The Present Broadway

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The Present Broadway – Review

The Present is a stunning production written by Andrew Upton and based on Anton Chekhov’s classic Platonov. Fans of darker theater will find much to love in this heavy tale set in post-Perestroika Russia. However, The Present focuses on its characters more than its setting. Upton has created a compelling character study that plumbs the depths of relationships between friends, lovers, and acquaintances. What’s more, the play offers stunning acting turns from two-time Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’s Richard Roxburgh. With a strong storyline, fascinating characters, and stellar acting, The Present is a riveting drama that has been warmly welcomed to Broadway.

The play follows Anna, an independent widow played with aplomb by Blanchett. Anna invites several of her friends to her old country house to celebrate her fortieth birthday, but the festivities aren’t all about cake and wine. Instead, the mess unresolved relationships between the guests begin to overtake the party, offering the audience plenty of drama to get their teeth into. Perhaps most notable amongst them is Mikhail Platonov, played by Roxburgh, a charming but married rogue who is summarily admired by most of the women at the gathering. His simmering connection with Anna makes for compelling viewing, especially as his wife is also in attendance.

The Present explores the regret, tension, and denial at the heart of interactions between Anna and her birthday guests. These characters are portrayed with intensity and heart, allowing the audience to lose themselves in the production as decades-old regrets are excavated onstage. Lovers of good theater will find plenty to enjoy in The Present with its gloomy, starkly displayed, but ultimately riveting onstage action.

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Theater: Ethel Barrymore Theatre
Duration: 2 hours 55 minutes (1 intermission)
Starring: Cate Blanchett, Richard Roxburgh, Anna Bamford

Cate Blanchett makes her Broadway debut in Andrew Upton’s new adaptation of Chekhov’s Platonov.

CAST & CREATIVE for The Present

Cast: Anna Petrovna – Cate Blanchett, Mikhail Platonov – Richard Roxburgh, Maria – Anna Bamford, Osip – Andrew Buchanan, Yegor – David Downer, Kirrill – Eamon Farren, Alexei – Martin Jacobs, Dimitri – Brandon McClelland, Sophia – Jacqueline McKenzie, Ivan – Marshall Napier, Sasha – Susan Prior, Sergei – Chris Ryan, Nikolai – Toby Schmitz

Creative: Written by Andrew Upton, Director – John Crowley, Set and Costume Designer – Alice Babidge, Lighting Designer – Nick Schlieper, Composer and Sound Designer – Stefan Gregory

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