Friday, May 05, 2006

Faith Healer

We saw Faith Healer, starting Ralpha Fiennes, Cherry Jones, and Ian McDiarmid, last week in previews. The playwright, Brian Friel, is one of my favorites and I had read Faith Healer in college, but didn't really remember the play. I thought the performance was on the best we had seen: All the actors, perhaps Jones most notably, were excellent. The play itself is wonderfully written and constructed. It's a showcase for actors, requiring them to hold the audience's attention for a 30-minute monologue.

We don't see many plays, so I was curious to see what the reviews would say today after its official opening last night. Did we overestimate it because we don't get to see many Broadway shows? I guess we didn't.
Clive Barnes, New York Post: Play or not, "Faith Healer" is, to use one of its key words, a "fantastic" theatrical experience, outdistancing the current Broadway pack by a country mile, with three performances to be treasured in memory, and reinforcing Friel's position as one of the three or four finest living English-speaking playwrights.
Ben Brantley, New York Times: Playing the title role in Brian Friel's great play "Faith Healer," which opened last night in a mesmerizing revival at the Booth Theater, Ralph Fiennes paints a portrait of the artist as dreamer and destroyer that feels both as old as folklore and so fresh that it might be painted in wet blood.

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