REVIEW ROUNDUP: “The Present” Opened with a ShowScore of 73

Show-Score | Jan 9, 2017
“The Present,” written by Andrew Upton and directed by John Crowley, opened on January  8, 2017 in New York City. “The Present,” written by Andrew Upton and directed by John Crowley, opened on January 8, 2017 in New York City.


24 critics reviewed the show, resulting in a weighted average of 67.

Ben Brantley
The New York Times
ShowScore: 55
"Sprawling and confused adaptation of a sprawling and confused play...This production feels moribund from the beginning. Frantic attempts at resuscitation by Ms. Blanchett and her valiant leading man, a tireless Richard Roxburgh as a hapless homme fatale, only occasionally succeed in eliciting a pulse...These people want to blow up their world, and in a way they do, most entertainingly. That leaves us with another full hour of tediously sorting through the ashes."
Zachary Stewart
ShowScore: 75
"Upton and Crowley have the benefit of a stellar company of actors...Blanchett dominates the stage like a hurricane: All people and events revolve around her inescapable pull...Crowley shrewdly directs the play like the comedy it was meant to be, drawing humor from the occasionally cheesy dialogue and awkward silences...Through a fresh set of circumstances, Upton captures the spirit of Chekhov's dark humor much better than a more traditional production."
David Cote
Time Out New York
ShowScore: 35
"This crass, seriocomic script lumbers along for three palpable hours, alternately tedious and odious, expecting us to care about its petty, miserable, bed-hopping Russian characters without giving them witty or touching things to say. 'I’m so bored. Bored and disappointed,' moans Anna during her boozy, interminable birthday party. She speaks for all of us...Unless you cut 'Platonov' savagely to the bone or find a novel approach, it’s going to come across as callow, sub-Chekhov stuff."

“The Present” was also reviewed by Chris Nashawaty of Entertainment Weekly, Tim Teeman of Daily Beast, Diane Snyder of The Telegraph (UK), Mark Shenton of The Stage (UK), Max McGuinness of Financial Times (UK), Robert Kahn of WNBC, Robert Hofler of The Wrap, Joe Dziemianowicz of New York Daily News, David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter, Matt Windman of AM New York, Matthew Murray of Talkin' Broadway, Steven Suskin of The Huffington Post, Jonathan Mandell of DC Theatre Scene, Alexis Soloski of The Guardian (UK), and Marilyn Stasio of Variety.


The show was also reviewed by 56 Show-Score members, whose collective ShowScore is a weighted average of 75.

Top five adjectives describing the show:
Great acting, Absorbing, Slow, Disappointing, Ambitious

GirlFriday, ShowScore: 79
See it if…"You don't mind some uneven moments punctuated by some refreshingly humorous and quirky decisions. Cate Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh shine." 
Don't see it if…"You don't like Anton Chekhov updates, nor dramas with the 'let's-throw-a-group-of-friends-with-pasts-together-and-see-what-happens' recipe."
Paladin, ShowScore: 70
See it if…"You are a Chekhov completist, interested in an early version which hints at later works."  
Don't see it if…"You'll be disappointed that it isn't 'The Seagull.'"
rmspiar, ShowScore: 40
See it if…"You want to see those actors on Broadway (and they are fantastic) and like Chekhov."
Don't see it if…"A jumbled and disjointed play that plods along slowly isn't your idea of how to spend a little more than three hours."

See the Show Page with all critic and member reviews.

Already closed
The Present
324 reviews
Overall Score

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