The Verdict: Critics Review Sarah Ruhl's The Oldest Boy, Starring Celia Keenan-Bolger

The Verdict   The Verdict: Critics Review Sarah Ruhl's The Oldest Boy, Starring Celia Keenan-Bolger
 
Tony Award nominee Celia Keenan-Bolger stars as a mother who discovers her son is a reincarnated high Buddhist teacher in the world premiere of Tony-nominated playwright Sarah Ruhl's The Oldest Boy, which officially opened Off-Broadway Nov. 3 after previews that began Oct. 9 at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater.
Celia Keenan-Bolger and James Yaegashi
Celia Keenan-Bolger and James Yaegashi

Rebecca Taichman, who also directed Ruhl's Stage Kiss at Playwrights Horizons, as well as Dead Man's Cell Phone and The Clean House, directs the premiere.

Keenan-Bolger (The Glass Menagerie, Peter and the Starcatcher, Spelling Bee) is joined by Ernest Abuba (Pacific Overtures), James Yaegashi (Take Me Out), Tsering Dorjee ("Himalaya"), Takemi Kitamura (Gekiryu), James Saito (Flower Drum Song), Jon Norman Schneider (The Architecture of Becoming) and Nami Yamamoto (Headless Wolf).

The critics have filed their reviews and Playbill.com has collected them for our readers.

AMNY

Entertainment Weekly The Hollywood Reporter

NBC New York

Newsday

New York Daily News

New York Magazine/Vulture

New York Post

The New York Times

Time Out New York

Variety

The Wrap

According to LCT, "The Oldest Boy tells the story of Tenzin, the toddler son of an American woman (Keenan-Bolger) and a Tibetan man (Yaegashi) who is recognized as the reincarnation of a high Buddhist teacher. Differing cultures contend with competing ideas of faith and love when two monks seek permission to take Tenzin to a monastery in India to begin his training as a spiritual master. His parents must decide whether to send their young son away or keep him home."

The production has sets by Mimi Lien, costumes by Anita Yavich, lighting by Japhy Weideman, sound by Darron L West, choreography by Barney O'Hanlon and puppetry design/direction by Matt Acheson.

LCT will host a discussion in conjunction with the production in the Newhouse Theater: "The Story of Reincarnation in Tibetan Buddhism," featuring Dr. Thupten Jinpa Langri (Nov. 4 at 6 PM, $20 admission).

Ruhl's plays also include In The Next Room, or the vibrator play; Passion Play, a cycle; Melancholy Play; Orlando; Dear Elizabeth; and Late: a cowboy song.

For tickets, visit LCT or Telecharge.com. The Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater is located at 150 West 65th Street.

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