Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes NYC Reviews and Tickets
Great acting, Absorbing, Masterful, Intelligent, Great writing
About the Show
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.
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.
"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."
"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."
“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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"Which version of this production to see?...There is one I’d favor over the other, and that would be the evenings on which Nixon plays Regina..Regina’s incessant scheming and her itch for enrichment are developed with a more rewardingly sinister edge in Nixon’s Regina...Whoever plays whom, Sullivan’s production reaffirms that 'The Little Foxes' is crackerjack theater, worthy of exalted rank in the American canon."