I don't think I've ever seen a production of this play that did not bring tears to my eyes in the last act. It is simply a powerful work and hard even for amateur players to fail in. This production follows true to form. Paul Newman is wonderful as the Stage Manager. He plays the part with such ease and conviction that one forgets all about the blue-eyed heartthrob he once was and concentrates solely on an actor at the top of his form.
I also think Maggie Lacey is very fine as Emily. She plays the young woman as breathless, open-eyed, innocent, and just darn good. That is the way Emily is supposed to be played, of course, but Ms. Lacey does it exceptionally well. (How stupid it is to think that goodness is dull!) The actor who plays George (Ben Fox, I believe) is less appealing, and comes across at times as a near-hayseed. Fox is successful at playing George's self-doubts, but not his strength.
I have stayed away from the Hollywood version of the play, the one starring William Holden, because I have heard that the ending in the graveyard is changed, that it is treated as a dream. It's hard to believe that anyone would touch the text of Thornton Wilder's play, but a change of that magnitude would certainly take away much of the play's power.
All in all, this is a likable production.
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