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Venus in Fur
At The Samuel J. Friedman Theatre located at 261 West 47th Street. It opens on November 8, 2011 and runs until December 18, 2011. It plays for ninety minutes with no intermission.
Directed by Walter Bobbie who won a Tony Award for "Chicago".
The play was written by David Ives and is making it's Broadway debut. He won an Outer Critics Circle Playwriting Award for "All in the Timing".
Venus in Fur premiered Off-Broadway at the Classic Stage Company. It opened on January 26, 2010 and closed on March 28, 2010. The shows run was extended twice.
Nina Arianda is reprising her role of Vanda which she performed Off-Broadway in 2010. Arianda received a 2010 Theatre World Award and Clarence Derwent Award for the role. She also received nominations for a 2010 Lucille Lortel Award for "Outstanding Lead Actress" and Outer Circle Award for "Outstanding Actress In A Play". Nina made her Broadway debut in "Born Yesterday" on April 2011 and was nominated for a Drama League, Drama Desk Award and Tony Award for best leading actress in a play. She won (in a tie) the Outer Circle Award for "Outstanding Actress In A Play".
Hugh Dancy made his Broadway debut in the 2008 Tony Award winning revival "Journey's End". He returned to the stage in 2009 in 'The Pride" for which he received a Lortel and Drama League Award nominations. Hugh was nominated for Prime time Emmy Award for Outstanding actor in a mini series or movies for his role as earl of Essex in HBO Elizabeth I (2006). His most current role on TV is The Big C.
Vanda (Nina Arianda) is late for her audition. Matter of fact she is very late. It's raining out side, she throws her umbrella around cursing up a storm, in between telling the director Thomas (Hugh Dancy) why she's late. The director/play adapter tells her everyone is gone. That the auditions are over. She's determined to audition for the role. He's frustrated that he's seen 35 actresses, none of whom can act.
The play is a classic erotic called "Venus In Fur".
Vanda is dressed as if she is doing S & M role. All dressed in leather, high heel boots, garter belt and lace bra. The bags she has brought with her have different costumes. She's tenacious on gettting this role.
Even though she a dizzy broad, she can switch into the role as if it was made for her. Thomas gets caught up in the audition.
Nina does an outstanding job. She shows her range as an actress portraying two different characters in one play. The brassy and the dramatic character, who can do a more serious seductive role.
Hugh is especially good in the character of the play and does it as if he is that person.
The thing I found in fault with this play is, if this is an audition I don't know any audition were you would do more than one scene let alone analyze the character or how to do it better in order to get the role. At least not any audition I've heard of.
It is a great play if you can over look that and just accept it for what it is, entertaining and funny.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich.
Photos by Annazor.Playing at the Vineyard Theatre at 108 East 15th Street. It has been extended until November 20, 2011
The first act takes place in a hospital room. Ben Lyons (Dick Latessa) is dying of cancer. His wife of forty years Rita Lyons is at his bedside. She's not much comfort, being more concerned on how she is going to redo the living room after her husband is dead. Every other word out of Ben's mouth is a curse word.
They haven't told their children that their father has cancer. Since his cancer has spread they tell them in the hospital that it's just a matter of days.
The daughter Lisa Lyons (Kate Jennings Grant) is a recovering alcoholic. Their son Curtis Lyons (Michael Esper) is gay.
Secrets, lies and hurt feelings come out. This is one messed up family.
The second act is made up of three parts. The first is the daughter at an AA meeting spilling her life out. Second is the son looking an an apartment with a relator that he had a crush on that he makes a move on. Who then beats him up. Last is the son in the hospital as a patient. His father has passed away. The family falls apart.
The cast works well together.
Linda Lavin gives a stellar performance of a women in a marriage she doesn't want to be in but doesn't know how to get out. Though sometimes she exaggerated her facial expressions which I found annoying.
Dick Latessa is solid as the man dying and the only way to get back is to lash out at everyone.
Kate Jennings Grant scene at the AA meeting is touching and heartbreaking.
Mark Esper, Brenda Pressley (nurse) and Gregory Wooddell (relator) round out the cast.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich.
Photos by Annazor