Saturday, January 22, 2011

The New York Idea ***

Langdon Mitchell's 1906 farcical comedy of manners about divorce among New York's horsey set, revived in 1915 and 1933 and turned into a film with Hedda Hopper in 1920, is back on home turf in a new adaptation by David Auburn. Despite a silly, predictable plot, the play provides a surprisingly entertaining evening. The uniformly excellent cast of 12 (Patricia Connelly, Michael Countryman, Francesca Faridany, Mikaela Feely-Lehmann, Rick Holmes, John Keating, Peter Maloney, Jaime Ray Newman, Patricia O'Connell, Jeremy Shamos, Joey Slotnick, Tom Patrick Stephens) successfully avoid the temptation to condescend to the material.. Director Mark Brokaw keeps things moving briskly. The stylish period costumes by Michael Krass and lovely set by Allen Moyer added to my enjoyment. I'm not sure why Atlantic Theater Company chose to revive this chestnut, but they have done so lovingly and with great flair.

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