New in 2016 Two-time Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett succumbs to the intoxicating power of lust and obsession in this new adaptation of Anton Chekhov's first play.
From the producers: A new adaptation of Anton Chekhov's first play, most commonly referred to as "Platonov," "The Present" unfolds over the course of a raucous weekend birthday celebration in the Russian countryside. Old flames ignite in this passionate and bitingly comic play.
Cate Blanchett, making her Broadway review, originated her performance at the Sydney Theatre Company in her native Australia, where both she and the play were nominated for 2015 Sydney Theatre Awards. Script adapter Andrew Upton is Blanchett's husband. Richard Roxburgh ("Moulin Rouge!"), who will also be making his Broadway debut, was seen with Blanchett on the New York stage in Sydney Theatre Company’s acclaimed production of Upton’s adaptation of another Chekhov play, "Uncle Vanya."
Presented variously under the English-language titles "Wild Honey," "Fatherlessness" and "The Disinherited," the original late 19th century play has been transposed in time to the late 20th century. The drama is now set in "post-Perestroika in the mid-1990s at an old country house where friends gather to celebrate the birthday of the independent but compromised widow Anna Petrovna. At the center is the acerbic and witty Platonov with his wife, his former students and friends and their partners. They may appear comfortable, but boiling away inside is a mess of unfinished, unresolved relationships, fueled by twenty years of denial, regret and thwarted desire," according to production notes.
A wonderfully messy play about the messiness of life...And if the text lacks dramatic discipline, it is loaded with the wit, wisdom, and great gobs of humor that marked the masterpieces to come. [A] wildly animated adaptation, directed with great gusto...Blanchett, delivering with humorous abandon and heartbreak, is incomparably divine...boredom never felt so entertaining.
Blanchett and Roxburgh...have a combustible chemistry together on stage. But sparks alone aren't enough to make the unfocused and overly busy play soar. There are too many characters coming and going - too many moving parts - and it never quite finds the right balance between melodrama and farce. It's the definition of an ambitious mixed bag.