Broadway got a little more colorful on April 1 with the opening of “Red,” a biographical drama about impressionist painter Mark Rothko, staged at John Golden Theatre.
Written by John Logan, the new play is a direct import from London, where it premiered at the Donmar Warehouse to rave reviews last December.
In addition to keeping Michael Grandage in his directorial role, the American staging also retains its principal cast from London. Alfred Molina portrays the notoriously mercurial Rothko, to overwhelming critical acclaim, while Eddie Redmayne stands as his assistant Ken, an aspiring artist from the Midwest.
The 90-minute production covers a two-year period of Rothko’s life in the late 1950s, as he undertakes a commission for a series of murals intended for the Four Seasons restaurant in Midtown Manhattan.
While the play is dialogue-heavy, driven more by Rothko’s ranting philosophies than action, critics on both sides of the Atlantic have praised the script for its deft insight and the cast for their adept on-stage renderings of it.
Previews for the production began March 11, during which time the 804-seat Golden Theatre had an average capacity near 88 percent. Regular ticket prices for “Red” range from $25 to $116.50, while premium seats fetch $176.50 to $226.50 on the primary market. For the week ending March 28, receipts for the show totaled $262,357, according to the Broadway League.
“Red” is a limited engagement, booked only through June 27. Evening performances run Tuesday at 7 p.m., and Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. Matinees are staged Wednesday and Saturday at 2 p.m., and Sunday at 3 p.m.
John Golden Theatre is located at 252 West 45th Street in New York, NY. The 90-minute play runs without intermission. More scheduling and ticketing details for the production are available on its official Web site.
Opening Night: “Red”
|Variety||Marilyn Stasio||“‘Red’ may be all talk and no action — but what talk!”|
|New York Times||Ben Brantley||“…a study in artist appreciation, a portrait of an angry and brilliant mind that asks you to feel the shape and texture of thoughts.”|
|USA Today||Elysa Gardner||“The most illuminating and affecting aspect of this production…is Alfred Molina’s performance as Rothko.”|
|Hollywood Reporter||Frank Scheck||“…Molina is absolutely superb as the Russia-born Rothko, anchoring the proceedings with a ferocious intensity that never wavers.”|
|Theatre Mania||Andy Propst||“Redmayne plays the initially timid assistant with innate and quiet intelligence that’s mixed with a keenly felt vulnerability.”|
|New York Post||Elisabeth Vincentelli||“Blathering about art doesn’t automatically result in art — or entertainment, for that matter.”|