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The Heiress

At the Walter Kerr Theatre located at 210 West 48th street.  It runs two hour thirty minutes  with one intermission.  The play ends on February 10, 2013.

The Heiress is adapted from the 1880 Henry James novel “Washington Square”.

The play premiered on Broadway at the Biltmore Theatre on September 29, 1947 and closed on September 18, 1948 after 410 performances.  It has had three revivals, February 8, 1950 to February 19, 1950 at the City Center, sixteen performances,  April 20, 1976 to May 19, 1970 at the Broadhurst Theatre, twenty three performances and March 9, 1995 to December 31, 1995 at the Cort Theatre, playing 340 performances and 33 previews.  This production was nominated for seven Tony Awards and won four.  The play won a Tony for Best Revival of a Play, Best Director (Gerald Gutierrez), Best Actress (Cherry Jones) and Best Feature Actress (Frances Sternhagen).

In 1949 the play was adapted into a movie starring Olivia De Havilland (Catherine) and Montgomery Cliff (Morris) and Ralph Richardson (Dr. Sloper).  Olivia won the Academy Award for her role.  The film was nominated for Best Picture.

Judith Ivy has won two Tony Awards as Best Feature Actress in a play for “Steaming” in 1983 and “Hurlyburly” in 1985.

David Strathairn was nominated for an Academy Award, Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild Award for his performance in 2005 for “Good Night and Good Luck”. 

Jessica Chastain received a Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and Academy Award nomination in 2011 for ”The Help”.

The play is directed by Moises Kaufman.  He won a Tony Award in 2004 for “I Am My Own Wife”.

The scenes take place in the front parlor of Dr. Sloper’s home in Washington Square. The year is 1850. Catherine Sloper (Jessica Chastain) lives with her father (David Statharin) in a brownstone.  Her mother passed away when she was born.  Her Aunt Lavinia Penniman (Judith Ivy) is staying with them.

Catherine's  cousin, Marian Almond (Molly Camp)  comes to visit bringing her intended Arther Townsend (Kieran Campion) and his cousin Morris Townsend (Dan Stevens).

Catherine is twenty years old and very naive. Her father blames her for her mother death.  Dr. Sloper shows no affection toward her and puts her down at times.

The story revolves around Morris proposal of marriage two weeks after meeting Catherine.  She accepts, thrilled that someone loves her.  Catherine will inherit $10,000 from her mother and $20,000 from her father when he dies.  Dr. Sloper sees him for what he is a money hungry no good man.

This is a wonderful story that shows no ware from time.  It is an enjoyable show.

The set is great.  It was done by Derek McLane.  Among the recent shows he has worked on are “Follies”, “Anything Goes”, “How to Succeed”, “Bengal Tiger”, “Million Dollar Quartet” “Ragtime” and “33 Variations”.  He won a Tony Award in 2009 for “33 Variations”. He was also nominated for a Tony Award for “Pajama Game” (2006),” Ragtime” (2010) and “Anything Goes” (2011).

Albert Wolsky did a wonderful job on the costumes.  He has been nominated for seven Academy Awards and  has won  for “All That Jazz” (1980) and “Bugsy” (1992).  Albert was nominated for “Sophie’s Choice” (1983), “The Journey of Natty Gann” (1986), “toys” (1993) “Across the Universe” (2008) and “Revolutionary” (2009).

Judith Ivy is delightful. She carries the aunt with such grace.  You can’t help but like her.

David Strathairn grows with the character as the play goes on. It’s a thrill to see him on stage.

Jessica Chastain does her best in the last scene.  There were times early in the show that I wasn't convinced about her characters behavior.

If you like period pieces this is the play for you.

The only problem is they have to do something about the sound.  I was in the orchestra and there were times it seemed like the actors were whispering.

Review by Rozanna Radakovich.

Photos by Annazor.

For a candid interview with the cast scroll to the left for recent photos.  Click on recent photos for this and other shows.

 

       

  

 

 

 

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