The best, and most useful review of the run comes from Glen Weldon of the Washington City Paper. He’s tickled and impressed by just about everything, except two, not so tiny elements. I think we’re all glad he finds that “this Seagull is lively, solidly built and frequently funny—and productions of Chekhov that achieve that particular trifecta are rare indeed.” So we’ll take that and discuss the finer points in a day or two.
There’s also this appreciative, pretty well observed piece in the Washington Jewish Week Who knows our theater better than Lisa Traiger? She finds the production impressive and credible and revealing but, somehow, thinks the elements don’t cohere enough to “soar.” It’s good but definitely not great and doesn’t quite explain nor explore what we’re going for–or what she received–in our adapting the material through a Jewish lens. It’s a sticking point, as it is perhaps for all three reviews we’re posting today. So this should and will be fodder for much more discussion.
Finally, our first review to not buy in on a fundamental level, in DCist. As Dr. Dorn says, “Yes, the plays were overstuffed.” This critic seems to be saying the same thing.
We have more critics coming tonight. Plus my wife’s book-group (!), their first outing to Theater J in, oh, a decade. With a cast talk-back to follow. More illumination time.
A recap of last night’s superb discussion with our Iranian director, Mahmood Karimi-Hakak, to follow.