Orphans at the Schoenfeld Theater

Caught Alec Baldwin, Ben Foster, and Tom Sturridge in Orphans at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theater Saturday night.  This was considered a preview, with the show opening officially on April 18th.  The play is troubling to me.  It is funny in most places, serious in others, but somehow I left without feeling ay emotional connection to any character in this three-character show.  Consequently, while I felt entertained, my ultimate reaction to the whole thing is “meh”.

Baldwin’s performance was good but not great and, when the actors appeared on stage at the end to get their applause, his expression made me think he knew it.  He did seem to enjoy the enthusiastic applause afforded Sturridge, who gave a terrific performance.  Foster was very good as well.  I can’t fault the performances.  I can’t fault the play and I can even recommend it.  I just don’t feel like it was a standout.  If I were to be critical of anything else, it would be Baldwin’s decision to force a little brogue on his character.  The brogue read wrong to me and fake.  A Chicago accent would have worked, but I can’t imagine why a brogue slipped in there.  That was strange.

As an aside, I know some guy named Shiloh LaBoeuf or something like that was fired for not getting along with Baldwin.  Shiloh was supposed to have the role performed by Foster and I don’t see how he could have been any better in it, so it’s just as well.  Foster really was very good and he had the sort of connection with Sturridge that the play demands.  But the bottom line is that you have to get along with your co-workers.  It’s basic to any job, so no praise to Shiloh for not getting along with his co-workers.

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