Plymouth Theatre, (4/08/2004 - 5/23/2004)

First Preview: Mar 13, 2004
Opening Date: Apr 08, 2004
Closing Date: May 23, 2004
Total Previews: 28
Total Performances: 53

Category: Play, Drama, Original, Broadway
Setting: The present. Upper Manhattan.
Comments: Melora Walters was originally cast to play the role of the Lisa. She was replaced during rehearsals by Jane Adams.

Opening Night Production Staff

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

Produced by The Araca Group, East of Doheny and Chase Mishkin; Produced in association with Ray Sawyer, Kit Sawyer and Carol Grose; Associate Producer: Clint Bond, Jr. and Edward Nelson

Written by Stephen Belber

Directed by Nicholas Martin; Assistant Director: Jessica Stone

Scenic Design by James Noone; Costume Design by Michael Krass; Lighting Design by Brian MacDevitt; Sound Design by Kurt Kellenberger and Jerry M. Yager; Assistant Scenic Design: Vicki Davis; Assistant Costume Design: Tracy Christensen; Associate Lighting Design: Charles Pennebaker; Assistant to the Lighting Designer: Rachel Eichorn; Assistant to the Costume Designer: Stephen Brackett

General Manager: The Araca Group; Company Manager: Julie Crosby

Production Supervisor: Kai Brothers; Production Stage Manager: Andrea "Spook" Testani; Stage Manager: Stephen M. Kaus

Casting: Bernard Telsey Casting, Inc.; Press Representative: Boneau / Bryan-Brown; Fight direction by Rick Sordelet; Vocal Coach: Normi Noel; Fight Captain: Karl Bury; Dance Consultant: Nancy Bannon; Assistant to Nicholas Martin: Henry Wishcamper; Marketing: The Araca Group; Advertising: SPOTCo, Inc.; Photographer: Joan Marcus

Very special thanks to Alphonse Poulin, Jan Maxwell and Robert Emmet Lunney

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Opening Night Cast

Frank LangellaTobi
Ray LiottaMike
Jane AdamsLisa

Understudies: Karl Bury (Mike), Malcolm Ingram (Tobi) and Alexandra Neil (Lisa)

Awards and Nominations

Tony Award®

 2004 Best Actor in a Play [nominee] 

Frank Langella

Drama Desk Award

 2004 Outstanding Actor in a Play [nominee] 

Frank Langella


AP: "Langella Masterful in Match"

Frank Langella is a playwright's best friend.

Consider the fine work he does in "Match," Stephen Belber's fitful three-character play at Broadway's Plymouth Theatre.

The actor portrays Tobi Powell, an aging ballet choreographer, who has settled into a comfortable existence teaching dance in New York after a long career working in Europe.

As the curtain rises, Langella has some choice minutes alone on stage before the play's two other characters, a mysterious husband and wife, arrive to grill Tobi about the American dance scene in the late 1950s.

Not many actors can get a big laugh with just a bag of chips but Langella does - twice. As he busily primps and putters around designer James Noone's cluttered apartment setting, the actor already has won over the audience.

Indeed, Langella lifts the whole first act, giving "Match" a momentum that doesn't stall until after intermission. The actor embraces Tobi's free spirit, reveling in the man's good-natured flamboyance, an outrageousness that disarms and then charms.

"I love my life," says the character, and you believe him because of Langella's artful performance.

The couple, played by Ray Liotta and Jane Adams, introduce some tension into the meandering plot. The wife, Lisa, claims to be working on a dissertation but her questions - with a few interjections from her belligerent helpmate -gradually grow more personal.

Eventually, it's revealed that Lisa and her husband, Mike, are trying to find Mike's father, a man his mother never identified. Could it be Tobi?

On that question the drama hangs -and then falters. Belber is adept at writing crackling conversation, but his plot never quite comes together, even though he hurriedly tries to tie up loose ends by the final curtain - insofar as the play feels unfinished.

Another draft or two may be needed to iron out the clunky dramatics that mar the play's second act. Among the moments to excise: an discussion of oral sex that seems to have been included solely to suggest that Tobi was equally at home sleeping with men and women.

Belber was one of the writers and actors who helped put together "The Laramie Project," the Tetonic Theater Project's moving docudrama -- about the death of Matthew Shepard.

"Match" has surface similarities to Belber's best-known play, "Tape," which the playwright also adapted for a screen version which starred Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman and Robert Sean Leonard. It, too, is a three-character drama in which a character seeks to discover the truth about the past.

Adams is sweetly appealing as the reluctant interrogator. Liotta has a harder time because his character, a gruff Seattle policeman with "issues," is not as well drawn.

Director Nicholas Martin keeps the show moving at a reasonable clip, even when the story starts to fall part.

But there is always Langella to savor. He's the man who makes "Match" occasionally strike theatrical fire.


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