Whitney Pastorek
December 20, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

Pacific Overtures

type
Stage
Current Status
In Season
run date
12/02/04
performer
B.D. Wong

We gave it a B-

This revival of the 1976 musical about Japan’s entrée into the modern world features a stellar cast (headed by B.D. Wong) that totally nails some of Sondheim’s most exquisitely challenging songs, like the hysterical patter of ”Chrysanthemum Tea” and the deconstructed memory of ”Someone in a Tree.” But Pacific Overture‘s bland wooden set and dim lighting make for an occasionally glum experience, and the spare direction leaves us wondering what to think about the modernization of Nippon (despite the weird party-in-hell vibe of the finale). Zen simplicity is nice, but even nicer is a clear point of view.

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