NY Theatre Review: A View from the Bridge & Smart People

A View from the Bridge

A View From the Bridge

Official Blurb: In London this past season, there was one show that everyone was talking about. The Young Vic production of A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE premiered in April 2014 to ecstatic reviews and instantly sold out its initial engagement. The production subsequently transferred to London’s West End for another completely sold-out run. It won the 2015 Olivier Awards for Best Revival, Best Actor and Best Director. It was named the top theater pick of the year by Evening Standard, The Guardian and The Independent. The Times called it “one of the great theatrical productions of the decade.” The Financial  Times called it “superb, searing and triumphant.” Time Out wrote, “To say visionary director Ivo van Hove’s production is the best show in London is like saying Stonehenge is the current best rock arrangement in Wiltshire; it almost feels silly to compare this pure, primal, colossal thing with anything else on the stage.” The visionary director, Olivier winner Ivo van Hove, will be making his Broadway debut. The stellar cast will be led by Mark Strong (The Imitation Game, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), who won the Olivier Award for his portrayal of Eddie Carbone in Miller’s dark and passionate classic drama set on the Brooklyn waterfront.

My Take: This one is hard. There was so Much hype surrounding this one, that unfortunately my expectations were not met. Is it a great work of art?- undoubtedly. Did i enjoy it?- no, not really. It was a painful experience.I like this line from the Ben Brantley NYTimes review: “At the end of its uninterrupted two hours, you are wrung out, scooped out and so exhausted that you’re wide awake. You also feel ridiculously blessed to have been a witness to the terrible events you just saw.” It kind of sums up my feelings. I do believe I saw something marvelous and unique onstage, it was just a painful process to get there. It is really nothing at fault on the production, it was all of it spectacular, from the acting, which was ridiculously good, to the bare setting that made you feel so immersed in the show, that box stage was spectacular.

Smart People

Official Blurb: The quest for love, achievement and identity is universal, but what role does race play in the story of our lives? On the eve of Obama’s first election, four Harvard intellectuals find themselves entangled in a complex web of social and sexual politics in this provocative and funny new play by Lydia R. Diamond (Stick Fly), helmed by Kenny Leon (The Wiz Live!), the Tony Award®-winning director of the 2014 revival of A Raisin in the Sun.

My Take: I really enjoyed this show. Went in with no expectations other than I really enjoy the things 2ST puts out and the cast looked amazing, especially seeing Joshua Jackson that I have been obsessed with since he acted in the Mighty Ducks (all through Dawson’s Creek and now The Affair). The cast was superb, not only Joshua but all four were enthralling and commanded the stage, and the show was fun and relevant. Most importantly it makes you think, makes you talk and a lot of points hold high resonance in our current society. Is it the best play Ive seen this year, definitely not, but did I enjoy the time at the theater – most definitely. And although I really wanted to see Joshua Jackson, I definitely was not prepared to see as much of him as I did, there is some nudity going on onstage.

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