Broadhurst Theatre, (4/27/2010 - 5/09/2010)

First Preview: Apr 08, 2010
Opening Date: Apr 27, 2010
Closing Date: May 09, 2010
Total Previews: 22
Total Performances: 16

Category: Play, Drama, Original, Broadway

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by The Shubert Organization (Philip J. Smith: Chairman; Robert E. Wankel: President)

Produced by Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, Matthew Byam Shaw, ACT Productions, Neal Street Productions, Beverly Bartner & Norman Tulchin, Lee Menzies, Bob Boyett, Scott M. Delman, INFINITY Stages, JK Productions, The Araca Group, Jamie deRoy, Mallory Factor, Michael Filerman, Ian Flooks, Ronald Frankel, James Fuld, Jr., Dena Hammerstein, Sharon Karmazin, Cheryl Lachowicz, Ostar Productions, Parnassus Enterprise, Jon B. Platt, Judith Resnick, Daryl Roth, Stein and Gunderson Company, Anita Waxman, The Weinstein Company, Barry & Carole Kaye, Stewart F. Lane/Bonnie Comley, Barry & Fran Weissler and The Shubert Organization (Philip J. Smith: Chairman; Robert E. Wankel: President); Associate Producer: Jeremy Scott Blaustein

Originally produced by Headlong Theatre, Chichester Festival Theatre and The Royal Court Theatre

Written by Lucy Prebble; Music Composed by Adam Cork

Directed by Rupert Goold; Choreographed by Scott Ambler; Associate Director: Sophie Hunter; Assistant Choreographer: Ben Hartley

Scenic Design by Anthony Ward; Costume Design by Anthony Ward; Lighting Design by Mark Henderson; Sound Design by Adam Cork; Video and Projection Design by Jon Driscoll; Associate Scenic Design: Christine Peters; Associate Costume Design: Patrick Bevilacqua; Associate Lighting Design: Michael Jones; Associate Sound Design: Chris Cronin

General Manager: Richards / Climan, Inc.; Company Manager: Mary C. Miller

Technical Supervisor: Hudson Theatrical Associates; Production Stage Manager: Barclay Stiff; Stage Manager: Matthew Farrell

Advertising: Serino Coyne, Inc.; Interactive Marketing: Situation Interactive; Casting: Telsey + Company; Press Representative: Jeffrey Richards Associates, Irene Gandy and Alana Karpoff; Press Associate: Elon Rutberg

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Opening Night Cast

Norbert Leo ButzJeffrey Skilling
Jordan BallardEmployee
News Reporter
Analyst
Brandon DirdenSecurity Guard
Trader
Rightor DoyleBoard Member
Lehman Brother
Trader
Employee
Anthony HoldsLehman Brother
Trader
Arthur Andersen
Police Officer
Gregory ItzinKenneth Lay
Ty JonesLawyer
Trader
Ian KahnLawyer
Trader
Stephen KunkenAndy Fastow
January LaVoyEmployee
News Reporter
Prostitute
Hewitt
Marin MazzieClaudia Roe
Tom NelisSenator
Trader
Analyst
Judge
Madisyn ShipmanDaughter
Alternate
Jeff SkowronCourt Officer
Trader
Analyst
Mary Stewart SullivanDaughter
Alternate
Lusia StrusSheryl Sloman
Congresswoman
Irene Grant
Noah WeisbergRamsay
Trader
Analyst

Understudies: Ben Hartley and Ellyn Marie Marsh

Awards and Nominations

Tony Award®

 2010 Best Original Score Written for the Theatre [nominee] 

Featuring songs by Adam Cork; Written by Lucy Prebble

 2010 Best Featured Actor in a Play [nominee] 

Stephen Kunken

 2010 Best Lighting Design of a Play [nominee] 

Mark Henderson

 2010 Best Sound Design of a Play [nominee] 

Sound Design by Adam Cork

Drama Desk Award

 2010 Outstanding Sound Design in a Play [nominee] 

Sound Design by Adam Cork

Reviews


AP: "Flashy B'way 'Enron' recounts financial finagling"

The financial finagling is not as much fun as it should be in "Enron," a flashy yet lumbering docudrama that has arrived on Broadway trailing rave reviews from England, where maybe they take a much keener delight in all-American chicanery.

Lucy Prebble's satiric soapbox of a play, which opened Tuesday at the Broadhurst Theatre, has been recast with American actors, and apparently there has been some rewriting, but the evening is still awash in excessive exposition that threatens to upend the expensive-looking, busy production.

"In the past, folks thought that the basic unit of society would be the state or the church or ... the political party. But we now know it's The Company," says Kenneth Lay, head honcho of the Texas-based energy concern at the center of Prebble's play.

Lay, portrayed by an avuncular Gregory Itzin, may be Enron's patriarch, but the play focuses primarily on the machinations of Jeffrey Skilling, its steely CEO. In the go-go 1990s, he sets in motion a complicated scam devised by his chief financial underling, Andy Fastow.

Skilling is portrayed by Norbert Leo Butz, whose experience playing a con man includes his Tony Award-winning performance in the 2005 musical "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels." The actor is equally delightful here, but then Skilling is the play's most fully realized character in a work more concerned with plot than people.

Not only plot, but eye-catching production values, a trademark of director Rupert Goold. Remember his ornate Patrick Stewart revival of "Macbeth" that smacked vaguely of Stalinist Russia?

Goold doesn't let things stop moving here. And there certainly are a lot of intriguing, even outlandish things to see. Right from the start, we are treated to three blind mice, dressed in suits. A portent perhaps of the myopic view of a deceptively high-flying Enron by investors and Wall Street folks alike.

But those mice aren't the only creatures on stage. Red-eyed raptors with lizard-like heads make an appearance, too, as part of the convoluted scheme to hide the ballooning debt Enron acquires as it constantly trumpets ever-growing profits.

And we haven't even gotten to Scott Ambler's Jedi knight choreography (complete with lighted sabers) for the Enron staff or a set of obsequious Siamese twins representing Lehman Brothers anxious to get on the Enron gravy train.

Anthony Ward's large high-tech set designs are equally showy. They tend to dwarf the other actors, who include a sexy Marin Mazzie as Skilling's adversary, a woman who quickly sees that something is wrong, and Stephen Kunken as the nerdy Fastow, the master of the firm's monetary hocus-pocus.

The company eventually filed for bankruptcy protection in December 2001, after years of accounting tricks could no longer hide billions of dollars in debt or make failing ventures appear profitable.

Prebble's dialogue veers toward hyperbolic, big statements that eventually prove wearying, especially in the overlong and increasingly moralistic second act.

It makes you appreciate the show's visual moments. One of the more enjoyable aspects of "Enron" is being able to watch the perpetually moving electronic ticker tape of Enron's stock price - climbing higher and higher in Act 1 and then slipping lower and lower after intermission. Quite a ride. If only the play were as dramatically satisfying.


AP
04/28/2010

LA Times: "Enron at the Broadhurst Theatre"

A play about crooked accounting practices? My heart sank in the opening moments of “Enron,” the rambunctious drama about the spectacular rise and ignominious fall of the Texas-based energy company, when the phrase “mark to market” kept recurring. Playwrights aren’t usually conversant with concepts of high finance, and most of us theatergoers prefer it that way.

But this British import, written by Lucy Prebble and directed by Rupert Goold, turns out to be one of the most vibrant new offerings on Broadway this season. It’s not that Prebble’s dramatic account is so illuminating — the documentary film “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room" does a better job of filling us in on the tricks and tactics that led to what was by 2001 standards the largest corporate bankruptcy in the world.

But the synergy between Prebble’s play and Goold’s staging creates something that could only occur in the theater — a three-dimensional distillation of the greed, fraud and self-serving genius that spelled not just the demise of a company but the emergence of a form of casino capitalism that would by the decade’s end lead to the worst recession since the Great Depression. “Enron,” which had its official opening Tuesday at the Broadhurst Theatre, concentrates on a handful of top executives and ends up hauling in the zeitgeist.

Would you believe that that show often looks and behaves like a musical? Consummate song-and-dance man Norbert Leo Butz (a Tony winner for “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”) stars as Jeffrey Skilling, the nerdy Harvard-educated numbers guy who brought to Enron the concept of “mark to market,” which allows future income, valued at current market prices, to be written down as earnings as soon as deals are signed. Now this wouldn’t seem like the kind of thing to inspire much razzmatazz, but when the company’s stock price starts soaring, all that adrenaline-fueled avarice has a way of putting even socially awkward Skilling in a campy Hugh Jackman mood.

Goold, who directed the strikingly modern “Macbeth” with Patrick Stewart on Broadway in 2008, magnificently orchestrates this layered multimedia extravaganza on a set by Anthony Ward that’s like a mix between a smart phone and a corporate meeting room. The ensuing frenetic kaleidoscope, tricked out with Mark Henderson’s lighting effects, consists of video and projections (imaginatively composed by Jon Driscoll), over-the-top theatrical imagery (such as board members costumed as blind mice and debt-eating “raptors” that look like “Jurassic Park” reptiles) and song-and-dance routines that combine Adam Cork’s twinkling compositions and propulsive sound design with Scott Ambler’s antic choreography.

Amid this dazzling whirlwind, the play unfolds chronologically, beginning with Skilling’s ascent to the highest reaches of management and ending with him behind bars. Head honcho Kenneth Lay (Gregory Itzin) looms above the backroom machinations like a willfully obtuse Southern gentleman, who’d rather not know the details of what’s making him and his fellow big shareholders so rich.

An initial power struggle between Skilling and Claudia Roe (Marin Mazzie) — bedmates for a time, rivals for longer — ends with Skilling gaining control of the direction of the company. The door is now open for him to realize his plan for creating what is, in effect, a financial Frankenstein monster. He is ably assisted in this mad pursuit by Andy Fastow (Stephen Kunken), who has figured out a cunning way of offloading the company’s inconvenient losses from the balance sheet. (Cue the raptors.)

Deregulation expands the scope of Skilling’s marauding. (California bore the brunt of this episode with high energy costs and rolling blackouts.) But even the best Ponzi schemes have to come to an end. And not even having a sympathetic Texan in the White House can save the day. When Wall Street smells weakness, the jig is definitely up.

The agile, gifted trio of Butz, Mazzie and Kunken, decked in Ward’s high-powered costumes, cut spectacularly vivid figures. But “Enron” doesn't aspire to an HBO-style dramatization, with in-depth character profiles. This is a theatrical collage that wants to draw out the attitudes that allowed a small group of corporate sharks to wipe out a vast pool of 401K savings.

Ultimately, the piece’s strength lies not in its storytelling but in its twisted pageantry. Skilling isn’t intimately known by the end of the play, but his tunnel-vision mentality and moral blind spots have been thrown into high relief.

If this were merely a case study of a single group of MBA crooks, it probably wouldn’t have much resonance. But this tale, which spans two presidents and the trauma of 9/11, is a harbinger of the economic crisis that we’re still digging ourselves out of. Prebble's language fails her when she tries to sum up the wreckage through her characters, but the scale of the moral debacle has been brilliantly surveyed.

It’s ironic that this incisive carnival was originally made in England. But rather than be thin-skinned about the foreign critique, let’s be grateful that a show as improbable as “Enron” is getting a chance at a U.S. hearing.


LA Times
04/27/2010

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