American Airlines Theatre, (10/30/2014 - 1/04/2015)

First Preview: Oct 02, 2014
Opening Date: Oct 30, 2014
Closing Date: Jan 04, 2015
Total Previews: 32
Total Performances: 76

Category: Play, Drama, Revival, Broadway
Setting: Two years elapse between Acts I and II.

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes: Artistic Director; Harold Wolpert: Managing Director; Julia C. Levy: Executive Director; Sydney Beers, General Manager)

Produced by Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes: Artistic Director; Harold Wolpert: Managing Director; Julia C. Levy: Executive Director; Sydney Beers, General Manager)

Written by Tom Stoppard

Directed by Sam Gold; Assistant Director: Lee Sunday Evans

Set Design by David Zinn; Costume Design by Kaye Voyce; Lighting Design by Mark Barton; Sound Design by Bray Poor; Hair Design by Tom Watson; Makeup Design by Dave Bova and J. Jared Janas; Associate Set Design by Tim McMath; Associate Costume Design: Amy Jean Wright; Associate Lighting Design: Tess James; Associate Sound Design: Charles Coes

"The Real Thing" General Manager: Denise Cooper; Company Manager: Carly DiFulvio Allen

Production Manager: Aurora Productions; Production Stage Manager: Charles Means; Stage Manager: Samantha Watson

Founding Director: Gene Feist; Roundabout Adams Associate Artistic Director: Scott Ellis; Dialect Coach: Kate Wilson; Casting: Jim Carnahan, C.S.A. and Carrie Gardner, C.S.A.; Roundabout Director of Development: Lynne Gugenheim Gregory; Roundabout Director of Marketing & Audience Development: Tom O'Connor; Interactive Marketing: Situation Interactive; Advertising: SPOTCo, Inc.; Press Representative: Polk & Co.; Photographer: Joan Marcus

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Opening Night Cast

Maggie Gyllenhaal
Broadway debut
Josh HamiltonMax
Ewan McGregor
Broadway debut
Cynthia NixonCharlotte
Alex BreauxBrodie
Ronan RafteryBilly
Madeline WeinsteinDebbie

Understudies: Rebecca Brooksher (Annie, Charlotte), Nick Dillenburg (Billy, Brodie), Rae Gray (Debbie) and Matthew Greer (Henry, Max)


Be My Baby
(music by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich and Philip Spector; lyrics by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich and Philip Spector )
Da Doo Ron Ron
(music by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich and Philip Spector; lyrics by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich and Philip Spector )
(music by Mort Garson and Tom Glazer; lyrics by Mort Garson and Tom Glazer )
God Only Knows
(music by Brian Wilson and Tony Asher; lyrics by Brian Wilson and Tony Asher )
I'll Be in Trouble
(music by Smokey Robinson; lyrics by Smokey Robinson )
I'm Into Something Good
(music by Carole King and Gerry Goffin; lyrics by Carole King and Gerry Goffin )
Living on the Ceiling
(music by Neil Arthur and Stephen Alfred Luscombe; lyrics by Neil Arthur and Stephen Alfred Luscombe )
Oh Carol
(music by Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield; lyrics by Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield )
Sugar, Sugar
(music by Andy Kim and Jeff Barry; lyrics by Andy Kim and Jeff Barry )
There's a Kind of Hush
(music by Les Reed; lyrics by Les Reed )
A Whiter Shade of Pale
(music by Keith Reid and Gary Brooker; lyrics by Keith Reid and Gary Brooker )
You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling
(music by Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil and Philip Spector; lyrics by Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil and Philip Spector )


AP: "An excellent, music-filled Broadway revival of 'The Real Thing' stars Ewan McGregor"

The first time "The Real Thing" came to Broadway, it won the Tony Award for best play. The next time it arrived, it won for best play revival. This time it just may sneak away with the trophy for best musical revival.

A thoroughly excellent and tuneful version of Tom Stoppard's brilliant play about love and fidelity opened Thursday at the American Airlines Theatre, directed by Sam Gold and featuring a dozen songs, both sung onstage by the actors between scenes or wafting out of record players.

The Roundabout Theatre Company revival begins with Smokey Robinson and the Temptations' "I'm in Trouble" with lyrics that prove to be prescient. "If you decide to make me blue, I'll be in trouble/If you decide to be untrue, I'll be in trouble/'Cause no matter what you do or say, I know I'm gonna love you anyway." It ends with the Beach Boys' "God Only Knows," and the lyric: "God only knows what I'd be without you."

Stoppard's play always embraced music — it features a main character devoted to '60s pop and the script calls for Strauss, "The Skater's Waltz," some Verdi and the tune "A Whiter Shade of Pale" — but Gold has added more, giving the story more layers by including such tailor-made songs as "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" and "I'm Into Something Good." Some may grouse that they may be a little too on-point for such a slippery play, but the actors integrate them well, even singing around a guitar.

The seven-member cast is first-rate, led by Ewan McGregor playing the romantically challenged Henry, the too-smart-for-his-own good playwright at the play's heart. His fight to remain chipper in the face of the crumbling of his romantic life is masterful. McGregor rarely lets his mask down, but when he does — moaning alone or quietly sobbing — it's heartbreaking.

Maggie Gyllenhaal plays Annie — Henry's mistress and then wife — with a fierce opaqueness, her face decorated with a clever, knowing smile or a cool standoffishness. Gyllenhaal telegraphs her character's unease and real desires with aching subtlety. It's a pity Henry is oblivious.

Cynthia Nixon, Josh Hamilton, Alex Breaux, Ronan Raftery and Madeline Weinstein have smaller roles but bite into them with grace, particularly Weinstein, who nails the eye rolling and familial joshing as Henry's daughter and even plays the guitar.

Stoppard, as usual, keeps his audience perpetually on edge, unsure if we're watching a play-within-a-play or actual events unfolding, a blurring of art and life that's brilliantly mined. Repetition of scenes, positions and props nudge the echoes home. If this play is almost 30 years old, its age wasn't visible.

David Zinn's elegant, book-filled modernist set, which somehow magically transforms into a train, and Kaye Voyce's flattering costumes both give the show a rich handsomeness keeping with the very English bloodlessness of the action. Only a bowl of dip is used in anger. If this were an American play, there'd be gunfire by the end of Act One.


New York Daily News: "The Real Thing"

In Tom Stoppard’s “The Real Thing,” Ewan McGregor plays Henry, a renowned and brilliant author who can’t write about love to save his life.

The play concerns the complexities of marriage and marks McGregor’s bang-up Broadway debut. With no sign of struggle, he’s charismatic and convincing as he plays Henry’s various facets — witty, glib, snobbish and, importantly, romantic.

This Scottish actor is in good company. Fellow Great White Way rookie Maggie Gyllenhaal impresses as Annie, an actress and the object of Henry’s desire. Gyllenhaal (who has appeared Off-Broadway) makes her vibrant, sensual and reckless enough to break a heart without remorse. The pair’s chemistry provide the show with a beating pulse.

But this Roundabout revival also suffers from fits of arrhythmia. Stoppard carefully spells out in the script which songs should play when, all to underscore what’s going on. Director Sam Gold ups the ante. His cast sings the songs during these interludes.

It’s a “Kumbaya”-style decision that’s unnecessary and a bit gimmicky. Still, it doesn’t spoil this exceptionally personal, accessible and theatrical play. The same goes for the imposing multipurpose set, with its huge white wall and shelves that vaguely recall an Ikea warehouse.

The opening scene is an episode from Henry’s latest drama. In it, a husband accuses his wife of cheating on him. The scene shifts to Henry’s house, where he’s discussing the play with his wife, Charlotte (Cynthia Nixon), who dislikes her part in it. They’re visited by Charlotte’s co-star Max (Josh Hamilton) and his wife, Annie.

Both couples go through dramatic changes, and Henry soon frets over Annie’s relationships with a young actor, Billy (Ronan Raftery), and a Scottish soldier, Brodie (Alex Breaux). Henry’s teenage daughter Debbie (Madeline Weinstein) tells him that his views on fidelity and sex are obsolete.

In the 1984 Broadway run of the play, Nixon portrayed Debbie. As Charlotte, she’s brusque and no-nonsense — but her posh and starchy accent isn’t always pretty. Neither are the long dresses and skirts she and Gyllenhaal wear that all but consume them.

Fashions of the ’80s haven’t aged well. But “The Real Thing” is still looking good.

New York Daily News

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