Ends Aug 06

Arcadia (PTP)

Members say: Great writing, Clever, Intelligent, Great acting, Funny
80
Critics
80
14 reviews
Members
81
48 reviews
 

Potomac Theatre Project presents Tom Stoppard’s acclaimed play, a comic drama whose many elements include Byron versus science, the Enlightenment versus the Romantics, and pure reason versus sheer randomness.

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'Arcadia' juggles Newtonian science and chaos theory, the classical and the romantic temperaments, and garden history—along with loss, the fallibility of memory, and the future of humanity. The magnetic force connecting all these elements is sex, "the attraction that Newton left out." Running in repertory with 'Pity in History.'

 
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Cast & Creatives (18)


Reviews (62)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
80
Avg Score

85
Theatermania

"Not for the casual theatergoer, but is worth the effort if you're in the market for some intellectual heavy lifting delivered by a company of actors who forsake highbrow pomposity for sincere understanding of their work...This production is undeniably the main event of the repertory season...primarily because of its epic scope of storytelling that director Faraone wrangles into a digestible and diverting piece. It's an excellent introduction to one of Stoppard's most famous works." Full Review

85
Theatre Reviews Limited

"As intriguing as these subplots are, it is not these machinations across the centuries that ultimately empower 'Arcadia.' That is what makes Cheryl Faraone’s staging of “Arcadia” so successful. She has managed to tap deeply into the playfulness of Stoppard’s script...What makes this shift in focus possible is Professor Faraone’s PTP/NYC cast which she directs with a high dose of care with just the right splash of whimsy." Full Review

82
Front Mezz Junkies

"Ultimately this stunningly beautiful and funny play...is a joy to behold...Directed with clarity and deftness by Cheryl Faraone...Funnier and more touching than I remember. PTP/NYC has given it a wit and humor that I had forgotten existed. It’s a wildly fun night of complex theatre, aching to educated, but in the end, 'Arcadia' just entertains." Full Review

90
TheaterScene.net

"The Potomac Theatre Project's production of Tom Stoppard's 1993 'Arcadia' puts his genius on display in a good-natured, easy-going production of this time-shifting, mystery. Directed by Cheryl Faraone, the play finds its own rhythms that unroll slowly, revealing its pleasures when early conundrums are resolved in a charming and warm ending." Full Review

80
Theatre is Easy

"Potomac does a fantastic job preserving the essence of the play and keeping the simplicity of the staging, lest overdesign distract from the power of the text...Potomac’s production also highlights the complexity of the female characters. The powerful presence of women makes 'Arcadia' a compassionate, timely warning against misogyny...Certainly 'Arcadia' never sets out to be easy entertainment—it demands curiosity and attention to detail. But the result is a life-altering one." Full Review

85
BlogCritics.org

"Bursting with crackling dialogue and near-sublime wit...A through-and-through excellent cast artfully directed by Cheryl Faraone makes the longish play fly by with scarcely a slow moment, consistently engaging our visceral spirits and our intellectual muscles alike...Anyone who appreciates the happy confluence of a great, timeless text and a company of players with a feel for history as robust as its skills will gain from seeing this masterful production." Full Review

40
CurtainUp

"'Arcadia' fits awkwardly in the confines of the Atlantic Theater's tiny facility. Scenic designer Mark Evancho has created an obstacle course of furnishings and oddly arranged exits that Faraone's blocking and the actors' stage presence never overcome...The production never effervesces as it should; and the wit of numerous passages is sacrificed to the languorous pace of direction and the almost lugubrious overall tone." Full Review

75
Off Off Online

"Stoppard’s 'Arcadia' exemplifies the British playwright’s gift for combining intellectual inspection of the corners of science, philosophy and history with high comedy. The wit is dry, but the plays are juicy, and 'Arcadia' is one of his best...Although there are moments when the actors’ projection falters or they face upstage and words are lost, there is nonetheless much fine work...'Arcadia' is seldom done. Faraone’s production, even with flaws, provides an opportunity well worth seizing." Full Review

80
Show Showdown

"Well done, largely thanks to Faraone's smart, clear, well-paced, and compassionate direction...The show is extremely funny, with twists and turns on top of twists and turns, and more themes than one play should be able to handle...The cast ranges from good enough to quite good...The PTP 'Arcadia' was the first where I found the modern scenes almost as wonderful as the ones in the 1800s...Not without its flaws, but it is a must-see for any Stoppard fan." Full Review

80
Stage Buddy

"The play proves as timeless as ever...While Stoppard shines as a technician in plotting what may be his most intricate work, his near erudite-to-a-fault script is far from bulletproof in the hands of lesser performers. Thankfully, once they warm up a bit, the company have golden ears for Stoppardian wordplay and rhythms...Draper and Jarvis are electric together as the feuding scholars...If you've seen it before, you might be surprised what you find yourself learning in another sitting." Full Review

80
Talkin' Broadway

“An engaging new staging…What PTP/NYC's revival may lack in polish, it makes up for in spirited performances and the intimate space…Directed with stylish panache by Cheryl Faraone…It's the quest for knowledge that matters most and Stoppard proceeds to expand upon this axiom in the philosophical debating between his characters…‘Arcadia’ is a treasure trove of debate and not to be missed.” Full Review

95
The Reviews Hub

"You must see this show...It is an intellectual thrill ride with humor and grace...Few plays are held in as high esteem as 'Arcadia,' and few companies have the talent and experience to do it justice...Potomac Theatre Project provides an evening of theatre that transports us and captures our imagination. The acting and directing are superb, and the play ain’t bad either." Full Review

80
New York Arts

"If words are not your thing, this production is not for you. However, if you love language, humor and magnificent intelligence, don’t miss it...The play touches on imagination, garden design, the Romantic vs. the Classic temperament and good old sex...Calling this play witty or intellectual or both robs it of its charm and brilliance—it‘s way beyond. The Potomac Theater Project produces works that spark thinking and give audiences the opportunity to celebrate theatrical craft." Full Review

80
The Huffington Post

“'Arcadia' is a dense, thrilling and wonderfully look at the big questions…Cheryl Faraone has her hands full with this play that bounces between time periods and accomplishes it with grace…Mr. Smith, while fully looking the part, disappoints slightly in his delivery of the rapid-fire text…Lady Croom (Megan Byrne) deftly manages comedy and imperiousness in equal strengths.” Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
81
Avg Score

94
Ambitious, Great acting, Intelligent, Masterful, Great writing

See it if You are a fan of Stoppard or you have never seen one of his plays and are curious about the unusual style and brilliant dialogue.

Don't see it if You are bored by long complex dramas that force you to pay close attention or you will lose the thread of the complicated narrative.

90
Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Intelligent, Romantic

See it if Beautifully woven, touching, philosophical mystery. Linked characters from two eras pursue their passions of discovery and each other.

Don't see it if You aren't interested in slowly developing characters, witty romantic comedy, and intellectual philosophy mixed into an eclectic stew.

91
Brilliant writing, strong acting company - excellent production

See it if You want to discover the joy of watching Alex Draper on stage You are ready to be challenged intellectually You are ok with frustration

Don't see it if If you want something light or silly or short Can't handle themes of unfulfillment

Also Tom Stoppard is regarded as a brilliant author and a few scenes into A... Read more Read less

85
Funny, Clever, Enchanting, Intelligent, Great writing

See it if you're interested in a first-rate, lucid intro to a Stoppard masterpiece, enhanced by generally great acting and terrific set and costumes.

Don't see it if you don't want the challenge of big alluring ideas and intricate dialog even if the payoff is great fun throughout and a satisfying ending.

Also Jonathan Tindle and Jackson Prince were standouts as the characters Ch... Read more Read less

83
Absorbing, Clever, Great writing, Confusing, Slow

See it if Stoppard's masterpiece of intellectual dizziness & romantic folly Well staged by Faraone w/able ensemble led by excellent Draper & Smith

Don't see it if Even for avid Stoppard fans can be a bit confusing with cultural/historical references coming non-stop (read notes!) Pace slows in 2nd Act

60
Clever, Thought-provoking, Romantic, Great writing, Disappointing

See it if You're invigorated by intelligently scripted plays that seek to question and dazzle. You're a Stoppard or wordplay fan.

Don't see it if You don't like really talky, kind of pretentious plays that hop around in time. You're expecting Broadway calibre acting or perfect accents.

Also One of my favorite plays, Arcadia seems funnier and less daunting each... Read more Read less

80
Funny, Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Great costumes

See it if You are interested in a great performance in a very nice small space. The performers were truly entertaining.

Don't see it if You don't want to see a play that goes back and forth between two time periods. You don't like great theater in a very nice small space.

85
Delightful, Intelligent, Raunchy, Great writing, Hilarious

See it if you love math or poetry. You love plotting where every line counts. This is my favorite play.

Don't see it if you don't like very wordy plays, you won't enjoy connecting who in the present is wrong about what in the past.

100
Funny, Absorbing, Great acting, Must see, Great writing

See it if A near perfect production of a perfect play. A few excellent performances.

Don't see it if The poster is misleading. It's not a magical love story. If that's what you're expecting you will hate it.

90
Engaging, Fine acting, For lovers of theater, Terrific writing, Tight, clever production

See it if As a character says, science is all about the immense & the tiny and we live our lives in the in-between. Lots of words & concepts challenge

Don't see it if the audience in this well-acted philosophical romance. It's funny as well. Best inexpensive ticket around.

79
Very good stoppard. well done.

See it if You appreciate Stoppard.

Don't see it if You don't appreciate Stoppard.

86
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Great writing

See it if an exceptional production. Lots of science, the understanding of which isn't totally necessary to get the 2 interwoven story lines.

Don't see it if You don't want to think. It takes paying attention but its worth it. It's also long.

Also It might help to read about the plot and scientific principles before ... Read more Read less

86
Clever, Delightful

See it if you will enjoy a play about people with ideas that has wit, conflict, and suspense.

Don't see it if you find wordplay and cleverness that recall both Restoration comedy and Oscar Wilde tedious and empty.

Also The performances were generally pretty good. I'd like to have seen a m... Read more Read less

70
Funny, Clever, Refreshing, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if you're a Stoppard fan who's ready for a lot of words

Don't see it if you're looking for a super polished production.

65
Profound, Great writing, Inconsistent, Slow, Esoteric

See it if you have read but never seen a Stoppard play before and are interested in seeing one performed.

Don't see it if you are, or are bringing, a first-time theater-goer. You have no special interest in Stoppard. You have a short attention span.

Also Solidly so-so. If you've seen good productions of Tom Stoppard plays a... Read more Read less

95
Absorbing, Great acting, Resonant, Challenging

See it if You want to experience one of Tom Stoppard's best and most challenging shows in an intimate setting with a super cast.

Don't see it if You're not ready to listen carefully to the dizzying play of ideas in this show.

Also I'd seen god Broadway and West End productions of ARCADIA before and a... Read more Read less

79
Clever, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy intellectual drama with good acting. I liked the costumes, too.

Don't see it if If you don't like period dramas--although this play takes places in two eras. Also I found it difficult to sit so long on the hard seats.

Also The seating was staggered and stadium style so there are no bad seats.

90
During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if Witty intellectual banter about art and science doesn't scare you--done with great skill and humor, mind you; it's totally worth the effort.

Don't see it if You only want brainless entertainment with NO thinking or close listening required.

72
During previews
Wordy, Academic, Long. really long., Nice acting/costumes/set, A slog, to be honest

See it if Want to explore Big Themes & are prepared to work hard to understand it all. I didn't (couldn't?). You're a Stoppard fan and love erudition,

Don't see it if Can't handle a long, dense, play w varying Brit accents, (some hard to understand) or don't enjoy wordplay. Want your playgoing to be easy.

Also This is no getting around it - Stoppard plays require an intellectual ... Read more Read less

80
During previews
Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Entertaining

See it if very well done; thought provoking, funny and romantic; great language and smart

Don't see it if you want something light where you don't have to think much. somewhat long: Two 75+minute halves.

76
During previews
Great acting, L-o-n-g, Diffuse, Erudite

See it if you like 3 hours of intellectual meandering on everything from gravity to mathematics to poetry to garden landscaping & lukewarm sex

Don't see it if you want simple entertainment and not an exercise in academic pontificating

Also Beautifully acted, very l-o-n-g and ultimately has no real conclusion ... Read more Read less

88
During previews
Nifty small-scale stoppard brain teaser

See it if Fun to figure out the links between the two time periods. I was not ready for the Bway production a few years ago. I get it better with this

Don't see it if you don't want an intellectual exercise. Fine actors on a small set. Nice costumes. This Vermont-based troupe delivers great theater

79
During previews
Funny, Great acting, Intelligent, Great writing, Confusing

See it if you like well acted intelligent challenging English theater that is actually very funny. The time tripping was handled very well.

Don't see it if you don't like long plays with intellectual banter for dialogue. The show is fun and funny but you have to work to follow along.

84
During previews
Clever, Intelligent, Relevant, Great writing, Great staging

See it if you're a Stoppard fan;I am. You like plays w/ characters struggling with "the big ideas" and plays that try to connect past & present.

Don't see it if you don't like plays w/ scenes played in 2 different time eras; you dislike "wordy" plays or plays about the "big questions"& academia.

60
During previews
Ambitious, Quirky, Indulgent, Overrated, Slow

See it if You want to spend 2.5hrs being lectured on mathematics and science by very talented actors. Interesting staging and use of projection.

Don't see it if You don't want to spend your time being lectured on mathematics and science. It is a VERY wordy play.