The Present
Closed 3h 0m
The Present
74

The Present NYC Reviews and Tickets

74%
(264 Reviews)
Positive
70%
Mixed
23%
Negative
7%
Members say
Great acting, Slow, Disappointing, Absorbing, Ambitious

About the Show

Two-time Oscar winner Cate Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh succumb to the intoxicating power of lust and obsession in the Sydney Theatre Company’s adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s first play, 'Platonov.'

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Member Reviews (264)

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75
Disappointing, Ambitious, Edgy, Indulgent, Overrated

See it if You like Kate Blanchett. She does a really good job in this show. Roxburgh, not so much.

Don't see it if Show is slow at times, confusing at times. I was disappointed , thought it would be directed better.

72
Ambitious, Cliched, Great acting, Slow, Indulgent

See it if Unwieldly adaptation of unpublished drama by Chekhov. At 3 hr length seems fit for Chekhov geeks only with its hints of later masterpieces

Don't see it if STC keeps us attentive for the 1st act but pretty dismal after that Blanchett solid but evening rightly belongs to Roxburgh He's magnificent

Critic Reviews (60)

The New York Times
January 8th, 2017

"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."
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Time Out New York
January 8th, 2017

"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."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
January 9th, 2017

"If the politics of this Platonov revamp are apt enough, the drama still founders on the play’s inability to link them convincingly to the nearly farcical social comedy of individuals at loose ends. Partly this is because the production, directed somewhat bumpily by John Crowley, keeps the politics at bay for too long...We do not really understand the stakes until it’s too late, which may be accurate for the characters but undermines the audience."
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The Hollywood Reporter
January 8th, 2017

"A tart tragedy, infused with corrosive humor...What's most surprising about John Crowley's expertly calibrated production is how funny it is, while remaining true to themes of disillusionment, class breakdown and unfulfilled love...Weaving together these characters and their hollow lives in a context that connects them both to Chekhov's Russia and to our own world, Upton, Crowley and this accomplished company have elevated a problematic play into something unexpectedly satisfying."
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Entertainment Weekly
January 8th, 2017

"Upton and Crowley strain to make the play’s late 20th-century makeover contemporary and knowing and cool, but it feels more like punk poseur window-dressing trying to spruce up a soft-rock B-side...It’s only a matter of time before the party ends with a bang — I just wish it was more worth the wait. As hard as it tries, 'The Present' never really makes the case for why Chekhov’s forgotten play should be remembered."
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Variety
January 8th, 2017

"A sparkling production...The spirit of Chekhovian farce shines bright, and the ensemble work of this Aussie company is just grand...Blanchett turns out to be a consummate comic actress, and Roxburgh her perfect foil, allowing the scene to swing from passion to painfully funny pathos...Crowley handles the directing chores with an impressively light touch, keeping this army of characters circling one another like moths obsessively courting their flames without letting them get burned."
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The Wall Street Journal
January 10th, 2017

"Though it is a problematic play—a rewritten, time-shifted transmutation of a young Chekhov’s untitled, posthumously discovered and monstrously overstuffed drama, ‘The Present’ is also a terrific vehicle for its two stars, Cate Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh...By the second half, you are likely to tire of both—and the characterless stage design by Alice Babidge is no help—but the two actors keep the play aloft for long enough so you don’t fully mind its thorough deflation."
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The Observer
January 13th, 2017

"A relentless three-hour pile of noisy, pointless and pretentious junk...Nothing makes sense about the text, and though the alterations have shortened the running time, Upton has improved nothing in the process...Scene after scene demonstrates the youthful politics of Chekhov before he learned anything about such matters as character development, plot or narrative cohesion...The play is so bad it seems to be in an unknown language."
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Deadline
January 11th, 2017

"It’s haltingly staged, one foot on the gas pedal, the other on the brake, by John Crowley. That attack may seem at cross purposes, but it’s effective in a diffuse work whose chief attribute is the way it presages the obsessions a barely-20-year-old writer will later refine…The very long set-up climaxes in a party scene that finds Blanchett dirty dancing through the drunken revels…That leaves a lot of messy stuff to tie up in the post-intermission acts, and they’re not as much fun."
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New York Daily News
January 8th, 2017

"Cate Blanchett’s captivating presence makes 'The Present' a worthwhile three-hour sit. The same goes for her equally commanding co-star Richard Roxburgh in this play inspired by an unwieldy early Anton Chekhov work. That said, without the two mighty bright stars, it’d be a slow-starting, fitfully amusing and longwinded evening...Blanchett is fiery and funny and in her element on stage...More than once Anna wails that she’s bored. When Blanchett’s around, you won’t be."
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AM New York
January 8th, 2017

"Are you willing to endure three hours of boredom in exchange for some occasional moments of radiance from Cate Blanchett?...An ambitious but ultimately futile adaptation by Upton of Chekhov’s long-winded and muddled first play...As directed by Crowley with a spare visual design, 'The Present' is an uneven, uneventful and aimless mess. It gets off to a poor start with a long opening scene that leaves audience members confused regarding the various character relationships."
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NY1
January 9th, 2017

"Happily, the Sydney Theatre Company put a contemporary spin on the 19th Century manuscript, turning Chekhov's flawed tragicomedy into a masterful production...It's led by two stellar performances that must not be missed...In Upton's wildly animated adaptation, directed with great gusto by Crowley, truth spills out in waves...Young Chekhov overstuffed his first play, and it is muddled...But just watch as comedy and tragedy collide, and suddenly boredom never felt so entertaining."
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Theatermania
January 8th, 2017

"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."
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Lighting & Sound America
January 9th, 2017

"Upton's text is thoroughly Chekhovian in the way that heartbreak and farce occupy the same stage; the elegant turns of phrase are his own...John Crowley's direction has a laser-like accuracy for line readings and the bits of business that lay bare each character's agenda, frustrations, and fears, and he is aided by a cast from Sydney Theatre Company who play together superbly; this is currently the most stunning ensemble on a New York stage."
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Talkin' Broadway
January 8th, 2017

"Despite sharp-edged direction from John Crowley, decent design, and strong acting all the way around, this is a dull void of an evening...Thank goodness for Blanchett...Her plight as rendered is mesmerizing and trenchant, a cry against outdated perceptions of who women are and what they're capable of, and that leaves you with plenty to unpack. Too bad the rest of 'The Present' is better left wrapped."
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TheaterScene.net
January 25th, 2017

"Upton's 'The Present' is a mixed blessing. On the one hand, it brings the team of Cate Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh to New York for their Broadway debuts, and reintroduces theatergoers to a fairly unknown play by Anton Chekhov. On the other hand, the updating, which is intended to make the play more accessible, creates its own problems and much of the long evening is heavy going. However, Blanchett and Roxburgh make their own fireworks and each act ends with high drama."
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Theater Pizzazz
January 11th, 2017

"There are fireworks aplenty – both literal and emotional – generated by Upton’s wife and leading lady, the magnificent Cate Blanchett, along with the splendid Sydney Theatre Company, in a version that captures the youthful exuberance and farcical energy of the young Chekhov…As for Cate Blanchett – a stunning actress of great charisma and daring – you simply can’t take your eyes off her…Richard Roxburgh is a splendid Platonov."
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CurtainUp
January 8th, 2017

"What we have is a big star vehicle which happens to be made more starry courtesy of a stellar ensemble. Blanchett and Roxburgh are electrifying...To add to the pleasures of 'The Present,' Upton and Director Crowley have brought out Chekhov's intention to have his plays viewed as farces by playing up the humorous aspects of these characters' behavior...A well-paced three hours to be savored for the fine performances and interesting hints of themes to come."
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Front Row Center
January 12th, 2017

"A fairly unsatisfactory evening. I say this with caution because, in the case of Blanchett and Roxburgh, you want these scenes to simply never end. Watching them is a transfixing experience. The rest of the cast does not demonstrate the same skills of handling a text. This young Chekhov goes deep with his words and digs specifications out of the very souls of his characters...Had the other actors been up to the task, this would have been an altogether different event."
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Front Mezz Junkies
January 14th, 2017

"Quite the wild ride at certain points. But like any Chekhovian play, it’s also about boredom and frustration in that boredom...This overly long 3-hour play has a tremendous amount of endless chatter...interspersed by a number of startling bangs to wake us up...Usually it comes with a deeper and greater pay-off: the bang here is big but not deep...The two leads are like the host and hostess who hold it all together. Without them, this birthday would be a bore and a mess."
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Broadway Blog
January 18th, 2017

"There is no denying Cate Blanchett’s magnetism. As the fading trophy wife Anna in Andrew Upton’s ‘The Present,’ Blanchett exudes power that often doesn’t translate onstage from movie stars attempting to tackle live theater…It is with deep commitment and understanding of the art form that Blanchett and co-star Richard Roxburgh lead an ensemble of exceptional actors through a ringer of unrequited love, political corruption, and unraveling friendships."
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C
January 9th, 2017

"A rather sprawling and sometimes unfocused three-hour piece that teeters between melodrama and farce, 'The Present' ends up as neither first-rate Chekhov, nor I suspect even first-rate Upton. But it contains plenty of touching and hilarious moments, numerous deep-seated truths about human relationships, and some award-worthy acting...John Crowley’s assured direction allows even those actors with brief stage time to make a strong impression."
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DC Theatre Scene
January 8th, 2017

"It is difficult to be in thrall of the 13 actors...The characters are of unequal weight and interest, yet we are forced to sort them all out, which takes at least the first half of the play...There are those who are fans of the Oscar winner who will find her performance entertaining enough to obliterate any other concerns, or who have the patience and curiosity to appreciate the production’s complex texture and thought-provoking themes...Then there are the rest of us, who wish it were shorter."
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Times Square Chronicles
January 13th, 2017

"Blanchet and Roxburgh are electrifying, however neither Roxburgh nor the role of Platonov carry the burden of being a male sex symbol...What is worth seeing is Ms. Blanchett...She is utterly transfixing…'The Present' is a true ensemble piece and the cast does well bringing these characters to life. What I found tedious was the script and the direction by John Crowley. The first act seemed like three hours due to the unfocused script."
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The Guardian (UK)
January 8th, 2017

"Blanchett's virtuosic performance is truth and dare at once. The play itself is a more fitfully successful affair...The chemistry between Anna and Mikhail...is combustible enough to blow up the play...When they’re not onstage together, the play has a tendency to slump, a condition that neither Crowley’s sensitive direction nor the excellence of the rest of the cast can ever entirely correct...When this production works best, it feels entirely of the moment and urgently, ripely alive."
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The Huffington Post
January 8th, 2017

"The play and production are more than worthy...Blanchett makes it instantly clear that she is a creature of the stage. She is in full control, even when she is seemingly sitting silently...Australian film and stage star Roxburgh is perfectly marvelous as the Lothario gone to seed. The others are all fine...Director John Crowley keeps the play moving rapidly through its almost three-hour running time. Your attention is unlikely to lag, not with Blanchett, Roxburgh and this group."
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The Wrap
January 8th, 2017

"Cate Blanchett is the attraction. Richard Roxburgh is the revelation...It’s a talented ensemble under John Crowley’s direction, and they make some of the awkward shifts in the plot grind a little less noisily...It’s also obvious why Upton, Frayn, and Hare took up the challenge of the play. Mikhail Platonov is the Blanche du Bois of roles for men...The flaws of this great, sprawling, messy play are not entirely obliterated by the stellar performances and direction."
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Wolf Entertainment Guide
January 26th, 2017

"Crowley’s direction is spirited, with some effective lighting and other effects. The play itself, while sampling Chekhov’s talent, lacks the impact of his later achievements. Still, there is plenty on stage to hold one’s interest, although one can question the concept of modernization...This is a fine opportunity to see Blanchett and Roxburgh at work, admire the efforts of the Sydney Theatre Company and evaluate this unusual interpretation of an early work by the great Russian dramatist."
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W
January 12th, 2017

"The piece still needs editing, but its core is whizz-bang theater and acting is a treat...Except for the surplus of Acts I and III, both of which could be successfully cut, Andrew Upton’s literate interpretation is intriguing and often crackling...In her Broadway debut, Cate Blanchett is a joy to watch, though the dragging first act could make anyone appear aimless...The rest of the company is excellent...Most of director John Crowley’s work is appealingly naturalistic."
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T
January 20th, 2017

"The double-Oscar-winning star is just one shining jewel in a mostly dazzling show full of farcical humor, heartbreaking pathos, and pointed political observation. Clocking in at three hours, the comedy-drama does have its slow points—the third of four long acts is especially lead-footed. Yet the intense and witty moments more than make up for the snooze-inducing snatches...Though it has its flaws, this 'Present' is a stunning evening of theater."
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Broadway & Me
January 14th, 2017

"The meat of the drama rests with the psychological interplay between the characters and, under the high-energy direction of John Crowley, this cast sink their teeth deep into it...Blanchett's movie-star fame makes her first among equals...Yet Blanchett doesn't overshadow her cast mates...Blazing brightest of all is Roxburgh...'The Present' rambles on longer than I'd have liked but the scenes between the two of them more than made up for the lulls."
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Newsday
January 8th, 2017

"It would be possible—and extremely pleasurable—to spend most of the three hours at 'The Present' just watching Cate Blanchett...As mesmerizing as she is, however, it would be a serious mistake to consider 'The Present' a star vehicle...This is dazzling ensemble theater, partnering Blanchett with the sly and thrilling Richard Roxburgh...There isn’t a whiff of gimmickry in director John Crowley’s leisurely, bawdy, poignant production."
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The Stage (UK)
January 8th, 2017

"Upton’s updating here of Chekhov's first play creates incongruities...Blanchett is a living, winning wonder of the stage, and employing her native Australian accent, brings a compelling sense of a widow who can see her chances of happiness slipping away...She is surrounded by a cast of ace Australian actors, including the fine Richard Roxburgh as Platonov. John Crowley's carefully calibrated production takes its time but rewards the attention."
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Towleroad
January 9th, 2017

"Despite Blanchett’s undeniably luminous performance, her surroundings are awfully dull and, quite simply, a mess...Things pick up in the second of Chekhov’s four acts, when everyone is smashed on vodka and feeling frisky...It might be very funny if it weren’t all so tangled and tedious...Crowley’s production often tries to compensate for the play’s shortcomings with what amount to distractions...Ultimately, Blanchett far outshines everything and everyone around her—save for Roxburgh."
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The Huffington Post
January 13th, 2017

"This early (early) work of Chekhov is given a cheeky translation by Upton, tossing in a specific modern setting and a lot of verve...The cast — led by Blanchett in fine form — keys into Upton’s tone and jazzes it up...Director John Crowley keeps things moving apace...Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh have chemistry to burn...It amounts to very little when all is said and done...This is far inferior Chekhov presented with a sense of fun and when you expect so little, that’s quite a relief."
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Daily Beast
January 8th, 2017

"Uproarious, fast, and funny...Blanchett is transfixing, utterly in command of the stage...Tonally, the lightning shifts from humor to pathos to profundity in this scene is the register of the production as a whole, and sometimes that can be discombobulating...If you don’t acclimatize to these stylistic tinkerings, you may find yourself lost...But Blanchett, Roxburgh and their fellows anchor the shift in mood ably as it fades to sad silence."
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Financial Times (UK)
January 8th, 2017

"Crowley largely succeed in salvaging two and a half hours of broad, rambunctious comedy. Underlying that achievement is the lively vernacular of Upton’s dialogue, which sounds consistently fresh in the mouths of the all-Australian cast while preserving the original’s mordant spirit...Upton and Crowley err, however, by shifting the story to Russia just after the collapse of communism. For the characters’ struggles are all personal rather than political."
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WNBC
January 8th, 2017

"If at times illuminated with an item of bold lingerie or sniping remark, most of the color in director John Crowley’s frenzied, engaging production comes from the party balloons...Blanchett’s diva-like—a woman in increasingly desperate straits, who yet somehow never seems like a desperate woman...Crowley keeps things moving quickly, given the number of connections he’s obliged to juggle. 'The Present' is ultimately more coherent than this season’s earlier Chekhov offering."
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BlogCritics.org
January 14th, 2017

"A thoroughly excellent Australian ensemble cast…The external circumstances aren’t terribly important to the story, but they’re resonant…If Chekhov wasn’t yet able to marshal his blooming, many-faceted gifts, Upton and director John Crowley shape and sharpen the material into a slowly percolating, soul-tugging, and brightly sparkling tour-de-force. Blanchett’s Anna is as complex a lost soul as Broadway is likely to host this season…Roxburgh is just as compelling."
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City Cabaret
January 16th, 2017

"Blanchett entices audiences to Broadway's Barrymore Theatre and with Roxburgh's magnetic energy, she keeps them there. Without them and the stellar Sydney Theatre Company cast, Chekhov's first play may still be in the safe-deposit box...Despite the fine production values and outstanding performances by Blanchett and Roxburgh, three hours of this muddled, interminable tragicomedy is not much more than a first draft of Chekhov's later well-formed theatrical visions of Russian society."
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TheaterScene.com
February 1st, 2017

“Sydney Theatre Company’s luminous production...An inspired adaptation…Cate Blanchett stars in the production, giving it not only marquee power but superlative stage artistry as well. Along with co-star Richard Roxburgh, she creates an arresting centerpiece in this company of top-notch actors from Down Under, melded into a deliciously responsive ensemble under the well-honed direction of John Crowley."
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DC Metro Theater Arts
January 9th, 2017

"This company is certainly capable; it’s the material that hasn’t made up its mind whether to probe and poke or to just let it all hang out...Always interesting, I found myself only occasionally viscerally connected to the material...We must be grateful to Ms. Blanchett for taking on the rigors of Broadway, for she certainly brightens its season. And I for one loved having a look at the 13 actors who joined her in coming halfway round the world to give us a sample of their first-rate work."
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Out Magazine
January 9th, 2017

"Blanchett acts the part of the widow Anna with a full-throttle theatricalism that’s vastly enjoyable...Richard Roxburgh matches her as the cutting Platonov, and with its inventive approach, this turns out to be the snob hit of the year, while also proving wildly accessible, especially when Blanchett and company launch into sexy and silly dancing moves to Tears For Fears. Chekhov must be rolling…with laughter. And Blanchett? What a diva."
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NJ.com
January 16th, 2017

"The play is also overpopulated with nearly a dozen other characters, many of whose relationships remain unclear to each other, and it's difficult to discern the point of show's many long, static scenes…The obvious draw here is Blanchett, and while she acquits herself well enough (especially in the afore-mentioned dance number, which ends with her soaked in vodka), she can't lend coherence to her character or elevate three hours of increasingly mind-numbing tedium."
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W
January 14th, 2017

"That party scene perfectly captures the louche feeling of the carousers. But Upton's adaptation bumbles along afterward, trapping them in hours of misty talking...There's a lot to like here, including clever references, poetic monologues and cagey wit, but it doesn't always feel like the same play. And yet. Try to take your eyes off Cate Blanchett. You can't. No matter who's talking, she has Anna simmering at a boil, her frustration and anger ready to explode."
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The Telegraph (UK)
January 8th, 2017

"Clever, compelling and rich in character...The brilliance of Crowley’s production lies in its ability to peel back the layers of its many characters to reveal relatable and laughable flaws...Although the first act is long, it flies by. Blanchett and Roxburgh dive into the pain and ridiculousness of their characters, and when they detonate – especially in the second act – the results are wonderfully volatile."
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StageZine
January 11th, 2017

"At best Chekhov is tedious. At worst is the lugubrious ‘The Present,’ presented in what can only be described as the whining babblethon of this or any other year…Had it been presented in its original setting, Russia of 1887, it would still have been rambling but at least it would have made sense. Now it is set in Russia of the 1990s…The storyline becomes a ridiculous soap opera and everyone’s acting really goes off the deep end. The ham here is served in abundance."
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Village Voice
January 10th, 2017

"An unwieldy mess…Upton's adaptation adds a further layer of confusion by transposing Chekhov's action to the 1990s…Director John Crowley doesn't help matters by making much of the action louder, shriller, and more aggressively jumbled together. The actors do well, on the whole…Blanchett's skill and her charisma make it all seem viable in context; if only the context weren't so very, very noisy, and so very full of arbitrary leaps and contradictions."
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BroadwaySelect
January 16th, 2017

"No amount of fog can mask the stretches of dullness in the three-hour production. Some of them are intentionally meant to show the bored and self-destructive lives of 13 people; others are just boring – and not in the fascinating way in which Chekhov conveyed boredom...Upton has some good lines that are in the Chekhovian spirit...Blanchett is terrific as Anna...The other 11 actors adequately do their jobs...It’s a case of. 'Now you’re interested; now you aren’t.'"
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Showbiz 411
January 13th, 2017

"Upton’s version is pretty great and very different than the Frayn one...Upton has retained a lot of the Chekhov but updated it...Believe or not, the time passes quickly. Upton has found lots of humor and spread it wisely...Roxborough doesn’t steal the show, he just occupies the center of it, and he’s a revelation...Let’s say Roxburgh leads the magnificent supporting cast. But 'The Present' cast is an ensemble, only that Blanchett cannot keep from being the centerpiece."
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Labor Press
January 17th, 2017

"Crowley directed the show and brings all the characters and internal themes together into a clearly enunciated whole...The running time is three hours but passes quickly with adroit acting and direction. The comic timing of the ensemble cast enables 'The Present' to demonstrate the indulgent aristocracy...'The Present' leaves the audience enthralled and satisfied through the dynamic portrayals by Ms. Blanchett, Mr. Roxburgh and the excellence of the supporting cast."
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New York Irish Arts
February 22nd, 2017

"Blanchett is completely luminous in her Broadway debut...While Blanchett finds fresh and surprising moments throughout, it takes a good act and a half before you’re really clear who is who and what is going on...There are wonderful moments in 'The Present,' but there are frustrating stretches of time as well, in which it’s not clear what’s at stake or why...There’s a lot to unpack in 'The Present,' but it’s more tissue paper than substance."
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Z
January 9th, 2017

"In Andrew Upton’s capable hands, the dialogue is witty and modern and becomes the vehicle for a thrilling ride between tragedy and comedy...Blanchett is dazzling and Roxburgh is a rake times ten...But, they are truly part of an ensemble and allow the rest of the cast to breathe life into their characters as well...Credit for the seamlessness of this wonderful production must also be given to John Crowley, who directed it at the STC and here."
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Paste Magazine
January 11th, 2017

"Blanchett makes the show...Blanchett’s ability to communicate what it means to be on the verge of 40...is the most honest work on Broadway this year. Even if the script doesn’t quite hit its peak and the individual character plot lines are a bit scattered, the emotional connectivity of Blanchett and Roxburgh is hard to deny. There’s something painfully satisfactory about watching people’s imperfections and actors who aren’t afraid to share them, raw, on the stage."
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S
August 9th, 2015
For a previous production

"Playwright-adaptor Andrew Upton turns Chekhov's baggy first play into a roiling dramatic farce…Roxburgh revels in a role that requires him to demonstrate just about all the non-admirable qualities you can imagine. After a repressed start, Blanchett pulls out all the stops, unleashing Anna's wild side in an orgiastic second act…Prior, Napier, and Farren offer excellent support in what is a lengthy yet consistently vigorous and volatile production offering fireworks of every kind."
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Limelight Magazine (AU)
August 12th, 2015
For a previous production

"Upton’s adaptation has managed to prune Chekhov’s narrative with effortless sensitivity while preserving the emotional and psychological essence of the source material…Tragedy and comedy are close companions in this play, thanks to Upton’s singular wit and the superb delivery of the cast…Blanchett and Roxburgh’s rapport on stage is transfixing…Some of the performances from the less experienced cast members occasionally fall short of these stratospheric standards."
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Australian Stage
August 10th, 2015
For a previous production

"There’s so much dazzling star power on stage Nick Schlieper’s splendid lighting almost seems superfluous. Cate Blanchett is luminous as Anna…Blanchett balances the strong, stoical sophisticate aspect of Anna with the reckless abandon of youth as youth abandons her…An expansive, exuberant and entertaining text, electrifyingly realized by director John Crowley and his wonderful cast…'The Present' is a towering theatrical experience, triggering drama, detonating laughs."
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The Guardian (UK)
August 10th, 2015
For a previous production

"Roxburgh and Cate Blanchett’s chemistry is electrifying as ever. But 'The Present' is a true ensemble piece, both in its expanded characters and the near perfect cast who bring them to life. Their constantly overlapping dialogue and emotional dance moves are masterfully choreographed by director John Crowley, particularly in the supper scene at the centre of this long day’s journey into the night…Not a night of theatre you can afford to miss."
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AussieTheatre.com
August 10th, 2015
For a previous production

"Brimming with a palpable energy and attack…Under Crowley’s tense direction, Upton’s confronting and insightful artistic vision and the ability of the cast to truly encapsulate the insecurities and complexities of the characters, 'The Present' takes us on a journey of emotional turmoil and intellectual questioning, forcing us in the audience to question where we are in life, how we got there and whether we’re able to reach the potential we once dreamed for ourselves."
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Suzy Goes See
August 8th, 2015
For a previous production

"The play is repeatedly explosive, and at three hours, its ability to keep us on the edge of our seats is a remarkable achievement…Crowley’s astounding ability to sustain the very satisfying comedy of the production throughout its increasingly disastrous and painful chain of revelations, creates a rare viewing response that is strangely potent…Blanchett’s incredible allure keeps us spellbound...Mikhail is played by the equally stellar Richard Roxburgh, with magnificent comedic aplomb."
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