Sher ’81 Receives Praise for Revival of Odets’s ‘Golden Boy’

Latest production is shoo-in for Tony awards, critics say

January 9th, 2013 by 

Yvonne Strahovski and Seth Numrich in a scene from Lincoln Center Theater's production of "Golden Boy" by Clifford Odets, directed by Bart Sher '81 at the Belasco Theatre. Image by Paul Kolnik

The latest theater production directed by Bartlett Sher ’81 is once again making critics sit up and take notice.

After wowing theatergoers and reviewers with, among others, “The Light in the Piazza,” “Awake and Sing!,” and Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “South Pacific,” which earned him a Tony award for best director of a musical, Sher is drawing rapturous reviews for his production of Clifford Odets’s “Golden Boy.”

John Lahr, senior drama critic of the New Yorker, calls it “impeccable” and named it the best theater production of 2012. ” ‘Golden Boy’ deserves, and will win, a bag full of Tony Awards,” he writes.

The production, which tells the story of a young man who must choose between a career as a violinist or boxer, is playing at the Lincoln Center Theater at the Belasco through Jan. 20.

Check out some more reviews of the production, and what critics have to say about Sher.

“Mr. Sher directed a similarly galvanizing production of “Awake and Sing!” for Lincoln Center Theater several years ago. The skills he evinced in that rewarding revival are on view here, too: a knack for making Odets’s vernacular language feel like fresh mint instead of stale corn, and a gift for cutting to the emotional quick of a conventionally structured melodrama.” — Charles Isherwood, The New York Times

“Four out of four stars. Bartlett Sher directs a stellar cast in this dazzling production. … Director Barlett Sher, who has helmed superb productions of American classics ranging from “South Pacific” to “Joe Turner’s Come And Gone,” has once again compiled a first-rate cast and captured the excitement and emotional resonance that make such works timeless.” — Elysa Gardner, USA Today

“Five out of five stars. Sher’s crackling revival restores its place in the canon of great works we should see more often. … How does Sher do it? He hires the best around and listens to the language — and he couldn’t have picked a finer group of character actors and rising stars. — David Cote, Time Out New York

“Except for a 1964 musical version that starred Sammy Davis Jr., “Golden Boy” hasn’t been seen on Broadway since 1952. Now Lincoln Center Theater has brought it back to the Belasco Theater, where the play was first performed 75 years ago, and given it a production of the utmost splendor and compulsion. Watching it is like standing in front of a blowtorch.” — Terry Teachout, The Wall Street Journal

“Under less astute direction, the dialogue and action might have seemed dated and melodramatic, but Bartlett Sher’s nuanced direction leaves no corner of the stage in shadow. He gives the play the same inspired guts as his previous staging of Odets’s “Awake and Sing!” for Lincoln Center Theater a few years ago. ” — Rex Reed, The Observer

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