New in 2017 Oscar nominee Uma Thurman stars as a socialite navigating the dangerous waters of Washington, D.C. politics in a new play by "House of Cards" creator Beau Willimon.
From the producers: "The Parisian Woman" is set in Washington, D.C., where powerful friends are the only kind worth having, especially after the 2016 election. At the center is Chloe, a socialite armed with charm and wit, coming to terms with politics, her past, her marriage and an uncertain future. Dark humor and drama collide at this pivotal moment in Chloe's life, and in our nation's, when the truth isn't obvious and the stakes couldn’t be higher.
Author Beau Willimon is an Oscar and Emmy Award nominee best known as the creator of the Netflix original series "House of Cards," serving as showrunner for the first four seasons. "The Parisian Woman," inspired by Henry Becque's late 19th century comedy "La Parisienne," was commissioned and developed by The Flea Theater in New York City and was originally produced by South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, California. The play has since gone through significant rewrites to reflect the changing political climate.
Oscar nominee Uma Thurman ("Pulp Fiction," "Kill Bill parts 1 & 2") makes her Broadway debut with this production. She is joined on stage by Josh Lucas ("The Glass Menagerie"), Tony nominee Phillipa Soo ("Hamilton," "Amelie") and Tony Award winner Blair Brown ("Orange Is The New Black," "Copenhagen"). Tony Award nominee Pam MacKinnon ("Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?," "Clybourne Park") directs.
Unfortunately, Willimon brings none of his shrewd insight into the political machine to the stage here...it quickly starts to feel stale and cliche. Thurman's Chloe feels uninspired, and the actress doesn't slip smoothly into the role. Still, the show has its pleasures: [Phillipa] Soo is wonderful...and some of Willimon's lines are deliciously funny. But for audiences looking for a nimble, complex take on Washington in 2017, you're better off just reading the paper.
Thurman is not comfortable enough onstage to play a woman that comfortable in her own skin. The playwright has liberally [sprinkled] the dialogue with references to the chaos of the current White House administration - those jabs are sometimes incisive but more often pandering. This is a play with an identity crisis...echoing the confusion of a work that can't decide if it's a sly political thriller about our alarming reality or a conventional drawing-room comedy about no credible reality at all.