The stage adaptation of John Irving's Cider House Rules, Part One got strongly positive reviews in its March debut at Seattle Repertory Theatre.
Adapted by Peter Parnell and directed by Tom Hulce and Jane Jones, the play is the first part of an epic about a Maine orphan who comes to controversial grips with the fact that his adopted father was an abortionist.
Here is a sampling of the enthusiastic reviews:
"A solid achievement." The play "sets up an unflinching yet sensitive debate on abortion. Larch's feverent commitment to helping desperate women safely terminate their pregnancies is fully explored and tacitly endorsed. But Homer's growing hatred of the procedure commands equal attention and respect." -- Misha Berson, Seattle Times
"The Seattle Repertory Theatre has a smash hit with its adaptation . . . Part one of a planned two-part epic is everything a serious theater fan could want: a challenging story, fascinating characters, intelligent direction, skilled performances, a handsome production and an intellectual challenge." -- Michael Halladway, Seattle Gay News "What a mammoth undertaking. Yet the adaptation. . .has made it seem easy and fun. the saga of the intertwining lives of an orphan and his mentor sprawls just as freely and luxuriantly as the novel, yet its energy, intensity and delicious wit never slacken." -- Freddie Brinster, Journal American
Negative comments focused on the show's length (nearly four hours), and disappointment at having to wait for Part Two to learn the story's outcome.