Ewan McGregor leads all-star cast in Broadway revival of 'The Real Thing'

Fri Oct 31, 2014 12:39pm EDT
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Thirty years after its initial Broadway run, Scottish actor Ewan McGregor is heading an all-star cast in the latest revival of Tom Stoppard's Tony winning play, "The Real Thing," about love, truth, marriage and infidelity.

The Roundabout Theatre Company production, which opened on Thursday, marks the Broadway debut of McGregor, known for his film roles in "The Impossible" and "Moulin Rouge" and his co-star Maggie Gyllenhaal ("White House Down").

The pair play lovers in roles originated on Broadway by Jeremy Irons and Glenn Close in the 1984 production directed by Mike Nichols. Another prize-winning revival was staged on Broadway in 2000

Although USA Today said "Stoppard's 'Real Thing' has real magnetism," the New York Times found the latest revival tinny and lacking in authenticity.

"Evidence of real feelings, real chemistry and real life in general is dishearteningly scarce in this interpretation," it added.

McGregor is Henry, a witty, British playwright, who is married to an actress named Charlotte, played by Cynthia Nixon, but is having an affair with Annie (Gyllenhaal), also an actress.

The revival is a return to the play for Nixon, known for her role in the TV series "Sex in the City," who played Henry and Charlotte's teenage daughter Debbie in the 1984 production.

"The Real Thing" opens with a play within the play, which mirrors reality, as Annie's real-life actor husband Max, played by Josh Hamilton, confronts Charlotte about a suspected infidelity in a play called "House of Cards" that was written by Henry.   Continued...

Actor Ewan McGregor and his wife Eve Mavrakis arrive at the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California March 2, 2014.  REUTERS/Lucas Jackson