Arriving as one of Broadway’s most-hyped productions of the season, Lucy Prebble’s new drama “Enron” opened on April 27 at the Broadhurst Theatre.
Written by Prebble and directed by Rupert Goold, the West End import takes a largely conceptual and metaphorical approach to the financial catastrophe caused by the title Texas-based energy company. The high-production staging intertwines song, dance and full-head animal masks into the otherwise straight play.
“Enron” stars Norbert Leo Butz as Enron’s president Jeffrey Skilling, Gregory Itzin as company CEO Kenneth Lay, and Stephen Kunken as chief financial officer Andy Fastow. Marin Mazzie rounds out the lead cast as Skilling’s primary rival and occasional lover Claudia Roe, the play’s only completely fictional character.
While “Enron” has garnered high praise for its on-going run on London’s West End, stateside legit critics have offered a more enigmatic reception for the genre-bending show. The staging’s wild inventiveness is still a point of praise, but some legit critics have wondered if that along will be enough to draw consistent audiences to a performance that they otherwise see as heavy in metaphor and light in insight. (See a sampling of the reviews below.)
Previews began April 8 at the 1,178-seat Broadhurst Theatre, where capacity has seen a moderate increase from 60 percent to just above 70 percent.
Regular ticket prices range from $66.50 to $121.50, and premium seating options are available from $176.50 to $251.50 depending on the performance day and time. In the two weeks that featured a full eight-preview schedule, box office receipts have surpassed the $320,000 mark, with the gross totaling $360,468 for the week ending April 25.
The open-ended production schedule features evening performances each Tuesday at 7 p.m., and Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. Matinees are booked Wednesday and Saturday at 2 p.m., and Sunday at 3 p.m. The only exceptions to the calendar are 2 p.m. Sunday matinees on May 2 and June 13.
“Enron” runs about 2 hours and 40 minutes, including a 15-minute intermission. Broadhurst Theatre is located at 235 West 44th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues in New York, NY. Scheduling and ticketing details are available on the production’s official Web site.
Opening Night: “Enron”
|Variety||Marilyn Stasio||“This London bombshell is both a dazzling piece of entertainment and a gripping cautionary tale…”|
|New York Times||Ben Brantley||“…this British-born exploration of smoke-and-mirror financial practices isn’t much more than smoke and mirrors itself.”|
|Los Angeles Times||Charles McNulty||“Goold…magnificently orchestrates this layered multimedia extravaganza on a set by Anthony Ward that’s like a mix between a smart phone and a corporate meeting room.”|
|Hollywood Reporter||Frank Scheck||“The characters rarely rise above the level of caricature and, with rare exceptions…the play fails to provide a human element to its complicated narrative.”|
|TheaterMania||David Finkel||“[Prebble] never probes very deeply into Skilling’s tragic-figure psyche, although she may think she does…”|
|NY Daily News||Joe Dziemianowicz||“While the razzle dazzle is entertaining for a while, it gets tiresome because it’s just filler. It simply illustrates what’s been said without furthering the story.”|