Ends Jul 02

The Little Foxes

Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Great writing, Masterful, Intelligent
87
Critics
84
43 reviews
Members
88
218 reviews
 

Manhattan Theatre Club revives Lillian Hellman’s classic drama about greed and ambition, starring three-time Tony Award nominee Laura Linney and Tony winner Cynthia Nixon alternating in the roles of Regina and Birdie.

... Read more

Set in Alabama in 1900, 'The Little Foxes' follows Regina Giddens and her ruthless clan, including her sister-in-law Birdie, as they clash in often brutal ways in an effort to strike the deal of their lives. Far from a sentimental look at a bygone era, the play has a surprisingly timely resonance with important issues facing our country today. Tony winner Daniel Sullivan ('Proof,' 'Rabbit Hole') directs.

 
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Reviews (261)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
84
Avg Score

85
Broadway News

"Sullivan’s succulent new Broadway revival of the play cannot erase its tints of both moralizing and melodrama. But it proves once again that Hellman’s drama is also enduring entertainment...Both actors give rewarding performances in both roles. What’s more: Sullivan’s production has been cast in such depth that even the formidable leading ladies are by no means the whole show...Sullivan’s crackerjack production shines with polish and acting of sharp intelligence and theatrical acuity." Full Review

85
Theatermania

"Under the scrupulous direction of Daniel Sullivan, Linney and Nixon prove that there is more than one way to skin a fox, with two highly contrasting interpretations that change the way we look at the play...Several of the supporting players also make big impressions...McKean brings a comic sensibility to the role of mean older brother Ben. His electric encounters with both Reginas are worth the price of admission alone...A must-see revival." Full Review

85
BroadwayWorld

“As Birdie, Linney makes a showstopper out of her third-act monologue, but Nixon's presence in the role is more tragic, as her character forces smiles and charm while being abused. It's not a competition, of course, and personal taste will come into play as to which combination audience members will prefer. Fortunately, ‘The Little Foxes’ is a fascinating play and Sullivan's superb production is easily worth a second visit.” Full Review

85
Time Out New York

"Daniel Sullivan directs Hellman’s Alabama tale with a crisp vigor that smooths over its melodramatic bumps...The cast is uniformly strong, and outstanding work comes from the leading ladies…'The Little Foxes' may not command as high a prospect in the pantheon of American drama as more poetic work by Tennessee Williams or Eugene O’Neill, but it’s cunningly built and packs a punch...This is such a richly satisfying revival, I’m going back for seconds." Full Review

95
Variety

"Director Sullivan has done brilliant work with this revival. His casting is flawless, his team of designers couldn’t be better chosen, and the technical detail that has gone into the production is amazing. But he took a chance in letting two A-list stage actors alternate in the roles of Regina and Birdie—and the coup pays off because it encourages us to look deeper into both characters." Full Review

90
The New York Times

"A nimble, exhilarating revival...In Regina, Hellman created one of the stage’s great antiheroines and a glide bomb of a role. Now, in Daniel Sullivan’s production, two actresses get to detonate it...You should see it twice. When top-drawer actors bestride the stage in a tremendous role and some truly killer gowns, it’s time to clear the calendar...Mr. Sullivan’s confident production doesn’t deny melodrama, but it prefers psychological and social detail over Southern gothic fripperies." Full Review

90
New York Theater

“An engrossing revival with a superb cast…Finely directed by Daniel Sullivan…Linney and Nixon wouldn’t shine so brightly without a supporting cast full of stand-out performances. Richard Thomas is exactly right as the goodly, dying Horace Giddens…The play’s craftsmanship and its intensity have not diminished in this fifth, fierce, Broadway production…And I believe the changing times—and these particular times—have invested ‘The Little Foxes’ with greater significance.” Full Review

90
Lighting & Sound America

“Whichever version of ‘Little Foxes’ you attend, you are in for a memorable time…As Regina, Linney brings the fire and Nixon, the ice…The actresses' interpretations of Birdie are also strikingly different…I don't want to suggest that Linney and Nixon, as good as they are, are the only attractions in this superlative revival. Thomas is a sterling Horace…McKean is a study in suave villainy as Ben…Goldstein simmers effectively as Oscar…Everything else about Sullivan's production is first-class.” Full Review

85
Cultural Weekly

“Tremendously satisfying…Director Daniel Sullivan provides a rip-roaring production dripping with melodrama and histrionics, but never going over the top into camp territory. Linney’s Regina is a monster of deceit and narcissism…Richard Thomas as Horace, Regina’s ailing, conscience-stricken spouse, provides a fiery curtain speech as he denounces his wife while Michael McKean and Darren Goldstein are suitably wily as the grasping Hubbard brothers.” Full Review

85
Front Row Center

“A delicious production…The intrigue is presented like so many layers of a French pastry. Directed with style and precision by Daniel Sullivan this is a crisp evening of deceit and calculation. Everyone is up to something, and you don’t want to take your eyes off any of them for a second. Each character – and each very fine actor – is on a trajectory of their own making. The result is an ensemble that is having a devilishly good time.” Full Review

70
Talkin' Broadway

"If the physical production lacks that dedication to detail it's acceptable. What's not is that Nixon and Linney do not equivalently fill out their parts...When Linney is Regina and Nixon is Birdie...that's the only combination I'd suggest you go out of your way to see...As it is, Sullivan's spin might be on the weighty side. Either way, this is a fiery play that's a definite hot spot for the season when Linney is working her blazing magic on a Regina you won't forget anytime soon." Full Review

90
Theatre's Leiter Side

“'The Little Foxes' is an example of old-fashioned but still magnetic playwriting: a tightly constructed play with crystal-clear exposition, sharply defined characters, a theatrically colorful time and place, and a powerful, anticapitalistic theme, as resonant today as during the Depression. Linney's Regina, as good as it gets, captures all this vixen's charm, craftiness, daring, viciousness, unscrupulousness, and ambition. Nixon makes Birdie a completely convincing counterpoint character.” Full Review

80
The Clyde Fitch Report

"This blissfully cynical work is as juicy a three-act play as anyone would hope to find in American theater annals...The ensemble supporting Linney and Nixon are first-rate and go an impressive distance to underline the incipient evil rotting these Southern vines...Linney and Nixon are surely enjoying the challenge they’ve given themselves and each other, but, were push to become shove, they might see that the former is a more appropriate Regina and the latter a more appropriate Birdie." Full Review

75
AM New York

"An unapologetic soap opera with over-the-top characters and unbelievable machinations...Director Daniel Sullivan approaches the play with a 'let’s just roll with it and have a good time' attitude, leading to a simple but effective production full of old-fashioned theatricality...Linney and Nixon are better suited to playing Regina and Birdie, respectively, but the show is fine either way, and checking out both casting arrangements makes you appreciate their versatility." Full Review

90
The Hollywood Reporter

"Daniel Sullivan's impeccable production for Manhattan Theatre Club never overstates that modern-day relevance; he simply lets the play's rock-solid construction and lucid themes speak for themselves via a first-rate cast and exemplary design team...This is a superbly cast production with incisive character work from McKean, Goldstein and Benz...This is a production as classy as it is smart, shining a spotlight on a playwright who is too seldom revived on Broadway." Full Review

70
New York Magazine / Vulture

“The play isn’t subtle; it’s just delicious…My cast suggested that the switch would not materially alter the effect of the production, which is solid but not transcendent...It’s largely in the calibration of the men’s roles that the production falters…Under Sullivan’s somewhat grandstanding direction their pacing and affect suggest something too close to comedy…What remains powerfully effective is Hellman’s dissection of the way a systemic lack of power can turn into manipulative fury." Full Review

80
New York Daily News

"A crisp and taut revival...Under Daniel Sullivan’s sure-handed direction, the show satisfies no matter who’s playing Regina—more or less...Supporting actors more than ably step up...But in the end it's about Nixon and Linney. Each stands tall and shrinks as the characters obviously require, but I preferred Linney as Regina and Nixon as Birdie...When an actress plays the meek in-law as superbly as Nixon does, Birdie really takes flight and looms large." Full Review

90
Deadline

"The Manhattan Theatre Club production, staged with a rock solid hand by Daniel Sullivan at the Friedman Theatre, is flawless. Which is to say tastefully mean-spirited without any need to overemphasize what is eminently self-evident. Visually, it’s sumptuous...The casting couldn’t be better...The revelation of the production, however, is Thomas...In all, a rich, satisfying deep-dive into miserableness and ill-will. Couldn’t be more fun." Full Review

75
CurtainUp

"Kudos to both actresses for memorizing and interpreting two roles. And while neither is going to eclipse Bette Davis' Regina or Maureen Stapleton's Birdie, both gave solid performances...Linney takes some getting used to as Birdie but she does manage to look Birdie-ish rather than her usual poised and attractive self. I found her performance to be at its heart-tugging height during the second act...I don't think you'll be disappointed if you choose to see Nixon as Regina." Full Review

85
Newsday

"More interesting than a competition, however, is the crackling seriousness with which director Daniel Sullivan approaches this strongly cast revival...I was struck by the snappy, tight writing and the psychological truth in the people...As Regina...Linney has the gutsy, snazzy elegance...And Nixon makes a sublime Birdie...The reverse casting is enlightening, but, in comparison, feels a bit more stagy...The rest of the cast is far more than background." Full Review

75
The Wrap

"On opening night, Linney played Regina and Nixon played Birdie, and they are excellent in those respective roles. Less wonderful is Nixon’s Regina and Linney’s Birdie...The rest of the cast alters their respective performances not one iota in responding to these very different interpretations from the two female leads...That minor objection aside, Sullivan delivers a triumvirate of consummate mendacity in the perfectly wedded performances of Goldstein and McKean." Full Review

89
Front Mezz Junkies

"What fun this play is. The 2 1/2 hours flies by without a thought to the time. Regardless of who is playing the fox, and who is the bird...Linney’s Regina is a formidable force to be reckoned with and, as expertly directed by David Sullivan, Birdie is no match, nor does she even try. Nixon embodies her to perfection...Do yourself a favor, and try both on for size...That black gown seems to fit these two women equally well." Full Review

90
WNBC

"Powerful and chilling...The story is filled with delicious twists and turns up until the end. But the fun in this production is watching these two extraordinary and captivating actresses at play, no matter which role she's tackling. Each at the height of her game, the veteran performers were clearly given latitude to interpret their characters as they will...Both prove to be equally effective in either role — a sign of each actress' talent and the production's overall perfection." Full Review

85
CitiTour

"A remarkably well-structured work, full of complex characters, and fully stocked with a variety of themes that resonate today...Luckily, Sullivan’s exceedingly handsome and solid production captures this landmark work in most of its glory...Where the actresses differ most is in their portrayal of Birdie – Nixon wins hands-down in a performance that could earn her a Tony...Sullivan, long considered Broadway’s finest 'actor’s director,' mostly lives up to his reputation here." Full Review

80
Woman Around Town

“Laura Linney’s Regina makes Southern gentility organic without losing the character’s edge. Imperiousness fits like a bespoke glove, avarice is palpable. So much emotion is internalized, however, one misses flashes…Cynthia Nixon inhabits Birdie from the moment she enthusiastically flutters onstage...Altogether splendid. Director Daniel Sullivan excels at this kind of solid drama. His characters exist naturally and, for the most part, distinctively.” Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
88
Avg Score

93
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Masterful, Great writing

See it if a well-constructed period drama about a dysfunctional Southern family with greed, power & money issues, a nasty woman; incredible acting

Don't see it if you want happily-ever-after, want a musical, you don't want to see the complexity of a nasty woman

Also The entire ensemble was great!!... Read more Read less

86
Absorbing, Great acting, Masterful, Great writing, Great staging

See it if you want to see two great actresses at the top of their game in a compelling portrait of a conniving Southern family tearing itself apart

Don't see it if you don't enjoy period pieces or family dramas

85
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Riveting

See it if You want to see the total relevance of Lillian Hellman's work with our finest actors.

Don't see it if You don't want to be reminded of the themes of the play and their continued relevance in 2017.

89
Absorbing, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if Wonderful acting by true professsionals. Relationships in a southern family.

Don't see it if If you only like light dramas and musicals.

78
Delightful, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if you enjoy the cast of actors and like seeing a well done play

Don't see it if You have no interest in a classic play that may seem dated

94
Absorbing, Exquisite, Great acting, Riveting, Entertaining

See it if You want to see an intelligent play done with razor sharp accuracy by a perfect cast.

Don't see it if You have no interest in a classic play done to perfection.

52
Clever, Great acting, Overrated, Dated, Interesting concept of switching roles

See it if You want to see big name stars performing well. Looking for traditional play.

Don't see it if You want something upbeat/fast-paced/

Also First, there are two intermissions. Second, the first act is excruciat... Read more Read less

78
Great acting, Intense, Resonant

See it if you want to see a very traditional remounting of a classic. you want to see a stellar cast. you enjoy a good family drama

Don't see it if you expect a modernized remake. you want something short or light.

92
Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Masterful, Resonant

See it if You like classic plays performed effortlessly by master actors. A power struggle among family members in the deep South, where status rules

Don't see it if You like light musicals or fantasy. This is a three act play. You must pay attention

Also The cast is fantastic. Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon alternate the fe... Read more Read less

76
Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Dated, Great staging

See it if you enjoy great craftsmanship in acting. The cast is a bit uneven but the two ladies are powerful and worth seeing in both roles.

Don't see it if You need action and not words. The power is often in what is not said and the tension generated is effective in this family of mutual hatred

80
Great acting, Slow, Somewhat entertaining

See it if You really enjoy good acting even if the play is a bit slow. This is a 3 act play, the first act was really slow, 2nd great, 3rd good

Don't see it if you don't have the patience for a very long play

90
Absorbing, Great acting, Masterful, Riveting, Great writing

See it if You want to see a fantastic production of a great play with a cast full of actors who really know how to dig their teeth into material.

Don't see it if You don't like the play or if you are opposed to looking at a classic play in a more traditional setting as opposed to modern approach.

Also Linney was Regina and Nixon was Birdie at my performance.

96
Absorbing, Ambitious, Must see, Relevant, Supreme acting

See it if you want to see a great play done without any attempts to "improve" with 2 superior actors switching roles at different performances.

Don't see it if you have no appreciation for the classics. Or would rather a production attempt to "revise" it. Or want to see HAMILTON.

Also You really need to try and see BOTH versions. Nixon and Linney have su... Read more Read less

90
Absorbing, Edgy, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Great writing

See it if love to watch two women take charge of the stage in ways that only Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon can.

Don't see it if period pieces are boring to you

84
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Great writing, Dated

See it if You love classic, familial, drawing-room dramas about deceit and power -- especially those with strong, central female characters.

Don't see it if You prefer modern plays that deal with current issues, and not those about wealthy, greedy, white Southerners from the early 1900s.

84
Absorbing, Delightful, Great acting, Relevant, Riveting

See it if you want to see one of these woman take on a stunning character... this family is one to be remembered

Don't see it if you like more modern plays

85
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Riveting, Great writing

See it if you want a great drama with powerhouse performances - depicting greed, power, family, money, & gender roles in 1900 America (and now, too).

Don't see it if you're interested in something light-hearted. This is compelling drama on powerful themes - made real by an impressive roster of actors.

88
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Masterful, Great writing

See it if you want to see two great actresses swapping roles. who's the greatest Regina? Birdie? hard to decide.

Don't see it if you want some easy singing and dancing

96
Absorbing, Great acting, Must see, Resonant, Great staging

See it if "Blue" cast was exquisite in a definitive production that shows the timelessness of the story despite being set in period

Don't see it if You will be tempted to see both blue and green casts which might be too much heartbreak for one Tony Award season

82
Absorbing, Great acting, Masterful, Riveting, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy intense, dark humoured plays with masterful performances from an amazing cast.

Don't see it if you would prefer a disney musical.

86
Absorbing, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if you want to see a great cast perform a classic drama.

Don't see it if you prefer more modern fare.

90
Absorbing, Great acting, Masterful, Riveting, Great writing

See it if you like period family dramas, or you feel you haven't seen any good performances in awhile. These actors are at the top of their game.

Don't see it if you prefer contemporary settings and positive family dynamics.

90
Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Relevant, Great staging

See it if Hellman's 1939 anti-capitalistic melodrama shines like a new penny w/Sullivan's majestic direction & glorious performances by entire cast

Don't see it if At times, lethargic writing to score dramatic points but not harmful My eve, Linney played Regina & was magnificent as was Nixon's Birdie

79
Clever, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Entertaining, Traditionally staged

See it if You want to see a fine play very well acted by the lead characters.

Don't see it if Southern family melodramas are not your thing.

90
Absorbing, Epic, Great acting, Riveting, Slow

See it if Fantastic cast. Very well acted.

Don't see it if you want a fast paced plot