REVIEW ROUNDUP: “Summer and Smoke” Opened with a ShowScore of 79

Show-Score | May 4, 2018
“Summer and Smoke,” written by Tennessee Williams and directed by Jack Cummings III, opened on May  3, 2018 in New York City. “Summer and Smoke,” written by Tennessee Williams and directed by Jack Cummings III, opened on May 3, 2018 in New York City.

CRITICS REVIEWS

11 critics reviewed the show, resulting in a weighted average of 75.

Jesse Green
The New York Times
ShowScore: 60
"In the otherwise lackluster revival...Ms. Ireland is riveting as the passionate yet prudish Alma Winemiller...This 'Summer and Smoke' has been scraped too close to the bone...If this 'Summer and Smoke' were performed silently you could still understand the story from her physicalization of Alma’s character...It’s the parsimony of the production that’s at fault, offering little that’s lovely except Michael John LaChiusa’s original music, in an apt neoclassical mode."
Helen Shaw
Time Out New York
ShowScore: 90
"Transport Group’s exquisite version at CSC is strong enough to power a rocket into orbit—and that’s without mentioning the gigantic performance at its center...Marin Ireland plays Alma Winemiller as though the part had been written for her, and as though it had been written yesterday; her Alma is at once radiant and frightening, as heart-stopping as a painting that looks up and catches your eye...These are the drawbacks of a 1948 play...But elsewhere the revival is grand."
Samuel L. Leiter
Theatre's Leiter Side
ShowScore: 50
"Removing all traces of traditional investiture and treating the play as if it were a cousin of…noh theatre…deprives it of all-important atmosphere…and specificity of locale…Scenes blend into one another with barely any distinct lighting shifts…creating vague transitions and doing a serious disservice to the narrative and the characters' evolutions. Too often it's simply impossible to know where the action is taking place, as if place had nothing to do with the playwright's intentions at all."

“Summer and Smoke (Classic Stage Company)” was also reviewed by Sara Holdren of New York Magazine / Vulture, Bobby McGuire of Broadway Blog, Michael Sommers of New York Stage Review, Tim Teeman of Daily Beast, Robert Hofler of The Wrap, Robert Sholiton of Gotham Playgoer, Elyse Sommer of CurtainUp, and David Finkle of New York Stage Review.

MEMBER REVIEWS

The show was also reviewed by 95 Show-Score members, whose collective ShowScore is a weighted average of 79.

Top five adjectives describing the show:
Great acting, Absorbing, Great writing, Slow, Great staging

Margaret 3, ShowScore: 50
See it if…"You think even second-tier Tennessee Williams plus a riveting leading lady will make up for a dreadful hyper-minimalist production."
Don't see it if…"You don't like productions that seem designed to attract attention to the director rather than reveal ANYTHING about the play itself."
Albee_Addict, ShowScore: 91
See it if…"You are a fan of Southern stories, Williams, or any of the actors."
Don't see it if…"You need to see physical representations of everything — this is a sparse production, which makes it all the better.
Justinian, ShowScore: 77
See it if…"You're a fan of Tennessee Williams and want to witness a thoughtful examination of one of his most complex and interesting female characters. 
Don't see it if…"You think plays need props. Like literally any props. So stripped down I couldn't tell if characters were on the phone or shooting heroin."

See the Show Page with all critic and member reviews.


Note: The ShowScore displayed above is current as of right now, and may be different from the ShowScore when the article was published.



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