Already closed | 3h 0m | Midtown W

The Present

From 263 member  reviews
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.' More…

'The Present' unfolds over the course of a raucous weekend birthday celebration in the 1990s Russian countryside. Old flames ignite in this passionate and bitingly comic play. 'The Present' is adapted by Banchett's husband, writer Andrew Upton. Their multi-year tenure leading the Sydney Theatre Company included such watershed productions as' A Streetcar Named Desire' and 'Uncle Vanya.' This strictly limited engagement marks the Broadway debuts of both Blanchett and Roxburgh.

3h 0m | Already closed | Ethel Barrymore Theatre (Midtown W)

Member Reviews (263)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great acting, Slow, Disappointing, Absorbing, Ambitious
74
Avg Score

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.

75
Great acting, Convoluted, Thought-provoking, Engaging, Uneven

See it if you want to see a fascinating modern update of a Chekhov play that is really gripping in moments (and less so in other moments).

Don't see it if a 3-hour slow burn is not your idea of a good time.

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See it if Unwieldly adaptation of unpublished drama by Chekhov.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

82
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Funny, Intelligent

See it if you like Cate Blanchett, curious about an early rarely done Chekhov, enjoy good ensemble work & Chekhov in a modern setting

Don't see it if updated Chekhov aggravates you, scattered work by a novice before he becames accomplished does not impress you, Blanchett not a big draw

84
Great acting, Great writing, Confusing, Dizzying, Absorbing

See it if You like Cate Blanchett on stage and Chekhov plays. There is a large cast and lots of intertwined plots. Expect many twists and turns.

Don't see it if You have no patience for Chekhov. Dislike profanity, heavy drinking, and sex. Cannot interpret Austrlian- British accents.

Also Cate and costar Mr. Roxburgh are the center of the action in a cast of... Read more Read less

79
Absorbing, Ambitious, Edgy, Quirky, Both funny and tragic

See it if you want to enjoy the acting of the consummate pros Blanchette and Roxburgh; excellent ensemble cast; you have a good knowledge of Chekov.

Don't see it if you are looking for an entirely cohesive play and constant action; a short evening of theater;

Also The play certainly has its problems, but vitriolic reviews seem to me ... Read more Read less

82
Immature chekhov blossoms with radiant cate

See it if Russian themes explored more thoroughly in later Chekhov work. Great Cate--as usual. Roxburgh is her perfect foil. Toby Schmitz is dreamy.

Don't see it if Long -- but I didn't mind at all. Too many characters require a lot of work to tell apart. Read the program notes before the play starts.

76
Dated, Disappointing, Great writing, Terrific adaptation, Over directed

See it if you love Chekhov.Acting is all over the top, so that means that the director wanted all the hysteria and no subtlety. Set & costumes are ok.

Don't see it if you want to see Chekov done with restraint. Second act fog scene is ridiculous. Too much hysteria throughout the show.

60
An uneven mess with a 3 hour running time

See it if You dont mind an anachronistic mashup of Checkov.

Don't see it if you wouldnt like an inexplicably "modernized" classic. You think Russian literature requires more than Russian surnames.

Also I have never seen such an array of unattractive, unsympathetic actors/... Read more Read less

65
Slow, Intense, Great acting, Disappointing

See it if you want to see Cate Blanchett on stage. She is utterly incredible. The play, however...

Don't see it if 3 hours of a Chekhov-inspired play sounds like misery.

74
Absorbing, Confusing, Disappointing, Great acting, Overrated

See it if You are a fan of Cate Blanchett, and who isn't? The rest of the cast was great...the play was fine. Made some light moments out of gray

Don't see it if You want a lighter experience, something joyful, and on the shorter side. This ran a full 3 hours

84
Great acting, Absorbing, Riveting, Dizzying, Great writing

See it if Blanchett & Roxburgh-great chemistry; adaption of a long, rarely performed Chekhov play; here romantic web tends to overshadow econ. issues

Don't see it if gun shots; long play especially 1st act (but hang in there for 2nd act party); some confusing characters - imp. ones are in author's notes

Also Other characters are Anna's (Cate Blanchett) older suitors & their chi... Read more Read less

79
Well-acted, Meandering & uneven, Surprising, Attention-grabbing, Darkly-humorous

See it if you don't mind some uneven moments punctuated by some refreshingly humorous and quirky decisions. Cate Blanchett & 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.

65
Banal, Disappointing, Edgy, Slow, Thought-provoking

See it if You really love cate blanchett. She is my favorite actress and I was very disappointed with the show.

Don't see it if you want to be bored to death and sensitive to loud shots.

75
Absorbing, Great acting, Unevenly paced

See it if you like Chekhov or Blanchett or family dramas.

Don't see it if a dynamic middle and end don't compensate for a slow beginning.

Also The first half of the first act was slow. Too slow. But the rest of th... Read more Read less

77
Insipid, Indulgent, Banal

See it if Cate Blanchett.

Don't see it if Languished. Overwrought.

64
Ambitious, Confusing, Great acting

See it if you are eager to see Cate Blanchett on stage/you have a big old boner for Chekhov

Don't see it if sitting for three+ hours isn't your cup of tea/you need a straightforward plot

71
Great acting, Ambitious, Slow, Thought-provoking, Confusing

See it if you're interested in modernization of Chekov, or you're a Blanchett fan

Don't see it if you like short, clear, fast-paced drama. Or if you're sleepy.

75
Great acting, Overrated, Slow, Confusing, Dated

See it if The two leads give star turns as big as Glenn Close in Sunset. You can't take your eyes off Cate Blanchett.

Don't see it if There is a character who does the worst slo-mo run in the history of theater, and I couldn't stop laughing. Not good in a drama.

71
Great acting, Entertaining, Absorbing, Clever

See it if Want to see a great performance by Richard Roxbrough. He steals the show. Interesting take on Chekov. The three hours fly by

Don't see it if Think that Cate Blanchette is the star of the show. Or if you like your comedy ligh

85
Absorbing, Confusing, Great acting, Intense

See it if you want to see a very great actress, Cate Blanchett and a good actor Richard Roxburgh.

Don't see it if If you want a play where everything is believable.

55
Banal, Confusing, Slow, Great acting, Overrated

See it if You are a Cate Blanchett fan. You like Chekov.

Don't see it if Way way too long. it was very talky.Boring. Even Cate's character say "I am bored. I am very bored". You want to see you can relate to.

Also Cate Blanchett was the best part of this show. when she was the center... Read more Read less

82
Ambitious, Great acting, Intense, Confusing

See it if you like Chekhov. Cate Blanchett is incredible - see it for her. It's a dark comedy character piece. If that sounds like you, see it!

Don't see it if you are looking for something easily digestible. There are a lot of characters to introduce and it gets a little confusing.

74
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Ambitious

See it if You enjoy long Russian theater pieces. Taken from Chekov; a lot going on between family and friends. Complications abound. Good humor.

Don't see it if You don't like Chekov and long wordy plays. Nothing resolved without violence.

82
Funny, Dizzying

See it if a modern interpretation of a Chekhov play (starring Cate Blanchett!!!) you haven't seen before sounds interesting.

Don't see it if you're not into Chekhov. There's still a whole lotta talking about nothing happening here, guys.


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 ...
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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...
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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 politi...
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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 co...
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