Cort Theatre, (9/11/2014 - 1/04/2015)

First Preview: Aug 18, 2014
Opening Date: Sep 11, 2014
Closing Date: Jan 04, 2015
Total Previews: 26
Total Performances: 133

Category: Play, Comedy, Original, Broadway
Comments: Premiered Off-Broadway at the Intar Theatre in 1996, produced by the New Group. Was considered a "Revival" for the purposes of the Tony nominations in 2015.

Opening Night Production Staff

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

Produced by Scott Rudin, Eli Bush, Roger Berlind, William Berlind, Jon B. Platt, Roy Furman, The Shubert Organization (Philip J. Smith: Chairman; Robert E. Wankel: President), Ruth Hendel, Scott M. Delman, Stephanie P. McClelland, Sonia Friedman, Tulchin/Bartner, The Araca Group, Heni Koenigsberg, Daryl Roth, Joan Raffe & Jhett Tolentino and Catherine & Fred Adler

Originally produced by The Steppenwolf Theatre Company (Martha Lavey: Artistic Director; David Hawkanson: Executive Director)

Written by Kenneth Lonergan; Original Music by Rostam Batmanglij

Directed by Anna D. Shapiro; Assistant Director: Jonathan Berry

Scenic Design by Todd Rosenthal; Costume Design by Ann Roth; Lighting Design by Brian MacDevitt; Sound Design by Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen; Associate Scenic Design: Courtney O'Neill; Associate Costume Design: Matthew Pachtman; Associate Lighting Design: Benjamin Travis; Associate Sound Design: Christopher Cronin and Josh Liebert; Assistant Costume Design: Sarah Cubbage; Moving Light Programmer: Michael Hill

Executive Producer: Joey Parnes, Sue Wagner and John Johnson; Company Manager: Kit Ingui; Assistant Co. Mgr: Mike McLinden

Production Manager: Aurora Productions; Production Stage Manager: Cambra Overend; Stage Manager: Kathryn L. McKee

Casting: Telsey + Company and Will Cantler, CSA; Press Representative: Philip Rinaldi; Advertising: SPOTCo, Inc. and BLT Communications, Inc.; Fight direction by Thomas Schall; Photographer: Brigitte Lacombe

Opening Night Cast

Michael Cera
Broadway debut
Warren Straub
Kieran Culkin
Broadway debut
Dennis Ziegler
Tavi Gevinson
Broadway debut
Jessica Goldman

Understudies: Elise Kibler (Jessica Goldman) and Nick Lehane (Dennis Ziegler, Warren Straub)

Awards and Nominations

Tony Award®

 2015 Best Revival of a Play [nominee] 

Produced by Scott Rudin, Eli Bush, Roger Berlind, William Berlind, Jon B. Platt, Roy Furman, The Shubert Organization (Philip J. Smith: Chairman; Robert E. Wankel: President), Ruth Hendel, Scott M. Delman, Stephanie P. McClelland, Sonia Friedman, Tulchin/Bartner, The Araca Group, Heni Koenigsberg, Daryl Roth, Joan Raffe & Jhett Tolentino and Catherine & Fred Adler; Executive Producer: Joey Parnes, Sue Wagner and John Johnson; Originally produced by The Steppenwolf Theatre Company (Martha Lavey: Artistic Director; David Hawkanson: Executive Director)

Reviews


AP: "3 millennials honor 'This Is Our Youth'"

Ah, youth. It's messy, confusing, possibly dangerous — particularly when enveloped in a marijuana haze.

A truly well-oiled — should we say well-rolled? — revival of Kenneth Lonergan's "This Is Our Youth" opened Thursday on Broadway at the Cort Theatre with a super cast of rising-star millennials playing Gen-Xers.

Michael Cera, making his New York stage debut, once again perfectly captures being an awkward man-boy, while veteran fashionista and acting newbie Tavi Gevinson matches his goofy nervous energy. Kieran Culkin is marvelous as their smug, narcissistic friend. Spending two hours watching these wealthy, unmoored slackers is a treat, even without the contact high.

The production, which premiered at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago this past summer, is directed by Anna D. Shapiro, who knows her way around onstage arguments ("August: Osage County") and movie stars (James Franco in "Of Mice and Men"). She keeps this revival fresh and electric, crackling with energy even as the stoned get more stoned.

Set in 1982 at the beginning of the Reagan Era, the entire play takes place over two days at the Upper West Side apartment of Dennis (Culkin), a small-time drug dealer with wealthy parents. He gets an unexpected visit from his weird friend Warren (Cera), who fled home after having a disagreement with his dad and taking $15,000 ("the proceeds from my unhappy childhood").

They come up with a dangerous plan to return the money and avoid punishment. It involves spending more of it on cocaine, reselling it and then attempting to use the proceeds to get Warren hooked up with his secret crush, Jessica (Gevinson).

Lonergan's script is baked with fun as these hyper-intellectual, born-with-a-silver-spoon, sushi-eating kids pretend at being well-adjusted humans, all the while tossing around SAT prep words like "prototypical" and "expedient."

These are people who shop for smoked salmon at Zabar's, drink Dom Perignon and have enough upper-class breeding to run to a Plaza Hotel suite in order to romance a girlfriend. (Not Dennis, though: He thinks the snazzy Pierre hotel is better). But none can pay for it with their own cash.

Cera's Warren is gloriously unpolished, a guy with his hand permanently stuffed into a pants pocket and a collection of toy memorabilia. He moves jerkily, as if he's uncomfortable in his own skin, and he's antsy enough to just pick up a football and toss it indoors like the boy he once was. Watching him finally stick up for himself at the end is glorious.

Culkin, with his flippy haircut and polo shirt, is smarmy '80s perfection. He's that cocky boyfriend in a John Hughes movie who initially attracts Molly Ringwald only to be revealed for the boor he really is. Dennis fancies himself a leader and entrepreneur but is insecure enough to want to be worshipped for being a leader and entrepreneur. He probably grew up to be a stock broker who wore suspenders and lost everything in the dot-com bubble.

Gevinson walks into this drug-fueled morass with an innocence, integrity and sincerity that's refreshing. She's as ardent as Warren about her opinions and dances like, well, Molly Ringwald in "The Breakfast Club." She and Warren make a love connection but neither is mature enough to handle it, and it dissolves in a faux-fight so skillfully executed by Lonergan that neither really knows what happened.

This is a production that makes a sly nod to our own nostalgia. For example, everyone stops to stare at a ringing phone to wonder who is on the other side (it's 1982, remember) and Culkin's ability to snap the long, irritating phone cord like a lion tamer will remind you of pre-iPhone days. Todd Rosenthal's single set with a Richard Prior poster, a clunky TV and crates of records also takes you back.

Little touches — like Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij's instrumental music between scenes that ranges from ominous to playful — add luster to a show that's very specific in terms of time and place but seems to capture each new generation as it finds itself in no man's land — too old to play with toys and yet too young to really enjoy itself.


AP
09/11/2014

New York Daily News: "'This Is Our Youth,' theater review"

Kenneth Lonergan has made a career on stage and film with stories that summon the funny and sad quirks of ordinary lives.

He’s at the top of his game in his 1996 play “This Is Our Youth,” now running at the Cort Theatre in a terrific revival.

The production, from the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, marks a Broadway debut for Lonergan and its three actors, whose portraits are right on the money.

That’s the right metaphor, considering that cash looms so large in this Gen-X dramedy. In 1982, three rudderless people are adrift in Manhattan. They’ve got too much dough, too few aims and too little ties to people who should love them — as in, their parents.

Indeed, hopeless Warren (Michael Cera) has just ripped off $15,000 from his father, a lingerie businessman with a cold heart and a right hook when he’s pissed.

Warren arrives uninvited at the grungy home of his friend Dennis (Kieran Culkin), a drug dealer with an Upper West Side studio subsidized by the ’rents. It’s not about generosity — it’s about keeping Dennis away from them.

They’re classic frenemies. Dennis berates Warren about everything from his nonexistent sex life to his dead sister. Still, thanks to Dennis’ manipulations, Jessica (Tavi Gevinson), a freshman at the Fashion Institute of Technology for whom Warren lusts, arrives on the scene.

The comedy flows as Dennis and Warren devise a plan to replace the stolen money — some of which Warren has blown on a pricey night out with Jessica. Eventually, Lonergan gets into deeper stuff as the men come to grips with who they are — together and apart.

Lonergan’s symbolism isn’t all that subtle. Warren literally has baggage — he hefts around a big suitcase filled with beloved collectibles. He’s got to sell his past to get his dad’s money back.

Cera mines every ounce of Warren’s comedy and ache. His forlorn charm — he’s always standing with his palms up, as if in supplication — makes you want to hug him.

Culkin brings just the right cockiness for Dennis. The lesser-known Gevinson, who’s famous in fashion circles, is the show’s wild card — and she’s an ace. She brings a weird and wonderful vitality as the pretty and opinionated Jessica.

Director Anna D. Shapiro, who steered “Of Mice and Men” last season, showcases the play’s ample humor and the disquieting tones.

Nearly two decades after its New York debut Off-Broadway, “This Is Our Youth” has aged well.


New York Daily News
09/11/2014

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