Richard Rodgers Theatre, (1/17/2013 - 3/30/2013)

First Preview: Dec 18, 2012
Opening Date: Jan 17, 2013
Closing Date: Mar 30, 2013
Total Previews: 34
Total Performances: 84

Category: Play, Drama, Revival, Broadway
Setting: The Pollitt family estate in Mississippi.

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by The Nederlander Organization (James M. Nederlander: Chairman; James L. Nederlander: President)

Produced by Stuart Thompson, Jon B. Platt, The Araca Group, Roger Berlind, Scott M. Delman, Roy Furman, Ruth Hendel, Carl Moellenberg, Scott and Brian Zeilinger, Nederlander Presentations, Inc., Tulchin Bartner Productions and Scott Rudin; Associate Producer: Kevin Emrick

Written by Tennessee Williams; Incidental music by Adam Cork

Directed by Rob Ashford; Associate Director: Stephen Sposito

Scenic Design by Christopher Oram; Costume Design by Julie Weiss; Lighting Design by Neil Austin; Sound Design by Adam Cork; Hair and Wig Design by Paul Huntley; Moving Light Programmer: Sean Beach; Make-Up Design by Angelina Avallone; Associate Scenic Design: Timothy R. Mackabee; Associate Costume Design: Justin Hall; Associate Lighting Design: Dan Walker; Associate Sound Design: Chris Cronin

General Manager: Stuart Thompson Productions and Patrick Gracey; Company Manager: Carol M. Oune

Production Manager: Aurora Productions; Production Stage Manager: Lisa Dawn Cave; Stage Manager: Paul J. Smith

Alto Sax, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet: Hideaki Aomori and Alden C. Banta; Guitar, Ukulele: Thad DeBrock; Tenor Sax, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet: Allen S. Sadigursky

Dialect and Vocal Coach: Deborah Hecht; Casting: Daniel Swee; Press Representative: Boneau / Bryan-Brown; Advertising: SPOTCo, Inc.; Website Design & Online Marketing: SPOTCo, Inc.; Press Associate: Christine Olver; Photographer: Joan Marcus; Fight Captain: Will Cobbs

Opening Night Cast

Ciarán HindsBig Daddy
Scarlett JohanssonMargaret
Benjamin WalkerBrick
Debra MonkBig Mama
Emily BerglMae
Sister Woman
Tanya BirlDaisy
Will CobbsBrightie
Laurel GriggsPolly
Vin KnightReverend Tooker
Victoria LeighDixie
Charlotte Rose MasiTrixie
Michael ParkGooper
Brother Man
George PorteousSonny
Brian ReddyDoctor Baugh
Lance RobertsLacey
Cherene SnowSookey
Noah UngerBuster

Understudies: Tanya Birl (Sookey), Leighton Bryan (Mae, Maggie), Will Cobbs (Lacey), Alex Hurt (Brick, Gooper), T.J. Kenneally (Brightie, Dr. Baugh, Lacey, Rev. Tooker), Terry Layman (Big Daddy), Victoria Leigh (Sonny), Alexa Shae Niziak (Buster, Dixie, Polly, Sonny, Trixie), George Porteous (Dixie) and Amelia White (Big Mama, Sookey)

Reviews


AP: "A noisy 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof' distracts"

The creative team behind the Broadway revival of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" has apparently concluded that Tennessee Williams' script needed more fireworks. So they went ahead and added them.

They also added cap guns, the sound of crickets, musical crescendos, ringing telephones, chiming clocks, thunder crashes and a mind-boggling nine songs, some sung while the action is happening. One more song and this show might be classified a musical.

Whether all the sound effects are meant to enhance the performances onstage or cover up the acting is unclear. What's not unclear is that an unnecessarily noisy production opened Thursday at the Richard Rodgers Theatre. The ruckus distracts from some fine performances and a play that deserves - as most of the men in it also wish - silence sometimes.

Scarlett Johansson turns in a nifty turn as Maggie, finding humor and barely hidden desperation in her role as frustrated wife and mother-to-be. She's less overtly sexy than other actresses who have played the ironic role, making her Maggie more cerebral, angry and proud.

Benjamin Walker, as her husband Brick, is slow to boil but savage when he does, a former athlete turned into a languid hunk of beef who sits on the edges of the stage avoiding conversation and hiding in a bottle. They have little chemistry at first - but that's kind of the point.

The older couple in this three-act melodrama - Debra Monk as Big Mama and Ciaran Hinds as Big Daddy - are excellent as a long-married pair whose love has turned poisonous. Emily Bergl as the scheming Mae is also first-rate. You won't believe Hinds is Irish, so wonderfully does he capture a Southerner whose genteel facade dissolves.

But who can hear any of the actors through this din? Fireworks meant to underscore lines in the text are not needed and come off sounding cheap. The 1958 film with Elizabeth Taylor had music, but did this revival have to as well? Isn't it a little overwrought to have servants singing during a storm? Rob Ashford is remarkably talented, with the latest "Evita" and "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" on his resume. But this is, to put it in appropriate terms, gilding the lily.

"Cat," first seen in New York in 1955, tells the tale of one family's machinations to control some prime Mississippi Delta farmland. They've gathered to celebrate the 65th birthday of the patriarch, Big Daddy, who does not know he's dying of cancer.

Brick is mourning the death of good friend Skipper and the ambiguity of their relationship, which not only haunts him but Maggie as well. Brick retreats into booze, leaving Maggie alone to fend off her greedy in-laws and their "no-neck monster" children eager to take control of ailing Big Daddy's extensive land holdings.

To be fair to a show that tries to expose mendacity, Ashford does a great job ratcheting up the paranoia, as Christopher Oram's beautiful set featuring four huge French windows and billowing curtains seem always visited by figures listening in.

The director's handling of five dancing children is nicely done and Brick, suffering a broken ankle, trying to escape confrontation by hobbling across every corner of the set like a wounded animal is strongly choreographed.

But Ashford should just have let Tennessee Williams handle the fireworks.


AP
01/17/2013

Replacement/Transfer Info


The following people are credited as replacements or additions if they were not credited on opening night.


Richard Rodgers Theatre

(1/17/2013 - 3/30/2013)

Cast

Jordan Dean
Skipper Role was cut during previews
(Dec 18, 2012 - Jan 2013)


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