The Playgoer: Live by The Times, Die by the Times

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Live by The Times, Die by the Times

Okay, Butley is hardly "dead", and may yet enjoy a long and hearty run.

But while browsing Ben Brantley's unenthusiastic notice this morning, I seem to recall seeing this production reviewed before--3 years ago at the Huntington Theatre in Boston. Well, indeed, the Times did travel there to cover it, and raved! But that was Bruce Weber.

Obviously, director Nicholas Martin (the Huntington's AD) was hoping for a transfer all along, given the "attached" star Nathan Lane. It took three years, but probably it was the confidence of that original Times review that kept the dream alive--despite the fact no one here cares about Simon Gray's 1971 British musings anymore. (You're worried about new English plays taking up room on Broadway?)

Well Brantley just pulled a switcheroo on them.

3 comments:

John Branch said...

I miss Bruce Weber. In the present case, his account of the play as he saw it in Boston was more clear and concise than Ben Brantley's description. Brantley's review, as usual, had a certain elegance, of the kind that avoids saying anything too straightforwardly for fear of being dull. I can admire that from one point of view, but I got a better feel for the play at hand from many of Weber's reviews than I typically do from Brantley's.

Does anyone know where Bruce Weber went?

Anonymous said...

Bruce Weber was awful to young playwrights.

Anonymous said...

Who cares where Bruce Weber went? I'm just glad he's gone.