Written by George Bernard Shaw
Broadway's American Airlines Theatre
A sad truism, at least in my theatergoing experience: George Bernard Shaw almost always disappoints onstage. And it's not Shaw's fault. His explosive battles of egos and ideas jump off the page, but always seem to get muddled in the theater by period folderol, rampant overacting, or other misguided efforts to distract from the talk, talk, talk. The Roundabout Theater's new production of Shaw's notorious early play, about a daughter who discovers that her upbringing has been financed by her mother's business of ill repute, is not terrible, just uninvolving. Cherry Jones, one of Broadway's most dynamic stars, is a little out of her element (and fishing for an accent) as the scandalous mom, but the biggest problem is Sally Hawkins, as her daughter, who aims her nose at the rafters and overdoes the high-strung priggishness. What survives best is Shaw's still potent puncturing of moral hypocrisy no less radical or courageous a century later, in our own hypocrisy-drenched age.
Next Brief Encounter