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The Lucky One

Members say: Great acting, Entertaining, Dated, Intelligent, Slow
74
Critics
67
28 reviews
Members
76
139 reviews
 

The Mint Theater presents a rare revival of A. A. Milne's 1919 play exploring the antagonistic relationship between two brothers.

... Read more

In the Farringdon family, Gerald has always basked in the sun while his brother Bob has always stood in his shadow. When Bob finds himself in serious legal trouble, he turns to Gerald for rescue. After Gerald fails to come through, years of simmering resentment boil over in a confrontation that is as stirring as it is surprising. This obscure play was written by A. A. Milne, best known as the creator of Winnie-the-Pooh.

 

Cast & Creatives (17)


Reviews (167)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
67
Avg Score

70
The New York Times

"The play doesn’t have quite the punch of the Mint’s best rediscoveries, but it has enough to convey why Milne was a successful playwright before he became better known for those enduring children’s stories about Winnie-the-Pooh...The pay doesn’t translate particularly well to our era...Yet Mr. Grant and Mr. Brand, under the direction of Jesse Marchese, build their respective characters slowly but steadily, and each lands an effective moment after the intermission." Full Review

65
BroadwayWorld

"A playgoer wouldn't be blamed for anticipating a night of vintage bon mots and comedy of manners gracefulness. And while Marchese's swell, well-acted production is filled with pretty people...the play is more of a somber one...The story moves slowly until the brothers have a climatic confrontation...May not be a forgotten gem, but there's certainly a fascination to seeing social issues of the wealthier class addressed by a literary figure whose name has become synonymous with whimsy." Full Review

60
Lighting & Sound America

"Milne's script creaks as often as it crackles...The expository conversation is so determinedly cheery and self-consciously witty that you might find your teeth aching, just a little...Marchese gets three incisive performances from his leads...The rest of the cast is more than capable at delivering their one-note characters...For fans of theatre history, it is a highly collectible experience...The playwright's sharp intelligence is on display, if inconsistently applied." Full Review

65
Broadway Blog

“The three-act play, clumsy, old-fashioned, and dotted with unanswered plot questions, nevertheless contains enough lively dialogue and dramatic confrontations to make its two hours pass by entertainingly enough…Otherwise, Milne's play can't be described as an unfairly overlooked treasure…Surrounding the fraternal squabbles are a familiar lot of drawing-room stereotypes. Best is veteran Cynthia Harris as the wise, aged great-aunt, Miss Farringdon.” Full Review

40
Times Square Chronicles

"The play seems unfinished...Part of the problem is the casting. Neither Brand nor Grant physically fit their roles and it isn’t until the second act that we actually like Gerald. By the end we hate the whiny immature loser known as Bob...It seems like Marchese just did not have a handle on this production, except for the comedic scenes between the young ingenues. The first act also seemed vastly different than the second with the later picking up speed, but it also seemed to be missing scenes." Full Review

40
CurtainUp

"A play with a classic and easy to identify with central conflict but also a major flaw: too many underdeveloped and basically superfluous characters...The script's characterization problems unfortunately undermine the very fine final confrontation...Neither the direction nor set for 'The Lucky One' do much to downplay its weaknesses...The actors all do their best with the parts they've been given...If only 'The Lucky One' were as powerful throughout as during that final scene." Full Review

61
Front Mezz Junkies

"It feels like an ever so proper British play, served up by a group of fine actors in search of a better Coward play...The actors try to engage, but never really connect...They must combat some pretty bland direction and stereotypical acting choices...We are forced to slog through the plot points in the first two acts in order to finally get to the clash where the emotionality of these two brothers can finally alter, shift, and develop beyond the one note given so far. It’s worth the wait." Full Review

65
TheaterScene.net

“While the Mint's productions of Milne's ‘Mr. Pim Passes By’ and ‘The Truth About Blayds’ revealed that they were witty and clever, ‘The Lucky One,’ on the other hand, pales by comparison. Jesse Marchese's languid direction doesn't help matters. While the cast is not at fault due to the thinness of the material leaving too much unsaid, neither the production nor the play seem to be up to the Mint Theater Company's usually impeccable standards.” Full Review

80
Front Row Center

"The use of light comedy to weave a serious narrative is a particularly British manner of storytelling, and it’s not easy to pull off. Director Jesse Marchese has skillfully managed to honor the style without any 'tickety-boo' self-consciousness that would belittle the material...The cast is very competent and clearly versed in theater, hitting the mark in gesture and tone...Milne has written with a sensitivity all the more affecting for its touch of autobiography." Full Review

75
Woman Around Town

"Skill in depicting societal expectations, relationships, and moral quandaries later embodied by forest creatures is here showcased with insight...Spot-on golf repartee, wonderful pieces of dialogue...Most secondary characters, though credible, act as wallpaper...Still the piece holds one’s attention, not the least because of actor Robert David Grant’s vivid performance...Director Jesse Marchese uses her stage with aesthetic and dramatic skill." Full Review

75
Wolf Entertainment Guide

"A stylish, well-acted revival...Brand’s performance as Bob is very one-note until the explosion of anger toward Gerald, but even when he wins Pamela his demeanor is solemn...A scene-stealer is Cynthia Harris as the great-aunt, who has many good lines denoting her wisdom and humor, and Harris makes the most of them, dominating the stage whenever she makes an appearance...As is customary with Mint Theater productions, all is done here in impeccable style." Full Review

55
Broadway & Me

“Milne slyly subverts the title, the tropes of the drawing-room comedy and the themes of the Cain versus Abel matchup...But, alas, the play seems to have overwhelmed its director Jesse Marchese, who is alternately too heavy-handed in some places and too light in others…The cop out would be to say that 'The Lucky One' is just an old-fashioned play that has seen its day...I suspect we'd all be feeling differently if we had been lucky enough to get a more percipient production.” Full Review

75
Theater Pizzazz

"The turn taken in Act 2 is surprising and is the meat and potatoes of this production which, in Act I, may tend to lull you into wondering what’s going on here other than a lot of snooty chatter about golf, social status and poor old Bob!...Jesse Marchese directs this lovely cast of characters." Full Review

80
Theatre is Easy

"A rich drama...Grant shades with pathos a role that could have come across as just glib...Brand is very affecting as the brooding, resentful brother...But the MVP is Cynthia Harris...Aunt Harriett has the best lines and Harris, clearly enjoying herself, uses lacerating wit to great effect...Jesse Marchese has paced the three acts well...Milne’s play is not without flaws...But the Mint Theater shores up their reputation with another solid production." Full Review

90
Carole Di Tosti

“This is a clever turn by the director Jesse Marchese and his apt casting and shepherding of the actors to reveal the layers beneath Milne’s characterizations...Milne’s characters are drawn with insightful subtly…The play resonates deeply in its characterizations and propels us to look into our own souls...Kudos to the Mint Theater Company for taking on this richly complicated work and executing a presentation of which Milne couldn’t help but be proud.” Full Review

85
BlogCritics.org

“This light-footed comedy of character is also a penetrating psychological drama…Jesse Marchese directs with respectful finesse, drawing lively performances that balance realism and theatricality just as the script seems to demand. This production serves well as both an introduction to Milne the playwright and a welcome window on a fascinating period in theater history. An interesting dual character study, it’s thoroughly well-mounted and just plain fun to boot.” Full Review

85
DC Metro Theater Arts

"Should be seen by all who cherish the pre-golden age basket of plays that still resonate over the issues of their day...I found myself surprisingly held by this seemingly light comedy with a solid foundation of irony underneath it. With the proper pace and impeccable acting to deliver its age old charms, 'The Lucky One' reminds us that craft was once not a derogatory term: that even a light offering, when played with style, could send one out into the night with much to think about." Full Review

75
Manhattan Digest

"A subtle, yet poignant production...While Milne’s drama does not emanate taut, dramatic tension, it does offer a wonderfully human look at the complexities of sibling rivalry. For the most part, director Jesse Marchese’s cast pulls off convincing British accents...Works like this remind us why the Mint is such a vital part of New York’s landscape. They neither rely on spectacle nor gimmicks, but instead, focus on quality stories, beautiful language, and actual person-to-person communication." Full Review

74
Reviews Off Broadway

"The Mint Theater Company brings an excellent production to life with 'The Lucky One.' Written by A. A. Milne before 'Winnie-the-Pooh,' it is the story of two brothers and the effect of jealousy. It is a beautifully staged play with outstanding acting. And it is a very nice show, but it isn't a revelation. 'The Lucky One' tells the tale of sibling rivalry well, but one that seems ordinary. It moves from point A to B to C, but nothing really surprises here." Full Review

70
This Week in New York Blog

"A slight but pleasurable tale of upper-class Edwardian desire and doom, featuring a compelling central plot but lacking any bigger scope...The cast is excellent...Jesse Marchese provides solid direction...But there’s not a whole lot of meat to the play, not enough for audiences to chew on. Milne rarely ventures past the well-groomed surface of the landed gentry and their actions. It all makes for a pleasant theatrical experience, but you’ll leave the Beckett wanting a little more." Full Review

60
Let's Talk Off-Broadway

“The dialogue is crisp and often amusing, but there are many loose character ends. Ultimately we don’t understand who the characters really are or why they act as they do…If the audience hasn’t a clue about the characters and their inconsistencies, they drift off from engagement with the play. With all its disappointments, ‘The Lucky One’ has a magnificent episode near the end…An appealing production in terms of set, costumes, and for the most part acting.” Full Review

75
Epoch Times

"'The Lucky One' does not disappoint...Sets by Vicki R. Davis and costumes by Martha Hally lend a particularly effective note. An elegant pair of opposing staircases gives performers the occasional opportunity to play scenes at varied physical levels...Under Jesse Marchese’s direction, the company is uniformly fine, with excellent ensemble playing, generally to be expected in Mint productions." Full Review

30
Stage Buddy

"Feels somehow oddly devoid of involving dramatic content...The playwright seems set on justifying the shabby treatment of the black sheep by the favorite son. But Grant’s preening, ever-grimacing portrayal makes it hard to appreciate Gerald’s point of view. And Brand makes the dour, grudge-holding Bob equally unlikable...Things aren’t helped by a needless comic subplot...The Mint’s choices have customarily been fortunate, but with 'The Lucky One' the company is decidedly not so lucky." Full Review

65
Show Showdown

"Milne has some insightful and surprising things to say...Unfortunately, he doesn't get around to saying them until the third act. Until then, the play slogs along, relying too much on embarrassing 'comic relief' and predictable drama...That third act springs to life. The show becomes thoughtful, thought-provoking, and compelling...It almost seemed that director Jesse Marchese asked the actors to eliminate all subtext and subtlety until late in the play." Full Review

70
ZEALnyc

"Once we realize the true extent of the family conflict, slowly revealed through the characters’ sharp and witty dialogue, we wish to understand more about the motivations of the brothers, but, ultimately, too many questions remain unanswered. Still, the play is marvelous as a study and comedy of manners in early twentieth century upper crust British society. The cast is solid, but only Ari Brand as Bob and Robert David Grant as Gerald have meaty roles." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
76
Avg Score

88
Great acting, Resonant, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if Mint is on a perpetual roll, Sets are always super even after the tough move. Cast is in tune. Surprised that Milne is the writer.

Don't see it if Act 1 may be a bit slow but Act 2 is the time for the climax, Do not miss it If you need singing and dancing this is not your cup of Earl G

50
Disappointing, Slow, Dull, Amateurish, Poorly cast

See it if you like dull old English plays of little import and relevance today.

Don't see it if you don't want to be bored.

72
Clever, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if You're interested in seeing a classic play by someone known as a children's author. You like English dramas from the early 1900s.

Don't see it if You can't understand English accents. You don't like older language. You want something modern.

Also Every Mint Production is excellent and this is no exception. Good acti... Read more Read less

82
Funny, Great acting, Slow, Entertaining

See it if you want to see a light, simple show about a relationship between two brothers.

Don't see it if you want complex issues and insights in the plays that you see.

75
Great acting, Thought-provoking, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy sibling rivalry stories, especially when both perspectives are presented - reminiscent of The Price.

Don't see it if you do not like disfunctional family stories or dislike period pieces.

84
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Charming, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy charming revivals of shows from the first half of the last century.

Don't see it if No reason not to see it.

90
Absorbing, Delightful, Great acting, Intelligent, Masterful

See it if solid old-style play with perceptive insight into the society of the time with still relevant themes. the family conflict is suspenseful

Don't see it if have no patience with expository filler. don't want to listen to beautiful writing and exquisite characters

75
Overrated, Slow, Well done but rather boring terribly english tale of 2 brothers, both rather unpleasant.

See it if You just love Masterpiece Theater upper class English types being their irritating, boring selves.

Don't see it if Those stiff upper lip types set your teeth on edge.

75
Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Dated, Entertaining, Good acting

See it if you enjoy plays about relationships, want to see a revival of A.A. Milne’s work, enjoy British humor

Don't see it if if you are looking for action, music, or fast-paced script

Also The final discussion between the brothers in the last act brought it a... Read more Read less

70
Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Slow, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you enjoy well staged, gorgeously costumed and elegantly performed theater.

Don't see it if British upperclass stiffness puts you to sleep.

54
Great acting, Indulgent, Cliched, Dated

See it if You want to see a little-performed show that deals with sibling rivalry and family dynamics, you like British upper class living room drama

Don't see it if You want to see something new or a new take on something old- nothing original or relevant to life today unless you are rich, white english

47
Disappointing, Cliched, Insipid, Dated

See it if You are really in the mood for an old fashioned play with a very British accent. Don't expect anything " original " and you will be fine.

Don't see it if You go to the theater to be challenged. It is a very " conventional " production and this revival doesn't make much sense today.

75
Intelligent, Light comedy

See it if You enjoy light British drawing room plays and are curious about Milne's work. Solid acting. Interesting characters. Not best of the genre.

Don't see it if If you need something really good. This tries, but it lacks something. Pleasant, fine performers, but no excitement.

85
Clever, Great acting, Riveting, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if You like rarely seen revivals that respect their time period & are relevant to today. You like well-written plays & great acting.

Don't see it if You prefer contemporary plays. You have no familiarity w/early 20th century English play structure.

98
Great acting, Riveting, Great writing, Great staging, Platinum quality!

See it if U appreciate classic A. A. Milne play done with intelligent direction & superb acting. U like British drama & good dialogues.

Don't see it if U dislike dated period settings or revival of classics. U cannot understand educated British accents easily. U want a musical.

Also This is a riveting play that deserves a standing ovation. The Mint The... Read more Read less

70
Entertaining

See it if you like well-acted period family dramas with some humor.

Don't see it if you dislike family dramas

Also I know the NYT compared this to The Price, but I liked this considerab... Read more Read less

76
Absorbing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy bleak dramas

Don't see it if you require more explanation, or if you're expecting to laugh.

84
Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant

See it if You enjoy period family dramas, centered around two brothers. You enjoy investigations of envy and perception

Don't see it if You dislike Noel Coward or clunky transitions.

75
Delightful, Great acting, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if very enjoyable production of a rarely staged play. excellent period dress and language.

Don't see it if you don't want to see a dated period piece

88
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Great writing

See it if You are a nostalgic theatre goer who appreciates well written plays that allow actors to get truly absorbed in the characters.

Don't see it if You prefer your theatre done in modern day American and you don't care for British dry wit and words.

Also Aside from one awkwardly long set change, this was a thoroughly enjoya... Read more Read less

68
Unlovable key performances, Lacks layered characters, Unhelpful set, Too quaint to pooh-pooh too much

See it if like me you admire the Mint Theater's mission of unearthing unknown older plays and are interested in experiencing Milne's unPooh side.

Don't see it if you want present tense connections btw actors even if the play was written long ago. Milne & the Mint don't make a case for the characters.

78
Great acting, Intelligent, Dated, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy an old fashioned play with good characters and acting

Don't see it if you are looking for a modern play

60
Banal, Disappointing, Insipid, Dated, So very, very british

See it if you're interested in dated British drawing room soaps. This is Upstairs without the jolly Downstairs.

Don't see it if old fashioned plays where the characters love to talk and talk and talk are not your thing.

70
Delightful, Dated, Entertaining

See it if You like period plays about the upper classes in the 1920s-30s. Good conversations between characters.

Don't see it if You don't care about the upper classes and their difficulties.

90
Clever, Intelligent, Riveting, Great writing, Slow

See it if You want to see a masterful play about two brothers, one of whom is everyone's favorite, that completely doesn't go where you'd expect it to

Don't see it if You don't have the patience for slow-moving plays that are just people talking in period English. Or if family dysfunction doesnt interest u