Scott Brown
May 16, 2005 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Orson's Shadow

type
Stage
Current Status
In Season
run date
03/13/05
performer
John Judd, Tracy Letts, Jeff Still
director
David Cromer
author
Austin Pendleton

We gave it an A-

The best play of its kind since Copenhagen, Austin Pendleton’s reimagining of a very real, very quixotic attempt by critic Kenneth Tynan (Tracy Letts) to unite declining director Orson Welles (Jeff Still) and imploding actor Sir Laurence Olivier (John Judd) in a 1960 production of Ionesco’s Rhinoceros is a massive set of aesthetic and sociopolitical concepts, heartbreakingly humanized and (for the most part) judiciously compacted. Classicism, modernism, and postmodernism collide under the ghost light of the tiny Barrow Street stage, and the business of creating theater is revealed to be both ridiculous and deadly serious. A-

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