Tom Stoppard’s acclaimed play “Arcadia” is once again wowing critics with its current revival at Ethel Barrymore Theatre on Broadway. The limited engagement opened last night, March 17, and runs through June 19.
“Arcadia” juxtaposes the lives of an English manor’s modern-day inhabitants with those of their predecessors in the early 1800s; the action of both periods unfolds (sometimes concurrently) in the same drawing room. In typical Stoppard fashion, the expansive play covers everything from metaphysics and chaos theory, to sexuality and landscaping.
In the earlier century, we meet the precocious young Thomasina Coverly (Bel Powley), whose academic ponderings are beyond her age and time, as well as her tutor Septimus Hodge (Tom Riley), a friend of Lord Byron and indiscriminate philanderer. In the present-day, haughty historian Bernard Nightingale (Billy Crudup) and popular novelist Hannah Jarvis (Lia Williams) spar verbally as they work to unravel a mystery regarding the manor’s earlier inhabitants.
David Leveaux, who previously revived Stoppard’s “The Real Thing” and “Jumpers,” directs the ensemble cast in this incarnation. Besides those previously mentioned, Margaret Colin as Lady Croom and Raúl Esparza as Valentine Coverly are also featured, among others. Crudup originally made his Broadway debut as Septimus in the play’s 1995 staging, alongside Victor Garber, Paul Giamatti and Robert Sean Leonard.
This staging of “Arcadia” began previews on February 26. In the weeks since, the 1,035-seat Barrymore Theatre has seen audience capacities within the range of 73 to 92 percent. Regular ticket prices run from $71.50 up to $121.50, with premium seating available from $176.50 up to $226.50. “Arcadia’s” cumulative gross through the week ending March 13 was $787,775, according to the Broadway League.
In previews, the drama ran Monday through Saturday at 8 p.m., with 2 p.m. matinees on Wednesday and Saturday. Starting March 21, the performance calendar will include an additional 3 p.m. matinee on Sunday in addition to the regular 2 p.m. times. Evening engagements, meanwhile, switch to Tuesday and Thursday at 7 p.m., and Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.
Barrymore Theatre is located at 243 West 47th Street in New York, NY. “Arcadia” runs approximately two hours and 45 minutes, including a 15-minute intermission. Additional scheduling and ticketing details are available on the production’s official Web site.
Opening Night: “Arcadia”
|Variety||Marilyn Stasio||“…a ravishing revival…gorgeously staged…”|
|New York Times||Ben Brantley||“[If] this ‘Arcadia’ lacks the uniform surface sparkle [of previous productions]…it has acquired something more important: an emotional depth, viscerally rooted, to support its intellectual shimmer.”|
|TheaterMania||David Finkle||“…as close to perfection as the most discriminating viewer might want.”|
|Hollywood Reporter||David Rooney||“…Thomasina’s mother is one of the play’s most colorful roles, but Margaret Colin appears uncomfortable. More damaging, however, is Powley’s screechy Thomasina…”|
|New York Post||Elisabeth Vincentelli||“‘Arcadia’ feels like a loop-de-loop feeding on its own cleverness. It’s easy to admire, but hard to love.”|
|New York Daily News||Joe Dziemianowicz||“Riley is perfection. He provides a calm and steady-beating heart, while at the same time hinting at the heat burning below Septimus’ cool surface.”|