Breakfast At Tiffany's

  • Our critic's rating:
    Date:
    March 1, 2013

    Darling, this play is so utterly empty that when the first act ended I couldn’t believe there was a second act! If Holly Goligthly saw this production, I bet that would have been her reaction.

    If you are looking for the movie version of Breakfast At Tiffany’s this ain’t it. And if you are looking for the novella, this ain’t it either. Whatever life force there was in this story has been beaten to death and the remnants are all we get.

    A mournful Fred (Cory Michael Smith) greets us with his mournful tale of going back in time. We know this one. He brings us to the bar where he was a regular as a young man. The bartender Joe (George Wendt) tells him a tale of a Holly Golightly (Emilia Clarke) sighting somewhere in Africa. And we are off into the sentimental and uneventful past with Holly and Fred.

    This Holly is (spoiler alert) a call girl who makes her money by leaping from one man to another and by being charming and vague. Fred, although adorable and the nearest thing she has to a friend, is not in her plans. Nothing much is in her plans, really. She drifts from one man to another until the fates conspire against her and she blows town.

    In between there are a few scenes – not involving Holly – that perk along quite nicely. The scene involving the discussion of the semi colon and the one with Holly’s man from the past are quite fine. But these are the exceptions rather than the rule.

    The main cause of this is of course the script by Mr. Greenberg which lacks color, direction, and most of all a plot. This is excruciating in the extreme. The direction is ineffectual. The actors, unfortunately, do nothing to help the situation. Ms. Clarke is unintelligible, Mr. Smith plays one mournful note, and the rest just seem lost. The men parade in and out of Holly’s life and her apartment. Joe the bartender is in a perpetual state of concern. The only sparks of life are Suzanne Bertish (Stern Lady Boss) and Murphy Guyer (Doc). Of course there is Cat (Vito Vincent) who has a few will played scenes and manages to get off the stage as easily and swiftly as her gets on. No doubt he is wondering why he is spending one of his nine lives in this show.

    This is the one way in which the audience comes out on the winning side. At least, unlike Cat, we only have to sit through this once. And that is more than enough.

    "This particular soufflé seems doomed never to rise."
    Charles Isherwood for New York Times

    "A fur-brained time-waster of a play."
    Joe Dziemianowicz for New York Daily News

    "It doesn’t necessarily translate to a good play."
    Elisabeth Vincentelli for New York Post

    "It’s dull onstage, with too much narration and not enough drama."
    Erik Haagensen for Back Stage

    "Disappointingly dull and charmless."
    Robert Feldberg for The Record

    "Sean Mathias' inconsistent direction further undercuts the inherent drama."
    Roma Torre for NY1

    "The meandering two-act play does not satisfy.
    Michael Sommers for Newsroom Jersey

    "Too much about this production is literary and literal."
    David Rooney for The Hollywood Reporter

    "Having restored Holly’s world, the creatives have neglected to put Holly in it."
    Marilyn Stasion for Variety

    External links to full reviews from popular press...

    New York Times - New York Daily News - New York Post - Back Stage - The Record - Newsroom Jersey - Hollywood Reporter - Variety