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Critics' Picks: What's Worth the Buzz (And What Isn't) on Broadway

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Holland Taylor in 'Ann.' Holland Taylor in 'Ann.' (Ave Bonar)

A handful of performances, both on and off Broadway, are making headlines this month. 

Outspoken women are at the center of both "Ann" — the play about former Texas governor Ann Richards — and "Breakfast at Tiffany's," while economic despair and sibling rivalry are the driving themes of two other Broadway plays: "Hands on a Hardbody" and "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike." Off Broadway, two works by notable new playwrights are generating buzz.

Theater critics Elisabeth Vincentelli from the New York Post and Adam Feldman from Time Out New York had very different takes on the performance of "Breakfast at Tiffany's" that opened Wednesday night. 

"I have to say, this is a show that I was looking forward to," said Feldman,"but Emilia Clark as Holly Golightly has no power at all, she dissolves on stage. ... It's one of the worst things that I've seen on Broadway in I don't know how long."

Vincentelli agreed that Clark seems tentative, but said it works for the part. "This is a woman who's blind to herself, to others, who's fibbing as a way of life. ... I really felt very deeply for her and for the part."

But the critics agreed on another Broadway performance — "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" about sibling rivalry. Vincentelli called the performance at Lincoln Center "superbly done," and Feldman concurred, saying "This might end up being the one to see [this month]."

4. Also off-Broadway, Amy Herzog and Annie Baker both have shows through the end of this month. Herzog wrote "Belleville", a  dark look at a troubled marriage, and Baker is out with "The Flick" about workers at a struggling movie theater. Both of these playwrights have been lauded as up-and-coming stars. How are their plays? 

Off-Broadway, Amy Herzog and Annie Baker both have shows through the end of this month. Herzog wrote "Belleville," a  dark look at a troubled marriage, and Baker is out with "The Flick" about workers at a struggling movie theater. Both of these playwrights have been lauded as up-and-coming stars. 

Click on the audio above for more picks from Feldman and Vincentelli.

You can read Feldman's review of Breakfast at Tiffany's here, and Vincentelli's reviews of Hands on a HardbodyBreakfast at Tiffany'sVanya and Sonia and Masha and SpikeBelleville, and The Flick

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