Thursday, March 28, 2013

Breakfast at Tiffany’s @ Cort Theater

Sometimes, it is not always best if the guy gets the girl.  Richard Greenberg’s adaptation of Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s shows a young writer’s struggle, Fred, to overcome his seemingly hopeless love for his magnetic neighbor, Holly Golighty.  This production is quite artistically dynamic, and does a wonderful job of telling a classic story.

When most people think Breakfast at Tiffany’s, they immediately think of the image of Audrey Hepburn wearing sunglasses in the 1961 movie.  This production was based on Truman Capote’s novella, which tells a slightly different story.  Many of the iconic scenes, like the scene in which Holly talks about the cat not having a name, are in the play.  It is important however for audience members to remember that it is going to be different and not to expect a line by line reenactment of the film version.

With that said, different is not always a bad thing, especially in the case of this production.  One of the most successful aspects of this show was the scenic design, done by Derek McLane.  The apartments and the bar were both had very intricate and realistic design, but the truly impressive part was how the set was changed.  Large panels were moved across stage with images of buildings projected on them, making the characters seem as though they were moving through the city.  Projection designer Wendell K Harrington deserves a lot of credit nfor this as well, as the projections fit the style of the show very well, and the building projections had a very 50s feel to them.

Another area of the show that was very strong was the acting.  Corey Michael Smith makes his Broadway debut in this play as Fred, and it almost certainly will not be his last performance on the great white way.  Fred is a young writer trying to find his way through the city, and Smith does a wonderful job of finding the innocence of the character and his inability to catch up to the city life as fast as he should be in the beginning of the play.  He is easy to relate to, and his love for Holly can be very sad at times.  As the protagonist of this play, Smith does a great job of guiding the audience through the story, and his narrations do a great deal to clarify a story that could be a little confusing without him guiding the way.

Playing opposite of Smith was actress Emilia Clarke (HBO’s Game of Thrones), who played Holly Golightly.  Clarke’s performance was spot on.  She was just Hepburnish enough to keep the avid movie fans in the audience happy, and was also able to find her own ways to make the character of Holly as loveable and completely magnetic as she needs to be for this story to work.  

Probably the most famous member of this ensemble is George Wendt of Cheers fame, who played the character of bartender Joe Bell.  Joe Bell is the voice of reason Fred’s life, and Wendt does a very good job trying to steer Fred in the right direction.  There is a strong sincerity in his performance, it shows a different side of him than that which fans of Cheers are used to.

          Although the play is quite different than the movie, it is most assuredly a play that is worth going to New York to see.  It is a touching love story, and audiences of almost any age will be able to take something away from this play.

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