The Broadway transfer of recent West End success La Bete proves a hit with New York critics, with particular attention heaped on Mark Rylance’s tour de force performance.
Matthew Warchus’ production of comedy La Bete opened on Broadway at the Music Box Theater last week, Thursday 14 October, following its spring run at the Comedy Theatre in London.
After the failure of Enron – the last big London transfer of a play to New York, all eyes were on this new production of David Hirson’s comedy, particularly as its premier on Broadway in 1991 was a huge flop.
Whilst the critics still had reservations about the play itself, the cast of this new production, particularly Mark Rylance, have enjoyed rave reviews.
Ben Brantley in the New York Times gave the production an enthusiastic review, saying that, “Mr. Rylance delivers a comic performance of such polished crudeness that it easily ranks with his Tony-winning tour-de-farce in “Boeing-Boeing” of two years ago… while he is more than ably partnered by David Hyde Pierce and Joanna Lumley in this revival, mounted with eye-popping élan by Mr. Warchus and the designer Mark Thompson, Mr. Rylance is by far the best reason to revisit La Bête”.
Elisabeth Vincentelli in the New York Post gave it four stars, praising the “dream cast led by David Hyde Pierce, Joanna Lumley and Mark Rylance. The last more than steals the show: He pulls off a one-man “Ocean’s 11” heist. After his Tony-winning turn in “Boeing-Boeing” (also under Warchus), Rylance may well bag another statuette for his performance here.” David Hirson’s “ambitious if uneven play” is a revival that is about “as good as can be” she said.
All eyes are now on another hit Matthew Warchus play in London, Deathtrap at the Noel Coward Theatre, to see if producer David Pugh decides to take Simon Russell Beale and Jonathan Groff to Broadway.