Critics enamored with Broadway revival of 'Love Letters'

Fri Sep 19, 2014 12:34pm EDT
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - In an age of instant messaging, digital communication and fleeting relationships, the revival of "Love Letters," a play about an enduring friendship recorded with pen and paper, is still capturing hearts on Broadway.

A.R. Gurney's play about two friends who shared their thoughts, emotions and lives by writing letters to each other for five decades debuted on Broadway in 1989, before the advent of cell phones and text messages.

But critics said a noteworthy revival that opened on Thursday night is as touching as it was more than two decades ago.

"After all these years, Gurney’s bittersweet love letter to an oddly matched couple who maintain an epistolary friendship for half a century can still tug at the old heartstrings," said Variety, the trade magazine.

The Hollywood Reporter concurred, calling it "a rare work whose emotional richness requires no embellishment in order to become a full-bodied theatrical experience."

Dual Tony winner Brian Dennehy ("Long Day's Journey Into Night" and "Death of a Salesman") and Mia Farrow, best known for films such as "Hannah and Her Sisters" and "The Great Gatsby" play the two well-heeled friends whose lives, although apart, remained intertwined.

They are the first in a rotating cast of actors to appear in the limited-engagement play. Carol Burnett, Alan Alda, Candice Bergen, Stacy Keach, Diana Rigg, Angelica Huston and Martin Sheen will take on the roles in later performances.

Dennehy, 76, is Andrew Makepeace Ladd III, a conservative, upright, studious boy whose Ivy League education leads him to a career in law and politics.   Continued...

U.S. actress Mia Farrow speaks during a news conference in Geneva in this November 14, 2013 file photo.   REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/Files