Broadway Features and Reviews
Critics Negative Towards Broadway's Impressionism
By Broadway Magazine Staff
With stars Jeremy Irons and Joan Allen, the new play Impressionism opened last night on Broadway. Today, the Broadway opening night critics have offered their opinions of the play. The reviews for this production are significantly unenthusiastic, though all reviewers seem to agree that Joan Allen is stunning and Jeremy Irons is ill-used. The primary focus of the negative reviews is the play itself, by Michael Jacobs. Multiple critics praised the work of Andre De Shields, and several critics had a positive response to the visual aspects of the production, but collectively reviews for Impressionism were negative. Sampling of critics' comments below:
• Here the playwright is clearly intent on telling an adult love story, and the result is a good-natured but woefully contrived account of two artsy, alienated types grasping for connection.
-Elysa Gardner, USA Today
• It's Hallmark sentiment masquerading as intellectual sophistication, with every one of its characters' stories and memories contorted into a laborious metaphor for love and life.
-David Rooney, Variety
• But I've concluded that even if I were to back up all the way to the Hudson River, with half-open eyes fixed on the stage where Mr. Irons and Ms. Allen labor so valiantly, "Impressionism" still wouldn't look credible.
-Ben Brantley, New York Times
• Even there, the two can't agree. A big deal is made over the fact she loves cranberry muffins, he favors coffee cake. It's that kind of play.
-Michael Kuchwara, AP
• Bottom Line: Jeremy Irons and Joan Allen shine in this problematic, metaphor-ridden play.
-Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter
• Though it runs an intermission-less 90 minutes, the eight-scene opus directed by Jack O'Brien seems much longer as it slips back in time and jumps about the globe.
-Malcolm Johnson, Hartford Courant
• All of the actors portray different characters in the play's eight vignettes. Marsha Mason appears most notably as a rich woman fixed on buying a painting for her pregnant daughter. Michael T. Weiss plays a cocky, superwealthy art collector.
-Joe Dziemianowicz, New York Daily News
• Scene changes are like slide shows complete with musical accompaniment. But while visually stunning, such flourishes are merely decorative. They can't create substance where none exists.
-Michael Bracken, Metro
• Andre De Shields, playing an old baker, is truly moving in a short monologue in which he argues why the couple are still in love.
-Matt Windman, am New York
• Allen is trapped, alongside an unusually anemic Jeremy Irons, in a wretched Broadway drama called "Impressionism" that is so pretentious, so ridiculous and so internally incoherent that the emotional travails of the two central characters bleed perceptibly into the flailings of clearly frustrated actors trapped in a very public set of unfortunate circumstances.
-Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune
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