Thursday, February 28, 2013

Talley's Folly **

(Please click on the title to see the complete review.)
Roundabout Theatre's revival of Lanford Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play about an unlikely romance in small-town Missouri in 1944 is now in previews at the Laura Pels. The good news is that it much more successful than their recent revival of "Picnic." The not-so-good news is that the casting is less than ideal. If I had not seen the original production with Judd Hirsch as Matt Friedman, I might not have had as much difficulty accepting Danny Burstein in the part. Although I have admired Burstein in other plays, I thought he was miscast here. He seems too old, too unattractive, too given to shtick and too devoid of charm to be a plausible love interest for Sally Talley. Sarah Paulson also looked a bit old for her part, but handled the role well. Jeff Cowie's enormous set, so big that they had to remove two rows of seats to make room for it, calls too much attention to itself and subverts the intimacy of the play. David C. Woolard's costumes are fine.   Michael Wilson's direction lacked nuance. Nevertheless, even a flawed production of this fine play is welcome. Running time: 1 hour, 40 minutes without intermission.

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