January 17, 2017
By Dr. Leonard H. Golubchick LaborPress Entertainment Editor
New York, NY – “The Present” stars Cate Blanchard who is a two time Oscar winner and is making her Broadway debut. Her husband Andrew Upton and is the writer who adopted the play from Anton Chekov’s unfinished play.
The show was brought to Broadway through the Sydney Theatre Company. Richard Roxburgh is Kate Blanchard’s co-star. John
Crowley directed the show and brings all the characters and interning themes in a clearly enunciated whole.
In the author’s note the present is described as being “updated here to a post perestroika Russia and the rise of the oligarchs.” The running time is three hours but passes quickly with adroit acting and direction. The comic timing of the ensemble cast enables” the Present” to demonstrate the indulgent aristocracy which is a common theme in Chekov’s plays. Richard Roxburgh portrayal of a school teacher who is a rogue who cannot help himself by seducing women gives a performance which is Tony noteworthy. Kate Blanchard gives a stellar performance as an estate owner celebrating her 40th birthday. Ms. Blanchard and Mr. Roxburgh along with the wonderful cast maintain the interest of the audience.
At the end of act 1, as the vodka flows and the characters magnificently reduce the celebration to regret and anger while utilizing pathos and humor there are fireworks, gunshots and an explosion. Act 2 is just as animated. “The Present” leaves the audience enthralled and satisfied through the dynamic portrayals by Ms. Blanchard, Mr. Roxburgh and the excellence of the supporting cast of 12.
Obviously due to the subject matter and language throughout the show it is not for children. I would recommend “the Present” for all adults seeking a satisfying and entertaining play.