The Real Thing
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The Real Thing Information
Show Quick Facts
- “The Real Thing” opened on October 30th and will run until January 4th 2015.
- The tale unfolds over two acts that total a running time of 2 hours and 15 minutes with one short intermission.
- It has been met with mixed reviews, but mostly of a subjective nature and by critics who are either overly fond of the original or not at all. In either case the theatrical elements have come together on this one to create a rich and rewarding experience.
American Airlines Theatre
227 W 42nd St
New York, New York 10036
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The Real Thing
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Sam Gold and Roundabout Theatre Company revive Tom Stoppard's blazing wit in "The Real Thing." The show marks the Broadway debuts of Ewan McGregor and Maggie Gyllenhaal.
Features: In 1982 playwright Tom Stoppard redefined the modern love affair and the blurred lines between reality and fiction with the hit Broadway play “The Real Thing.” The drama combined Stoppard’s renowned sharp wit and complex dialogue, the transcendent theme of confused love and expert direction from Mike Nichols. The effort won the production the 1984 Tony award for best play, and again for Best Revival in 2000.
This eternally modern story is now in the capable hands of stage director Sam Gold. The running themes and prickly humor inherent in Stoppard’s works is not lost on Gold, who utilizes a star studded cast to issue forth another polished rendition of the classic play. It’s no wonder that this story has been revived and by such prominent artists. The self imposed neurotic misconceptions of love so frequently inherent in the urban intellect requires constant and creative examination. In that sense Sam Gold and his stellar cast have done us a favor.
Why We Go: This production marks the second revival of “The Real Thing,” and the Broadway debuts of Ewan McGregor and Maggie Gyllenhaal. The acclaimed Hollywood actors join stage vets Cynthia Nixon, Josh Hamilton and others for this verbally dazzling performance. Sam Gold directs this formidable cast and the top notch Roundabout Theatre Company. The myriad emotions of forbidden love are manifest with the help of David Zinn’s stifling sets and Kaye Voyce’s restrained but expressive costume design. The production plays out like a dream of the neurotic thoughts and actions of the playwright protagonist Henry (McGregor.) The first set piece itself is an excerpt from one of Henry’s works, a near mirror image of his own experiences. As the theme of art imitating life runs seamlessly throughout the audience is exposed to constant parallels. Between the scenes the audience is treated to musical performances by the cast. The songs are doo-wop hits favorited by the protagonist Henry that highlight the contrast between the illusory world he desires and the mess of miscommunication in which he lives. “The Real Thing” is as much cerebral as it is emotional, qualities perfectly suited for the cast.
Inside Knowledge: In the heart of Manhattan sits a gem of Broadway, the American Airlines Theatre. Inside, the Italian Renaissance architecture sets a mood of storied culture that demands attention. Outside, it is surrounded by everything New York and is as accessible as anything in the Big Apple. The theatre was built in 1918 by the Selwyn brothers and has been an integral part of the rich New York theatre tradition ever since, albeit through various different owners. Roundabout has called the building home since 2000, when they began putting together an impressive repertoire of revivals. In a decade and a half they’ve settled into the level of professionalism and poignancy that defines high-brow Broadway.
Do's and Don'ts:
- Do enjoy a pre-show meal at Roundabout’s Penthouse Lounge. This chic restaurant/bar is located on the fifth floor and features an eclectic selection of fine wines, liquors and light artisanal dishes. It's a classy way to mingle in the Broadway social circles and you can also enjoy one of their cocktails or craft beers throughout the play.
- Don't bring your kids. Plan accordingly as the play’s subject matter deals with mature relationships and sexuality, so it may not be suitable for younger audiences.
- Do take the subway. Parking is scarce if not available at a premium, but luckily the theatre is a block away from the 42nd St. metro station, a hub of the New York City subway system.