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The Seagull

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Peter Sarsgaard, The Seagull (New York -- 2008), ...
Joan Marcus

Artists are a special breed. The great ones, like the actress Arkadina (Kristin Scott Thomas) in Chekhov?s classic play, The Seagull, have a tendency to suck all the oxygen from the room with their very presence. The lesser talents, like Arkadina’s troubled writer son Konstantin (Mackenzie Crook, familiar to fans of the BBC’s The Office), must struggle in the shadow of the great ones. And struggle he does. Director Ian Rickson, working with a new translation by Christopher Hampton, brings out much of the humor in the work, particularly in Zoe Kazan’s old-before-her-time Masha, who pines in vain for Konstantin. Surprisingly, the production’s weakest element is Peter Sarsgaard, who never quite jells as the famed author Trigorin, torn between longtime paramour Arkadina and wide-eyed aspiring actress Nina (a lovely Carey Mulligan). But while Sarsgaard tends to keep the action earthbound and occasionally even dull, Thomas rivets your attention even in silence, letting this Seagull truly take flight. B (Tickets: Telecharge.com or 212-239-6200)