds an almost irrepressible hope, then the deadened fate in Masha.  Director Ian Rickson and Scott Thomas find the exquisite balance between being idealistic about the arts and satirizing that idealism.”

 

Mike Kuchwara

ASSOCIATED PRESS

http://www.boston.com/ae/theater_arts/articles/2008/10/02/a_revelatory_seagull_soars_with_uncommon_clarity/

 

“The disappointed souls who populate The Seagull have never looked or, what is more important, sounded better.  They have arrived on Broadway courtesy of London’s Royal Court Theatre, and the result is a revelation. There have been several productions of The Seagull in New York within the last year or so but none has had the clarity and emotional impact of Christopher Hampton’s new translation. Mackenzie Crook portrays Konstantin with haunting intensity. Peter Sarsgaard perfectly captures Trigorin’s single-mindedness as he pursues the perfect word or phrase.”

 

David Rooney

VARIETY

http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117938571.html?categoryid=33&cs=1

 

“The director, adaptor Christopher Hampton and their fine ensemble inject startling vitality, immediacy and infinite nuance into Chekhov’s 1895 play. Rarely is the writer’s signature balance of humor, pathos and tragedy so exquisitely rendered or the modulation between them orchestrated so affectingly. This is powerful theater. Rickson’s production brings the pleasure of rediscovery and fresh responses to a frequently produced classic.”

 

Frank Scheck

HOLLYWOOD REPORTER/REUTERS

http://uk.reuters.com/article/entertainmentNews/idUKTRE4920BH20081003

 

“The Royal Court Theatre’s production of The Seagull has flown triumphantly from London to New York.  A beautifully modulated revival of Chekhov’s classic.  The major cast change in the production is the replacement of Chiwetel Ejiofor with Peter Sarsgaard in the key role of aloof, self-absorbed writer Trigorin. Interpreting the character as somewhat edgier and less likable than did his predecessor, Sarsgaard delivers an intelligent, nuanced turn that gives the play a darker tone than it had in London.  Thomas perfectly captures the ageing actress Arkadina’s vainglorious air. The supporting cast is equally sublime.” 

 

John Lahr

THE NEW YORKER

http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/theatre/2008/10/13/081013crth_theatre_lahr

 

“Thrilling.  As Arkadina, Scott Thomas is an inspired piece of casting. Bright-eyed, fresh-faced, and petite, she has a lithe presence that underscores Arkadina’s childishness. Mackenzie Crook’s gaunt, cadaverous look gives Konstantin a splendid ghostly quality.  When this production was mounted in London, the English newspapers generally agreed that it was the best Seagull in living memory.  Director Ian Rickson factors out Chekhov’s algebra of aimlessness with extraordinary nuance. The evening, and the ensemble’s achievement, is remarkable.”

 

Roma Torre

NY 1

http://www.ny1.com/content/ny1_living/theater_reviews/86704/ny1-theater-review—the-seagull-/Default.aspx

 

“The brilliant collaboration that brought this Seagull to Broadway gives theatre-goers a rare treat. Christopher Hampton’s pitch-perfect translation sets the stage for one of, if not the most, rewarding nights of Chekhov I’ve ever seen.  And with Ian Rickson’s insightful direction, The Seagull resonates like never before. He gives his superb cast ample space to spread their glorious wings. Kristin Scott Thomas, delivering a revelatory performance as the self-absorbed actress Arkadina, leads the company with a naturalism that brings this 112-year-old play into the here and now.  As well as I know this play, it seemed new to me the night I attended. Chekhov’s great desire to reinvent the art form takes flight with this magnificent Seagull.”

 

Jacques LeSourd

GANNETT WESTCHESTER

http://www.lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081003/ENTERTAINMENT/810030308/1186/Entertainment0801

 

“As tortured as these unrequited loves are, what remains is the clarity of the vision that director Ian Rickson and his star bring to the whole enterprise. It is a vision that never gets blurry from being lost in the poetry of Chekhov.  Scott Thomas may be playing a timeless type – the big-time actress with an inflated ego that blinds her to the needs of her own family.  But she also, somehow, manages to communicate that inside that bubblehead is a giant brain that never shuts down.  Sarsgaard stresses that cold side of Trigorin, playing him as conflicted only about the meaning of his fame as a writer. Though this is a production with a definite star turn, the sense of ensemble is never lost.”

 

Robert Feldberg

BERGEN RECORD

http://www.northjersey.com/betterliving/stage/30239214.html

 

The Seagull arrived from London festooned with top-shelf adjectives: “rapturous,” “exhilarating,” “finest.”  And the revival of Chekhov’s play is deserving of all of them.  The Seagull, Chekhov’s first major play – and a favorite among theater people because it’s about theater people – is frequently revived.  I’ve never seen another production, though, that was so immediate and alive, so rich in its exploration of the characters.” 

 

Toby Zinman

PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/magazine/20081006_Chekhov_s__Seagull__takes_flight.html

 

“No one does disappointment, aimlessness, sorrow and despair like Chekhov. And hardly anyone does Chekhov convincingly on stage – making us recognize ourselves in those impossible tragicomic characters. This magnificent production of The Seagull, transferred from London to Broadway, gets it absolutely and thrillingly right.  So much laughing, weeping, kissing, talking, waiting. So much theatrical pleasure.” 

 

Malcolm Johnson

HARTFORD COURANT

http://www.courant.com/entertainment/stage/reviews/hc-opobseagullrev.artoct03,0,3358884.story

 

The Seagull has enjoyed a vogue of late with star-strewn revivals. But the new arrival at the Walter Kerr Theatre outclasses them all, with the truly brilliant Kristin Scott Thomas heading the cast. Originally produced at London’s Royal Court Theatre, the production adds up to a nearly ideal version of the first of Anton Chekhov’s final four masterpieces, largely because of the new adaptation by Christopher Hampton. The cast comes mostly from the Royal Court, with a few Americans, but Ian Rickson has seamlessly blended the ensemble.” 

 

Simon Houpt

TORONTO GLOBE AND MAIL

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20081004.SEAGULL04/TPStory/?query=The+Seagull

 

“Is there such a thing as a Masters in Theatre Archeology? Because the vivacious Royal Court production of The Seagull, which landed in New York on Thursday, is such a sleek and robust specimen it seems to have been excavated intact from the earth only yesterday; it couldn’t possibly be more than a century old, could it?  Across the board, director Ian Rickson’s cast avoids the grand self-pity that marks so many productions of The Seagull.  Taking over from Chiwetel Ejiofor, the production’s Trigorin in London, Peter Sarsgaard takes a risk with a subtle read rooted in the character’s declaration: “I’ve never had a will of my own.” He is content to accept whatever falls into his lap. Trigorin’s awareness of his own mediocrity, played so often with grand disgust, is quietly devastating; when he admonishes Nina for valuing celebrity above art, you may feel you’re hearing this speech for the first time.”

 

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