Friday, October 03, 2008

The Seagull (The SOB Review)

The Seagull (The SOB Review) - Walter Kerr Theatre

**1/2 (out of ****)

In what is sure to be the snob-appeal revival of the season, Ian Rickson's imported British revival of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull starts out with a flash, quite literally.

But then, the drama descends into a moribund morass of unrequited love all around. Christopher Hampton's adaptation of The Seagull is devoid of nearly any humor Chekhov's works typically employed to make the Russian working classes laugh at the expense of the privileged -- the exception here is Kristin Scott Thomas' wickedly funny take as the put-upon, scheming woman-of-privilege-wannabe Madame Arkadina.

As Trigorin, Peter Sarsgaard is woefully miscast, essentially sucking the life out of the entire production, and he rarely connects, as he should, to ignite any flames of passion with the wonderfully incandescent Carey Mulligan as Nina. It's actually a relief when after this long slog that Mackenzie Crook's Konstantin Treplev finally shoots himself, because had the production gone on any longer, I would have been tempted to do the same.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

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At 03 October, 2008, Blogger Sarah B. Roberts said...

But did you like it?

At 03 October, 2008, Blogger Esther said...

Ugh, sounds like when I had to read Dostoyevsky in high school. A long slog indeed. Maybe it has something to do with those long, cold Russian winters?!

At 03 October, 2008, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Sarah, There is much to like: Scott Thomas, Mulligan, Zoe Kazan (as usual), and even Crook. But the degree to which Sarsgaard single-handedly sucked the life out of the performance made it downright boring.

At 03 October, 2008, Blogger Gil said...

Thank god someone agreed with me. I haven't wanted to fall asleep in a play since... well it's been awhile...

At 03 October, 2008, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...


At 03 October, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...


As I said on my blog post, I enjoyed The Seagull the most out of everything I saw that weekend. The men were disappointing, particularly Sarsgaard, but KST and the Carey Mulligan were simply stunning.

You know, it's funny. I totally overuse both "luminous" and "incandescent," and I was going to try to find another word to describe Mulligan. But it really fit, so I stuck with it. I'm hoping that the Tony voters remember her come voting time. She was just astonishing.


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