Opening night curtains rose October 9 on the limited engagement run of Frank Langella vehicle “Man and Boy.” Maria Aitken helms the Terence Rattigan-penned drama, at Broadway’s American Airlines Theatre through November 27 only.
Set during the Great Depression in 1934, Rattigan’s 1963 drama is especially topical in the age of Bernie Madoff. Finding himself on the brink of ruin, Romanian businessman Gregor Antonescu seeks sanctuary with his disaffected son Basil Anthony, all the while scheming to salvage his house-of-cards empire.
Langella stars as the production’s titular “Man,” an international financier on the brink of ruin as the result of his ruthless ways. Adam Driver co-stars as the “Boy,” the long-estranged son who becomes the latest pawn in his father’s elaborate con game.
“Man and Boy” began a month of previews September 9. During the weeks leading up to opening night, the 722-seat playhouse volleyed between a low 62 percent capacity, and a high 80 percent capacity. Ticket sales were equally slow, with an overall $757,496 gross reported by the Broadway League so far, and weekly totals struggling to hit even a third of the production’s $645,960 potential.
Regular ticket prices range from $67 up to $117 for the production. Though sales struggled through previews, glowing reviews for Langella’s star performance could draw higher numbers for “Man and Boy’s” post-opening weeks.
Evening performances are staged at 8 p.m. every Tuesday through Saturday, with 2 p.m. matinees also running each Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. The only scheduling change on the books is for November 8-18, when evening curtains will rise at hour earlier at 7 p.m.
American Airlines Theatre is located at 227 West 42 Street in New York, NY. “Man and Boy” has a runtime of two hours and 18 minutes, including a 15-minute intermission. More details are available on the production’s official Web site.
Opening Night: “Man and Boy”
|Variety||Marilyn Stasio||“Secondary roles are exceptionally well cast in Maria Aitken’s well-oiled production, providing solid support for Langella’s suave and superbly nuanced perf…”|
|New York Times||Ben Brantley||“Ms. Aitken’s production, though deftly paced, can’t disguise the paucity of this Freudian love-story manqué of an estranged father and child. “|
|USA Today||Elysa Gardner||“Adam Driver convincingly shows us Basil’s pure heart…[but] never lets us mistake his character’s earnest idealism for spinelessness.”|
|TheaterMania||David Finkle||“…it’s Langella for whom the piece is a vehicle, and he drives it like a Rolls Royce.”|
|New York Daily News||Joe Dziemianowicz||“Langella, as usual, cuts a commanding figure, though the best thing about his star turn is found in his fine-tuned unspoken touches.”|
|New York Post||Elisabeth Vincentelli||“At least the ‘Man’ part of the title is in great hands — because the ‘Boy’ bit is a problem.”|