Broadway Features and Reviews
Joe Turner's Come and Gone Wows Critics
By Broadway Magazine Staff
The new Broadway revival of the classic August Wilson play "Joe Turner's Come and Gone" opened last night at the Belasco Theatre. Today, Broadway critics are unanimous in their praise of the production in all elements, instantly catapulting the show into a front-runner come Tony time.
Directed by Barlett Sher and produced by Lincoln Center, the production has earned praise not only for the play itself, but for all aspects of the production from the outstanding ensemble, to the sets, lights and sound. Fans of August Wilson and lovers of all theater will no doubt celebrate the triumph of this new revival. Sample of reviews below:
Sher's last Broadway outing, Lincoln Center's stunning 2008 production of South Pacific, also tackled racism, both in its libretto and its songs. Wilson's dialogue has its own majestic music, and the actors here are intuitive players. - Elysa Gardner, USA Today.
For the essence of this production is in its organic acting, which matches Mr. Wilson's writing in its melding of the quotidian and the cosmic. The cast members -- who also include Michael Cummings and Danai Gurira, in a compellingly austere performance -- all exist with grace and ease between the limited world of their characters' day-to-day lives and the infinite worlds within them. - Ben Brantley, New York Times.
Michael Yeargan's sparse scenery, with pieces flying in and out, efficiently does what is necessary, as do Catherine Zuber's costumes and Brian MacDevitt's lighting. Bartlett Sher's staging adds some unscripted but welcome touches, often visually stunning. - John Simon, Bloomberg
When the cast explodes into a rowdy Juba in "Joe Turner's Come and Gone," their joyous, spirit-summoning dance suggests roots stretching back to African tribal movement and forward through tap and jazz right up to hip-hop. - David Rooney, Variety.
But the vices of "Joe Turner," like its virtues, border on the Shakespearean, and only in hindsight does one feel inclined to pick at its comparatively minor flaws. - Terry Teachout, Wall Street Journal.
Sher's expressionistic touches - which include even a shower of gold glitter - would appear to be at odds with the play's naturalistic qualities. - Matt Windman, am New York.
The late August Wilson apparently considered Joe Turner's Come and Gone his "most accomplished play." Now that Lincoln Center Theater's revival has opened at Broadway's Belasco Theater, in a remarkable production directed with boldness by Bartlett Sher and acted by a company unafraid of unleashing outsized emotions, there can be little argument of that statement. - David Finkle, Theatermania.
Sher's production joins several Wilson works - three revivals and the debut of his last play, "Radio Golf" - seen in New York since his death in 2005. If they're as great as "Joe Turner," keep them coming. - Joe Dziemianowicz, New York Daily News .
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