A revival of the award-winning drama “The Miracle Worker,” written by William Gibson, opened March 3 at The Circle in the Square Theatre on Broadway. This 50th anniversary production stages the play in-the-round for the first time.
This revival is directed by Kate Whoriskey and stars Academy Award nominee Abigail Breslin as Helen Keller and Tony Award nominee Alison Pill as the governess Annie Sullivan. The supporting cast features Jennnifer Morrision, Tony Award winner Elilzabeth Franz and Matthew Modine, a Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominee.
The story is based on the life of Keller who was left deaf, blind and mute after an illness in her infancy. It takes place in the 1880s on the family homestead in Alabama, as well as the Perkins Institute for the Blind in Boston. In 1887, Sullivan was hired as governess to the uncommunicative, frequently combative Keller and fights to break through to her despite Keller’s obstinacy and the Keller family’s perception of the effort’s futility.
In the weeks leading up to opening night, there were 19 previews with a total attendance of 12,811 for the 772-seat theater. Average paid admission over the course of previews was $46, but general admission tickets are $117 for the production’s regular run schedule. Gross ticket sales were $164,830 for the week ending February 28, according to numbers from the Broadway League.
This week, the theater is dark on March 4. Remaining performances for opening week are scheduled for March 5-6 at 8 p.m. and March 7 at 7 p.m., with matinees on March 6-7 at 2 p.m.
Beginning March 8 through its August 1 closing, the production schedule has regular evening engagements booked Tuesday through Thursday at 7 p.m., and Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. Matinees will take place Wednesday and Saturday at 2 p.m., Sunday at 3 p.m.
The Circle in the Square Theatre is located at 1633 Broadway in New York, NY. Run time is 1 hour and 55 minutes with one intermission. Scheduling and ticketing details are available on the production’s official Web site.
Opening Night: “The Miracle Worker”
|Variety||David Rooney||“The allegiances and conflicts among Helen, Annie and Kate (played with touching delicacy and warmth by Morrison) are conveyed with real heart.”|
|New York Times||Ben Brantley||“…Ms. Whoriskey’s production never finds its focus. Rather than pulling us into a you-are-there intimacy with its two central characters, it keeps pushing us away, opting for a panoramic view that flatters no one.”|
|USA Today||Elysa Gardner||“Kate Whoriskey directs the new production…with a literal-minded reverence that only emphasizes its banal and dated qualities.”|
|Hollywood Reporter||Frank Scheck||“Although this Broadway revival…features uneven performances and problematic staging, it nonetheless manages to touch the heart.”|
|Theatre Mania||David Finkle||“The main drawback in Whoriskey’s treatment has to do with the show’s in-the-round staging. Specifically, her decision to favor a Derek McLane design that has various set pieces…repeatedly lowered and raised on wires that then remain in place means that the audience watches much of the action with strings attached.”|
|New York Daily News||Joe Dziemianowicz||“Broadway’s first revival of William Gibson’s 1959 biodrama seldom summons high stakes or deep feelings. It’s a respectable production, but it’s often wan. Occasionally it’s d-u-l-l.”|