Stage Review

SALOME: THE READING (2003 - 2003)

EW's GRADE
B

Details Opening Date: Apr 30, 2003; Lead Performances: Al Pacino, David Strathairn, Marisa Tomei and Dianne Wiest; Writer: Oscar Wilde; Director: Estelle Parsons

Braying loudly and carrying a big shtick, Al Pacino kvetches and leches his way through the role of Herod, a king who lusts after his stepdaughter/niece. As the object of desire, Marisa Tomei is less a femme fatale than an overripe tart. She swings her sandaled feet with petulance. She licks her lips. She emits baby-doll coos. While Pacino's cranky hamminess helps to foreground the comedy in Oscar Wilde's 1893 masterpiece, Tomei seems lost in a Lolita haze. Director Estelle Parsons has staged the show successfully by staging it only halfway: The set is dreamily minimal and the actors keep their scripts at the ready; but Tomei still gets to do a frenzied shimmy in the climactic dance of the seven veils.

Originally posted May 23, 2003 Published in issue #711 May 23, 2003 Order article reprints