Horton Foote's The Young Man From Atlanta is unsual in that the show is making its Broadway debut two years after its original Off Broadway staging, two years after winning the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and following two years of rewrites by its author.
Critics weighed in with their opinions March 27. Here's your chance to add your voice to theirs. Describe the show's characters, its themes and its conflicts. How well does this production explore them? How is the acting, the design, the staging?
Write your review of the new version of the show ONLY if you've seen one of the Broadway performances. Keep in mind that the show is currently in previews and you are among the first audiences to see the revised production.
Write your comments -- long or short -- and e mail them to Managing Editor Robert Viagas at firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments will be posted as they come in. Please make sure to include your town and state, and please note whether you'd like us to include your full e-mail address so you can receive responses. This is optional, of course. Playbill On-Line thanks those who took the time to write. Here are the results so far.
From Marty in Englewood Cliffs, NJ:
Saw March 15 Saturday matinee preview. I was disappointed by the play because I expected more from a Pulitzer Prize winner (although I was similarly disappointed last night 4/16 at preview of "Gin Game" another Pulitzer winner). You have to ask yourself why is this play being written/produced now. It has so much of a William Inge-Come Back Little Sheba quality - very 1950's -Eisenhower, and all that. Why is this relevant now? We are used to much more probing, controversial works - Atlanta is bland and some people will find it a bore.
On the other hand - if you like Shirley Knight and Rip Torn, the play will be a pleasure. I like them, and they gave intense and credible performances - consistent with the style of the writing. The supporting cast was earnest, and despite the plays shortcomings, I confess to have found it interesting. It may be that it is a true theatre lover's piece. I even admired the way they engineered the one scene change at the beginning of the play, although it seemed to be needlessly technical and probably cost a lot.
All in all, this play should not be missed by fans of great acting and old-fashioned plays.
By the way, it seems to be de rigeur nowadays for actresses to cry on cue and produce real tears. I think Shirley Knight had at least two tearful episodes - which compares favorably to Patti LuPone's crying in Master Class. Even Karen Ziemba manages a few tears in Steel Pier. However, Julie Harris tried real hard but couldn't produce them last night in "Gin Game." In fact, until she sat down to play cards with Durning, Julie was sniffling and blowing her noise into a Kleenex. When the time for her real need for Kleenex arrived in Act II - she was probably all dried up. That's the only thing that could account for her failure to get a standing ovation last night in what should, without doubt, be another TONY nominated performance. (4/17/97)
Michael Perlman, New York:
I was in the audience for the April 13th performance of Young Man From Atlanta. While I enjoyed it very much, I still didn't think that it was great. There were many unsolved symbols as well as unseen emotions. One thing I liked very much was hozw true the emotions were to life: denial, anger and other emotions one feels after losing a loved one. All the performances were wonderful as well as the production itself. (4/15/97)