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"For a play that is partly about the fear of being found out, 'Thérèse Raquin' is curiously lacking in tension of any kind. It is steeped, instead, in a single shade of morbid resignation…All of the cast members seem to belong to different theatrical universes...Like these characters’ lives, their erotic encounters are nasty, brutish and short. That’s a fair description of the play in which they appear, except for the short part." Full Review
"Director Evan Cabnet's brutal and earthy production certainly captures the heart of Zola's vision, furthered still by compellingly raw performances. This 'Thérèse Raquin' is as hot as it is terrifying…Knightly is a marvel as Thérèse…Edmundson authors one of the most faithful adaptations of a novel I've ever witnessed, while maintaining a zippy efficiency…This beautifully rendered adaptation of classic French literature turns out to be the surprise thriller of the season." Full Review
"Director Evan Cabnet's gorgeously understated mounting of Helen Edmundson's adaptation looks like a somewhat faded oil painting come to life…The evening offers many breathtakingly still moments worthy of framing...The first-rate cast has Keira Knightley's introverted Thérèse subtly expressing the acceptance of her sorrow, so that when unfamiliar urges take over it allows merely the slightest change of physicality to clearly state that she's overwhelmed.." Full Review
"Although Evan Cabnet’s hammy direction of the first act does elicit uncomfortable laughter, the physical production is exquisite, and by the end of the act the performers have found the raw passion to leave the audience gasping…Knightley and Ryan are ravishing — and articulate — as these fierce bourgeois Macbeths, undone by their own greed and passion...The play ends as it must, in tragedy. But how we do love their misery." Full Review
"Evan Cabnet’s production, with its handsome set by Beowulf Boritt, does atmospheric justice to Thérèse’s desperation…Helen Edmundson’s cold-eyed thriller doesn’t shy from the lurid misanthropy of Emile Zola’s 1867 novel or its gothic denouement. But it does give a sharp sense of the limited options available to women. Thérèse may be a shark—but you pity her the way you might a shark in an aquarium." Full Review
"Perhaps a camera would lend emotional variety and substance to Knightley’s performance...The unremarkable Ryan does not bring her to blossom..It’s a story of sexual obsession – a horror story, a ghost story, curdled realism that gives way to melodrama. Or it might, if terror and desire were actually present here, if the working out of the plot felt inevitable rather than merely dutiful. 'I’m so tired,' Thérèse says at the play’s end. She spoke for so many of us." Full Review
"Edmundson structures the action in a series of shortish episodes that don't build dramatically and often feel arbitrarily cut off. Cabnet's staging has the measured pace of a funeral procession…Overall, this is a generally dispiriting evening…The most fatal thing about this murder tale is its lack of excitement. Edmundson, Cabnet, and company clearly understand Zola's importance, but they stumble badly in trying to communicate it." Full Review
"The director takes advantage of Knightley’s expressive face by fiddling around with cinematically inspired close-ups. But he also treats us to some awesome long shots. Beowulf Boritt’s sets are gorgeous...The sky and the water and the very walls feel like characters themselves, and contribute almost as much as Keira Knightley’s compelling performance to this magnetic story of a woman trapped in a loveless arrangement, who is set free, only to be trapped once more by guilt." Full Review
"The first act of Helen Edmundson's stage adaptation really had me going. I was totally enraptured by Keira Knightley's nearly silent performance as the titular frustrated heroine, expressing her sexual and spiritual longing through body language and eloquent features... So far, so good, but in the second act Therese opens her mouth. Knightley and Matt Ryan as Laurent start overacting all over the place and Cabnet turns a tragic tale of passion into an episode of 'Dark Shadows.'" Full Review
"'Thérèse Raquin' suffers from a typical case of adaptation sickness, a digestive malady that almost always results when a playwright eats a Penguin classic. Even a relatively short novel like this one offers too large a meal. The set-ups are lovely, and then comes the hasty glut…The production gets just about everything right...But no skill anyone might apply can reverse the trajectory of a story that dries up just when it gets juicy." Full Review
"No review could be more damning than the coughing and kvetching of the audience at the Roundabout from the first minute of this revival to the last…When things go wrong in a production (or a crime, for that matter), they often go terribly wrong, as if one bad turn on a journey means you can never reach your destination. Director Evan Cabnet sticks with a plodding, inevitable approach from start to end." Full Review
"This version has a strong cast, but the direction fails to do the tale justice. Oddly, it keeps the action, and the guilt-ridden madness, at a distance. The audience is not engaged in the fierce battle between conscience and desire. Restaging a classic in a new way is a great challenge. But the Roundabout's effort fails to hold the center." Full Review
"'Thérèse Raquin' is a dreary hambone that once was shocking but is now quaint, and Helen Edmundson, whose sole previous Broadway credit was the inept 2007 stage version of “Coram Boy,” has done no better by Zola. The pacing is arthritic…As for Ms. Knightley, she gives the kind of flat, underprojected performance you’d expect from an untrained Broadway debutante with limited stage experience. Her deficiencies are underlined by the excellent acting of Gabriel Ebert and Matt Ryan.” Full Review
"We need to see why this woman forces her way out of one cage and into another, what she sees in herself that she's compelled to keep hidden. And that doesn't come through...Edmundson has done Zola proud in some ways...The broad strokes are here for a transporting portrait, but what supports them needs to plunge us into the depths and not water down all the essential heat." Full Review
"Director Evan Cabnet believes the difference between comedy and tragedy is that the former is played fast and the latter is played slowly-and not just slowly-slowly but at the sluggish pace of a snail crossing the pavement on a hot summer's day. At least, that's how he unfolds Helen Edmundson's adaptation of Emile Zola's irresistible 'Therese Raquin.'" Full Review
"Keira Knightley brilliantly embodies this tormented monster…The show is beautifully awful, splendidly agonizing. It hurts, it shocks, and as you exit Studio 54, your eyes may spread as wide as Thérèse's at the river…Joining Knightley is an expert cast, including Tony winner Judith Light, who distinguishes herself as Madame Raquin…Gabriel Ebert plays Camille, and is perhaps the least effective of the group. He's certainly irritating, but he's also forgettable." Full Review
"The show may be grim and overwrought, but 30-year-old film actress Keira Knightley deserves a lot of credit for making her Broadway debut in a new adaptation of Émile Zola's once incendiary, emotionally charged 1867 novel 'Thérèse Raquin'...Despite elaborate production values, an eerie tone and strong performances, this proves to be a slow-paced and dreary adaptation. The novel's close-up, ultra-naturalistic depictions of the characters gets lost onstage." Full Review
"Although the actors are magnetic and the Grand Guignol-accented story deliciously juicy, the play veers into overblown histrionics as Therese's hallucinations assume the full-on haunted-house effect of fingernails screeching on a blackboard. A touch more restraint in the accelerating spiral of recrimination, disgust and fear might have kept the action anchored in reality rather than melodrama." Full Review
"Without high heat and funky musk, this wannabe erotic thriller starring Keira Knightley is bloodless and all wet…It makes for a dispiriting Broadway debut for Knightley…She’s recognized for injecting roles with emotional intensity, but she never finds traction in this choppy adaptation...Just in time for Halloween, 'Thérèse Raquin' and the A-list actress playing her have found themselves stranded in a corny spookhouse. Scary." Full Review
"There might have been some fun if there were a smidgen of electricity between Knightley and Ryan. That would have offset the pervading gloom of Beowulf Boritt’s uncharacteristically dispiriting sets and the fussiness of Edmundson’s script....There’s a detachment between the stars I can only describe as fatal, no pun intended…Without heat at its center 'Thérèse Raquin' is a sexless bore." Full Review
"The true to the novel approach does seem to cause the dialogue to prompt unintended laughs from the audience. Maybe to ease the unrelieved gloominess of the staging and narrative... I've always been a Zola fan, though this story of a seemingly emotionless young woman ready to burst into life has never been my favorite. Yet, the many variations of this old-fashioned morality tale do point to its durability. Therefore, if you've never seen it, you could do a lot worse than this handsome produc... Full Review
"The overarching problem with this production is that neither Knightley nor Ryan evidences any joy in their initial coupling…Even their extramarital sex is perfunctory… Knightley is an expressive actress and her work here has integrity. But it doesn't feel like an entirely secure performance because, well, it is not fully connected to anything else on view…Edmundson's adaptation deserved better.” Full Review
"This is a suspenseful, beautifully staged adultery-and-murder thriller that, with the emotionally translucent Keira Knightley making her Broadway debut in the title role, left me feeling as if I had been somewhere faraway for just under three hours…There are enough red herrings for a sneaky, old-time mystery, enough steamy clutches for a modern bodice-ripper and plenty of Knightley to cement her reputation here as a serious stage actress." Full Review
"While Edmundson’s adaptation is extremely faithful to the original Zola novel, that is part of the problem. In doing so, the new version requires a great many unnecessary set and scene changes which makes it much more like a television or film version than stageworthy...The Roundabout Theatre Company production feels literal but perfunctory. Film star Keira Knightley shows great stage presence but seems miscast in this role which swings from passivity to passion and back again." Full Review
See it if I was an outlier as a TR fan. KK's perf was stiff, but I blame the director. Her perf undermined the affair's power, but TR's still haunting
Don't see it if And the sets, costumes, staging were exquisite (water scene, suspended bedroom). Judith L was outstanding. I found TR a satisfying evening.
See it if you can get past a slightly-stilted adaptation and excruciatingly slow plot development in order to arrive at a climax with little payoff.
Don't see it if you prefer a piece in which dramatic development is more artfully paced and with which one feels that the entire first act isn't wasted time
See it if you'd like to see a subtle drama on love, murder, and guilt, with the best use of water on stage at a Broadway theater
Don't see it if you're easily bored. But try to stay for the second act
See it if You are a huge fan of Keira Knightley, enjoy cliched and over the top drama, or are interested in seeing beautiful and impressive sets
Don't see it if You want an absorbing and thought provoking well written play with great acting
See it if Keira Knightley allowed to be weird in a way she and female characters rarely are. Sentiment still resonates. Loved the water on stage.
Don't see it if You don't like plays with unlikable characters that drag on to an inevitable conclusion. You like your classic plays sexless or comedic.
See it if You like Kiera, and are interested in dark, romantic tales. Judith Light had the strongest performance. Set was at opera level-spectacle.
Don't see it if Problematic show that I wanted to like much more. But the acting/writing was too uneven.
See it if Turgid dialogue and deadly dull staging. Knightly cast against type as a dour non-smiling adultress.
Don't see it if You are a Keira Knightly fan expecting her to play to her strengths. That you are interested in fresh and vibrant storytelling.
See it if You are craving an intense show with incredible acting. I was on the edge of my seat. Set designs are great as well.
Don't see it if You prefer something musical or light hearted.
See it if you enjoy great writing, are intrigued by inventive staging & are in the mood for something darker.
Don't see it if you prefer spectacles or traditional story telling methods.
See it if you really love the details of the story http://frontmezzjunkies.com/2015/12/18/come-on-therese-raquin-get-to-the-point/
Don't see it if a slow thoughtful show puts you to sleep. needs a good edit