Running since December 2018 Ethan Hawke and Paul Dano star as two brothers who reunite to discuss their mother's recently abandoned house, leading to the airing of old resentments and some unexpected twists in their relationship, in a revival of Sam Shepard's Pulitzer Prize-nominated drama.
From the producers: Opposites attack in Sam Shepard’s Pulitzer Prize-nominated play about two brothers with more in common than they think. Holed up in their mother’s California house, lowlife Lee and screenwriter Austin wrestle with big issues—and each other. Order vs. chaos. Art vs. commerce. Typewriter vs. toaster...Shepard’s rip-roaring classic returns to Broadway, gleefully detonating our misguided myths of family, identity and the American Dream.
Author Sam Shepard won ten Obie Awards for writing and directing, the most won by any writer or director. He wrote 44 plays as well as several books of short stories, essays, and memoirs. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1979 for his play "Buried Child," followed by 2 additional nominations for "True West" and "Fool for Love." "True West" debuted on Broadway in 2000 with stars John C. Reilly and Philip Seymour Hoffman swapping roles nightly. The production received four Tony Award nominations: nods to both alternating stars, director Matthew Warchus, and Best Play.
Paul Dano's Broadway credits include"A Month in the Country," "Inherit the Wind," and "A Free Man of Color." On screen he is known for his performances in "12 Years a Slave," "There Will Be Blood," and "Love & Mercy." Tony nominee and four-time Oscar nominee Ethan Hawke worked extensively with the late Shepard, both on stage and screen. His film credits include "Boyhood," "Before Midnight," "Before Sunset," and "Training Day," among many others. Hawke also acted alongside Dano on the film "Taking Lives" and directed the actor onstage in "Things We Want." James Macdonald ("The Children," "Top Girls") directs.
What's the Roundabout? One of the great nonprofit dreadnoughts of the New York theater scene, the Roundabout has three Broadway venues and an Off-Broadway stage in midtown. Prominent artists are usually engaged, significant work is usually done, and even at the smallest of the theaters, the work has the uniform quality that one would expect from such a large and prominent shop. More here.
Riveting...a ripping revival...a brilliant Hawke, in full-menace mode, and a tightly wired Dano...[director] Macdonald is a master at building suspense from seemingly banal elements. And for the first half, he imbues the most prosaic details with mounting tension worthy of Hitchcock. The second act - the celebrated, hilarious, tearing-down-the-house part - felt slightly off its rhythms. Hawke is already delivering a faultless performance, probably his best ever onstage. "True West," [is] a play that seems to grow in disturbing depth every time it comes back to haunt us.
AM New York
Here, one gets no sense that Hawke and Dano are related by blood. Dano gives a stiff and superficial performance. [He] is also unable to credibly execute the role reversal, which all but ruins the second half of the play, robbing it of its excitement and brutality. On the other hand, Hawke is an ideal Lee - rough, raw, physical, mischievous and dangerous - which makes one wonder what this production might have achieved had Hawke received a different sparring partner.