My Name Is Lucy Barton on Broadway with Laura Linney

…”My Name is Lucy Barton” is a sometimes poignant, often tedious 90-minute monologue… The hope was that Laura Linney would do for it what France McDormand did in the HBO miniseries that adapted Elizabeth Strout’s earlier novel “Olive Kittredge.” But “Olive Kittredge” the novel has both a clearer plot and more fully fleshed out characters, and the screen adaptation respects the medium, dramatizing the story in four one-hour episodes.
By contrast, Rona Munro’s stage adaptation of “My Name is Lucy Barton,” is, if anything, too faithful to the novel. Instead of many characters coming to life, there is just the one actress playing two characters (Lucy Barton and her mother.) Yes, they tell many stories about other people, but these stories feel random, unconnected to one another except thematically. And such randomness, as well as the exquisite and elaborate sentences, are best absorbed by individual readers. Our complex and satisfying relationship to the printed page is erased, but it is not replaced by any strenuous effort to make this work explicitly theatrical.

Full review on DC Theatre Scene

Author: New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

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