Therese Raquin
Closed 2h 20m
Therese Raquin
75

Therese Raquin NYC Reviews and Tickets

75%
(212 Reviews)
Positive
74%
Mixed
21%
Negative
5%
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Great staging, Intense, Slow

About the Show

Roundabout Theatre Company presents Keira Knightley's Broadway debut in a new adaption of the Emile Zola novel, a tale of love, lust, betrayal and guilt.

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Member Reviews (212)

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80
Fascinating, Intense, Director-issues, Great production values, Ambitious

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.

77
Absorbing, Clever, Edgy, Masterful, Resonant

See it if you like an edgy, good acting piece. very good directing, show moves along nicely.

Don't see it if moves slow at one part, it does keep you interested, however, throughout.

65
Flawed theatrical realization of towering novel, displays keira's limitations

See it if you appreciate Keira working her a** off in her role, and a brilliant set that evokes gothic mood and features a simulated river on stage

Don't see it if you don't appreciate obvious foreshadowing, and Knightley's limitations as a stage actress - big cinematic moments over realistic gestures

75
Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Compelling, Resonant

See it if you want to get swept up in a suspenseful romantic story with a BEAUTIFUL set.

Don't see it if you need a fast-paced show.

75
Moody, Great acting, Intelligent, Slow, Atmospheric

See it if you're looking for something a bit dark, moody, and well acted.

Don't see it if you're looking for something light and fluffy.

74
Great staging, Epic, Slow, Romantic, Excruciating

See it if You like classic melodrama and/or Judith Light.

Don't see it if You dislike heavy dramas.

80
Absorbing, Intelligent, Great staging, Original, Resonant

See it if If you enjoy a well- made play with original staging.

Don't see it if You only like theatre that tells its story in 90 minutes.

66
Great staging, Slow, Intense, Disappointing

See it if you want to see a fantastic scenic design and/or are a Judith Light fan.

Don't see it if you like plays that move at a brisk pace.

Critic Reviews (51)

The New York Times
October 29th, 2015

"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."
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Time Out New York
October 29th, 2015

"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."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
October 29th, 2015

"'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."
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The Hollywood Reporter
October 29th, 2015

"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."
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Entertainment Weekly
October 30th, 2015

"While it clocks in at two-and-a-half hours, the production is surprisingly fleet and contemporary in feeling...Light and Ebert bring gracefully comic touches to their characters, and the sets by Beowulf Boritt will keep audiences captivated – every scene change bears a detail that’s either subtle or dazzling. Still, Knightley is the real draw…Her raw-nerved performance proves that with or without period attire, she’s an actress who can surprise us."
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Variety
October 29th, 2015

"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."
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The Wall Street Journal
October 29th, 2015

"'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.”
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Deadline
October 29th, 2015

"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."
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The Washington Post
October 29th, 2015

"A confoundingly dreary adaptation of Emile Zola’s steamy 1867 novel…The stage adaptation feels leaden, devoid of sexual tension…Zola may have been interested in examining some of the more clinical aspects of attraction, but in director Evan Cabnet’s production, the appetites that compel the couple to adultery and homicide are treated as the prelude to an affair of no more than a perfunctory variety."
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Chicago Tribune
October 29th, 2015

"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.”
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New York Daily News
October 29th, 2015

"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."
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AM New York
October 29th, 2015

"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."
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NY1
October 30th, 2015

"Despite its literary pedigree and painterly design, 'Thérèse Raquin' is a good old-fashioned melodrama, full of sex, murder and a dash of black humor, not to mention a passionate turn by Knightley. She’s a killer."
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Theatermania
October 29th, 2015

"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."
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BroadwayWorld
October 29th, 2015

"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.."
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Lighting & Sound America
November 6th, 2015

"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."
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Talkin' Broadway
October 29th, 2015

"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."
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TheaterScene.net
November 9th, 2015

"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."
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Theater Pizzazz
November 4th, 2015

"Director Evan Cabnet directs this lurid tale as a thriller, pushing it to its Gothic, melodramatic extremes. The scenes are short and sharp, flying by at breakneck speed... Rarely are we treated to a full meal of melodrama in today’s theatre – one that’s calorie-rich in plot and character, and one that delivers the thrilling, chilling payoffs of a luridly satisfying story."
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CurtainUp
October 30th, 2015

"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 production."
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C
November 17th, 2015

"Brits Knightley and Ryan, who have the lion’s share of the stage time, generate few romantic sparks as they spout generic romantic platitudes. Neither has a commanding stage presence, but they also don’t have top-notch material to work with. Edmundson’s adaptation is filled with choppy scenes and grows increasingly melodramatic...What should be a steamy and heart-wrenching story of passion and torment becomes a rather dangerless liaison."
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DC Theatre Scene
October 29th, 2015

"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."
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The Huffington Post
October 30th, 2015

"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.'"
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The Guardian (UK)
October 29th, 2015

"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."
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B
December 12th, 2015

"The best reason to see this Roundabout production, an uneven adaptation of Zola’s 1867 novel, is the spectacular set design...The pace picks up from late in the first act to midway through the second act. The subsequent descent into guilt and madness seemed anticlimactic...Director Evan Cabnet really should have picked up the pace a bit during the play’s early scenes. My interest lagged, but I really liked the sets."
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The Wrap
October 29th, 2015

"Edmundson and Cabnet haven’t decided whether 'Therese Raquin' is a great tragedy or some Grand Guignol potboiler…Not everything goes wrong. Ryan, the show’s major piece of eye candy, is appropriately studly and manages to produce few laughs despite being stuck with some of Edmundson’s clunkiest lines. Judith Light as Therese’s mother-in-law makes the character’s tiresomeness almost bearable. But even she can’t escape Edmundson and Cabnet’s need to go over the top."
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T
October 30th, 2015

"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.'"
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USA Today
October 29th, 2015

"Fans who enjoy watching Knightley tackle torment will find much to savor in Roundabout Theatre Company's new staging, featuring a fresh adaptation of the novel…Cabnet's production succeeds largely because it doesn't try to inject any subtlety into the psycho-sexual histrionics emphasized in Edmundsen's adaptation. To the contrary, the spooky, ambient sound design and original compositions provided by Josh Schmidt suggest an erotic horror film."
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Newsday
October 29th, 2015

"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."
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Towleroad
October 30th, 2015

"Fans of salacious French fiction and late 19th-century art will find themselves plunging deep into the Roundabout Theatre Company’s spellbinding and visually stunning production…Featuring Keira Knightley in a commanding Broadway debut, director Evan Cabnet’s production feels like so many paintings come to life, and playwright Helen Edmundson’s adaptation of Zola’s novel brings a page-turning urgency to the twisted 1867 tale."
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The Huffington Post
November 9th, 2015

"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."
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NorthJersey.com
October 30th, 2015

"That should be chilling, but the impact is reduced by unemphatic staging. The same problem diminishes the clout of a scene of potentially unbearable tension... There's lots of passion hurled around during the evening as Thérèse and Laurent tumble toward their inevitable fates, but they remain curiously distant, with neither Knightley nor Ryan cracking open their roles.."
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The Huffington Post
November 12th, 2015

"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."
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WNBC
October 29th, 2015

"Knightley is awkward in the parts of Edmundson’s well-paced adaptation where awkwardness is required. I never got a sense of her Thérèse as deeply miserable...Ryan, as Laurent, is more effective...This material’s been around a long time, so there may not be suspense about what happens next. Nonetheless, 'Thérèse Raquin' generates a strong sense of dread, and on that level it’s both a somber and engaging piece of stagecraft."
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TheaterScene.com
December 31st, 2015

"'Therese Raquin' demands your total attention from the getgo...The acting mostly measures up...The play does run a tad too long and would greatly benefit from trimming (or cutting) a few scenes...That said, this 'Therese Raquin' has much going for it. From its spine-tingling suspense, to its quirky psychological twists, to its breath-taking ending, this show (even with its flaws) is haunting."
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NJ.com
October 29th, 2015

"A terrifically nerve-wracking, beautifully mounted new drama…This story of illicit love, murder and madness -- directed with intensity and great invention by Evan Cabnet -- turns out to be one of the best plays on Broadway this year…Knightley's performance, too, is extraordinary...Rare is the production where all the elements -- acting, writing, design and direction -- work together to create and advance a singular vision. This is one of them."
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The Huffington Post
October 29th, 2015

"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."
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Act Three - The Reviews
November 19th, 2015

"Making quite a substantial Broadway debut is the delightful Keira Knightley. The ensemble generously supporting the titular character includes the stalwart Judith Light (Madame Raquin) and adorably obnoxious Gabriel Ebert (Camille Raquin) as the adopted family of Therese…Sets by Beowulf Boritt were magnificent…To find out how all this resolves, head over to Studio 54 and catch these fine actors practicing their craft. Just don't expect time to pass quickly."
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The Associated Press
October 29th, 2015

"The horror doesn't really stay sustained, the love curdles oddly and the humor breaks the momentum of both. Some of the worst sound effects heard on Broadway don't help. Knightley gives it her all and she's wonderful as she goes from odd duck to lip-quivering lust…But love is not enough, alas...This production never feels vital enough to care about anyone, no matter how much panting Knightley does."
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Village Voice
November 3rd, 2015

"The problem is, despite his theories, Zola's story isn't realistic. It's full-blown melodrama, complete with murder, betrayal, eavesdropping, knives, and poison. Cabnet's production proceeds fitfully, uncertain whether to aim for believability or embrace the outsize passions. It doesn't quite achieve either — though there is a mildly exciting rowboat scene. Like the drowning Camille, the production flails, looking for rescue in all the wrong places."
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Reflections in the Light
November 9th, 2015

"A film star making her Broadway debut isn’t always the lead when writing about a show, but in the case of Keira Knightley and Roundabout Theatre’s production of 'Thérèse Raquin,' that probably is the most interesting thing about the production...Now that the show has opened, Knightley still might be the most interesting to write about...It’s a dark, brooding piece which somehow doesn’t satisfy."
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Z
October 30th, 2015

"Despite the overheated dialogue, I found myself thoroughly engaged and even, when those things went bump, gasping in fear…The sets by Beowulf Boritt are astonishing…As the title character, Knightley is almost silent for the first thirty minutes of the play. Her voice, at first nearly a hush, never fully reaches the demands of a Broadway house. But that remarkably expressive face makes up for it—even from the back of the orchestra, her eyes shone with passion."
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The Telegraph (UK)
October 30th, 2015

"Knightley’s commitment to this latest part is never in doubt…She communicates the sullen intensity of a woman not easily given over to cheer...A body count that begins to rival that of Hamlet but without much in the way of nuanced introspection…The eventual guilt surrounding the couple’s malfeasance is accompanied by enough sound effects to posit the director Evan Cabnet’s production as Broadway’s unexpected answer to 'The Woman in Black.'"
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American Theater Web
October 30th, 2015

"The painterly precision of Evan Cabnet’s staging of 'Therese Raquin' astonishes...British star Keira Knightley turns in a performance of remarkable exactness in the title role...Unfortunately, these assets do not always serve the play to the best results. For while the piece tells the theoretically chilling story of a woman who ultimately becomes complicit in murder, it never becomes much more than a relatively clinical and intellectual experience."
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T
November 16th, 2015

"Director Evan Cabnet cannily twists the screws ever more tightly and tautly...Aside from Knightley's controlled, incisive acting, Judith Light is at first funny then later most affecting as Camille's smothering mother...Matt Ryan, a charismatic Laurent, has such palpable chemistry with Knightley that the adulterers' sexual encounters are charged with the lustful energy that makes 'Thérèse Raquin' such smoldering theater."
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BritishTheatre.com
October 29th, 2015

"Zola wrote a terrific, psychological thriller and Edmundson’s adaptation here is faithful to his intent, tender and terrifying in equal measure. Cabnet’s top notch cast do great work, enlivening the many interlocking threads, and making a powerful, theatrical treat full bodied. It could do with more emphasis on the carnality which unlocks doom for Thérèse and Laurent (Camille too) but given the wonderful acting, sets, costumes and lighting, no one should feel too short changed.”
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Peconic Public Broadcasting
November 2nd, 2015

"After seeing 'Therese Raquin,' you will do yourself a favor and head over to Comedy Central for some lightening up. This show is really dark, isn’t all that bad since the stars of the play make the evening along with some marvelous Victorian sets, and a river really quite enjoyable. Once you get into this one, and even if you know the story, you can’t wait for the second act."
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Edge New York
October 30th, 2015

"This is heavy, heady stuff and it was only marred for me by a jarring tittering from the audience and all from two centuries ago when people endured their stations in life and waited with baited breath for interstitial moments of fulfillment and might well do anything to enhance their staid lives."
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O
November 6th, 2015

"On the plus side for Mr. Cabnet he creates some beautiful one dimensional cut-paper silhouette images for the production. Unfortunately some of the actors are giving one dimensional performances in this new lugubrious adaptation by Helen Edmundson…The production is visually attractive yet dark. However, the lighting design by Keith Parham saves the day. Some of the best I’ve ever seen – beautifully illuminating a show that sorely needs it."
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Center on the Aisle
November 9th, 2015

"Although Roundabout has put together a first rate cast for this production, from the four leads to the supporting characters, the flesh and blood actors are often upstaged by the brilliant stagecraft that surrounds them...Director Evan Cabnet generally maintains an engagingly edgy mood and keeps things moving, until the last 15 minutes or so, when Thérèse and Laurent’s tortured suffering becomes too protracted."
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The Three Tomatoes
November 13th, 2015

"So dark, that everything is brown, all the time. The walls are brown. The costumes are brown. The sets are brown. The tablecloth is tan, but a hue of brown. We get it. The story is dark...'Therese Raquin' can get a bit cartoon-ish from time to time. Maybe the adaptation was not quite sharp enough, or the direction was off. In any case, this is another play that runs 2 hours and 30 minutes. Maybe it’s just too damn long."
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