Stage Review

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

EW's GRADE
C+

Details Lead Performance: Cynthia Nixon; Writer: Muriel Spark; Director: Scott Elliott

At a Scottish girls' school in the 1930s, a young, unmarried teacher (Cynthia Nixon) builds a cult of personality around her frank sexuality and political idealism (if enthusiasm for Mussolini counts). But lead in this production of The Prime of Miss Brodie is miscast. Nixon, a Tony winner this year for Rabbit Hole, has no trouble commanding a stage. But she errs in aiming to humanize a role that needs to be larger than life for the drama to work. (Maggie Smith won an Oscar for the 1969 film.) Scott Elliott's listless direction, including a gratuitous nude scene, certainly doesn't help.

Originally posted Oct 27, 2006 Published in issue #905 Nov 03, 2006 Order article reprints
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