Prabhaker Jeff Street
October 14, 2013 at 04:00 AM EDT

The Seagull

type
Stage
Current Status
In Season
run date
08/12/01-08/26/01
performer
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Kevin Kline, Natalie Portman, Meryl Streep, John Goodman, Marcia Gay Harden, Debra Monk, Larry Pine, Christopher Walken
director
Mike Nichols
author
Anton Chekhov
We gave it a B

Anton Chekhov?s tragi-comedy The Seagull certainly didn?t need another English-language version, and Thomas Kilroy?s adaptation (now playing through Nov. 3 at Off Broadway’s Lynn Redgrave Theater for the Culture Project) doesn?t lose or gain much by moving the melodrama from the Russian countryside to an Anglo-Irish estate in Ireland.

In a crowded ensemble of lovelorn drips, Trudie Styler shines as Isobel (Irina Nikolayevna Arkadina in the original Russian), an aging actress obsessed with her own fame — but what?s missing is a captivating Trigorin, the self-interested author who anchors the play (named Mr. Aston in this version). English actor Alan Cox lacks the maddening charm to make you believe Mr. Aston can allure and possibly destroy two women, and the entire play suffers for it.

Still, if you?re a fan of Chekhov?s rhythms and trademark lack of action, director Max Stafford-Clark doesn?t stray too far from the original spirit of this classic, but his production is unlikely to win new fans. B

(Tickets: cultureproject.org or 866-811-4111)

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