PLAYBILL.COM'S THEATRE WEEK IN REVIEW, June 1-7: Mark Rylance to Bring Gender-Bending Shakespeare to NYC, Far From Heaven Opens

By Robert Simonson
07 Jun 2013

Kelli O'Hara
Photo by Joan Marcus
The general feel among critics was that improvements were needed if the show was to have a further life. The New York Times called the show "prosaic," adding, "there’s the nagging sense throughout that Ms. O’Hara, like the character she plays, is not being allowed to express her vast potential. Too often she seems confined to two dimensions; so do the imperfectly cast actors portraying the men in her life, Mr. Johnson as Raymond and Steven Pasquale as Cathy’s husband, Frank, a closeted homosexual. So, for that matter, does the show as a whole."

"For all the swoony melodies and elegant lyrics by Scott Frankel and Michael Korie, the production doesn’t transform the material into gripping musical theater," said Time Out New York. "Part of the problem lies in Richard Greenberg’s serviceable but uninspired book. Casting is also to blame. O’Hara is perfect for the role of Cathy — too perfect. Her coolly bland exterior never cracks or warms convincingly. Pasquale is similarly frosty and removed, making an underwritten character even more unsympathetic."

AP liked it best, calling it "pretty close to heavenly. Tightly staged by Michael Greif at Playwrights Horizons, it's smart, sophisticated and a perfect vehicle for Kelli O'Hara's soaring voice and endearing stage presence… the transporting, potent show has an elegant diversity of music by Scott Frankel. Thoughtful lyrics by Michael Korie sensitively express the characters' turbulent inner emotions, and the score is beautifully performed by the entire cast. "