Ethel Barrymore Theatre, (10/27/2013 - 1/05/2014)

First Preview: Oct 01, 2013
Opening Date: Oct 27, 2013
Closing Date: Jan 05, 2014
Total Previews: 29
Total Performances: 83

Category: Play, Drama, Revival, Broadway
Setting: England and Venice.

Opening Night Production Staff

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

Produced by Scott Rudin, Barry Diller, Eli Bush, Jon B. Platt, Roger Berlind, Scott M. Delman, Roy Furman, John Gore, Stephanie P. McClelland, Sonia Friedman/Tulchin Bartner, The Araca Group, Ruth Hendel, Heni Koenigsberg and Daryl Roth

Written by Harold Pinter; Original Music: James Murphy

Directed by Mike Nichols; Assistant Director: Colleen O'Donnell

Scenic Design by Ian MacNeil; Costume Design by Ann Roth; Lighting Design by Brian MacDevitt; Sound Design by Scott Lehrer; Video Design by Finn Ross; Hair and Wig Design by Campbell Young and Luc Verschueren; Make-Up Design by Campbell Young and Luc Verschueren; Associate Costume Design: Matthew Pachtman; Associate Lighting Design: Jennifer Schriever; Associate Sound Design: Drew Levy and Alex Neumann; Associate Projection Design: Brian Beasley; Assistant Scenic Design: Nick Francone, Stephen Davan and Jennifer Price-Fick; Assistant Lighting Design: Joel Silver and Peter Hoerburger

Executive Producer: Joey Parnes, S.D. Wagner and John Johnson; Company Manager: Penelope Daulton

Production Manager: Aurora Productions; Production Stage Manager: Jill Cordle; Stage Manager: Morgan R. Holbrook and Kathryn L. McKee

Scenic Design Supervision: Edward Pierce

UK Casting: Anne McNulty; US Casting: Cindy Tolan; Press Representative: Boneau / Bryan-Brown; Advertising: Serino Coyne; Creative Advertising Design & Website: BLT Communications, Inc.; Photographer: Brigitte Lacombe; Press Associate: Jim Byk

Opening Night Cast

Daniel CraigRobert
Rafe Spall
Broadway debut
Rachel Weisz
Broadway debut
Stephen DeRosaWaiter

Understudies: Antony Hagopian (Robert), Alex Moggridge (Jerry) and Lucy Taylor (Emma)


AP: "Revival of Pinter's 'Betrayal' is stunning"

If revenge is a dish best served cold, betrayal is one apparently lubricated by plenty of booze.

A stunning revival of Harold Pinter's "Betrayal" opened Sunday at the Barrymore Theatre with alcohol flowing in every one of its nine scenes: Beer, red wine, scotch, vodka, white wine. Repeatedly cheating on your spouse clearly necessitates liquid courage.

Director Mike Nichols adds more spirits than even Pinter's script suggested, a way the master craftsman can connect the scenes and explain the stiff-upper-lip repression on the stage. Liquor is the lubrication that keeps each participant from going on a table-flipping screaming rant or utterly collapsing. Nichols proves once again - as if anyone needed it - that he is brilliant at stripping away everything that is not the meaning of the play.

Pinter's work, ultimately, is about a triangular relationship - wife, husband and husband's best friend, who all care for each other - that uses reverse chronology to chart the corrosive force of infidelity. This is clearly not a date-night play: More than one couple shifted uneasily in their seats during one recent performance.

Superbly acted by Rachel Weisz, Daniel Craig and Rafe Spall, the production sparkles in its simple, powerful beauty. The fact that Craig and Weisz are married in real life adds a dash of spice to performances roiling under the surface.

Ian MacNeil's handsome sets - lit gorgeously by Brian MacDevitt - drift in and out of view in pieces effortlessly, as if reinforcing the notion of hazy memories. A stuffed animal in one scene casually tossed aside is a reminder of the stakes involved. James Murphy, best known as part of LCD Soundsystem, makes an auspicious Broadway debut with between-scenes instrumental music that puts punctuations on moments without undermining them.

Weisz is luminous - pitiful in a scene when she confesses her affair, toussled and off-kilter when in deep infatuation and yet also coolly disconnected in a scene in her love nest at the end of the secret relationship. Craig still has some 007 swagger about him but it falls away in scenes when his cuckold anger keeps bubbling beneath his calm surface.

"I hope she looked after you all right," he says sharply to his friend at one confrontation. It doesn't get much more venomous than that. When he confronts his wife and she confesses to a years-long affair with his best friend, this is all he has: "Must be a bit awkward. I mean we've got two kids, he's got two kids, not to mention a wife. ..."

But it's Spall, making his Broadway debut, who perhaps shines the brightest as the best friend who wears his emotions on his sleeve the most. Spall is jittery and passionate and conveys the horror and paranoia of a man hiding his true feelings to both his best friend and the man's wife.

Pinter based the play on an affair he had with a television newscaster when he was married in the 1960s. It movingly captures the highs of intoxicating love and the hurt when real life intrudes.

This production is also shot through with humor - dark, perhaps, but very present. Much of it comes from the peculiar calmness of all three main actors, who all love each other so much that they can't stop hurting each other. It would drive you to drink, too.


New York Daily News: "Betrayal"

Beautiful people doing ugly things always attracts attention.

Since one of the world’s most beautiful couples — Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz — signed on as cheating spouses in “Betrayal,” Harold Pinter’s 1978 drama has been the hottest ticket in town. There’s clamoring at the stage door and scalping on the sidewalks.

But is it worth the hubbub and the hype? Actually, yes.

The big-screen James Bond and “The Constant Gardener” Oscar winner are smashing and sexy in Mike Nichols’ graceful and stealthily devastating production of Pinter’s autobiographical play.

Craig is Robert, a publisher. Weisz is his wife, Emma, a gallery owner. Joining them as Jerry is a new face, Rafe Spall, playing Robert’s best friend and the ultimate backstabber.

Jerry poaches Emma and carries on a seven-year affair with her — love nest included.

That’s not a spoiler — Pinter essentially reveals the entire plot in the first scene of this streamlined drama, which moves in reverse from the late ’70s to the late ’60s.

Over that period, Emma and Jerry betray Robert. Then Emma betrays Jerry by telling her husband all about the affair. And Robert gets in on it too, betraying Jerry by not telling him he’s onto the cheating. Oh, and he’s also cheating on Emma.

It’s a story about who knew what, and when.

Treacherous stuff, marriage — and friendship.

“Betrayal” is provocative and nasty, but being English, it’s all very civilized. In an American version, there’d be screaming and F-bombs all night long. Not here. It’s cerebral, subtle and surprisingly polite.

So it takes the right cast to bring it to life. This cast does.

As the Judas with a jones for his best bud’s wife, London-born Spall stuns in making Jerry an Everyguy — funny, easy to like and unimposing. Only late do we see his mercenary side.

Weisz, a London stage veteran making her Broadway debut, is fetching as Emma. She plays her with heart-on-sleeve girlishness. Smart move. Too implacable, Emma would just be ruthless.

Craig proved his stage chops in the 2009 cop drama “A Steady Rain.” Here, with Kirk Douglas-style ’70s hair, Craig brings a virility and vibrant expressiveness to Robert. His character changes the most in terms of temperament, and he never misses a beat as he transitions from who cares to profound hurt.

Like cheaters slinking around in the night, Nichols’ production moves quietly and purposefully. During his long career, Nichols has proven himself a master of intricate intimacy. He knows how to zero in on humor and pain and make it all burrow deep into your skin. And into your brain.

It’s a play in which everyone loses — except the audience.

New York Daily News

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