Why See The Coast of Utopia?
Beginning on October 17, Tom Stoppard’s trilogy, The Coast of Utopia, will be performed over the course of six months, featuring 44 actors playing 70 roles, covering three decades of Russian life and history.
The stellar cast includes Billy Crudup, Richard Easton, Jennifer Ehle, Josh Hamilton, David Harbour, Jason Butler Harner, Ethan Hawke, Amy Irving, Brían F. O’Byrne, and Martha Plimpton.
Reviewing the original London production at the National Theatre in 2002, Newsweek said “’The Coast of Utopia’ dazzles with words and ideas.” And the Sunday Times of London wrote “Nobody in the theatre today can match Stoppard for a combination of sinuous argument, intellectual elan and sheer coruscating wit. The dialogue has a leaping, athletic energy: excitement of the mind and the heart.”
In the mid-19th century as revolution swept across Europe, a group of Russian intellectuals, journalists, critics, philosophers, poets and their friends tried to topple the tsar for the cause of freedom. Stoppard’s epic follows these men and women over thirty years, as their intertwined lives, passions and dreams drive them in pursuit of perfection.
VOYAGE (Part 1)
The first part of the trilogy, Voyage, is Stoppard’s nod to Chekhov set at the grand Russian countryside estate of the Bakunin family. Four eligible sisters are under the sway of their charismatic brother, Michael, who interferes in their lives, while fervently seeking a greater purpose in his own. As his political and philosophical journey unfolds, Bakunin’s compatriots will include Vissarion Belinsky, George Herwegh, Karl Marx, Nicholas Ogarev, Nicholas Stankevich, Ivan Turgenev and, of particular note, the visionary leader Alexander Herzen.
SHIPWRECK (Part 2)
The second part of the trilogy, Shipwreck, centers on the visionary Russian leader Alexander Herzen and his fellow revolutionaries who find inspiration as well as frustration in exile in Paris and London. As the revolution of 1848 unfolds outside Herzen’s door and the tides of political and social upheaval swell, Herzen's circle, and his family, are profoundly affected.
SALVAGE (Part 3)
Part 3 of the trilogy, Salvage, brings maturity and resolution. As imperial Russia is set adrift with the freeing of the serfs, Alexander Herzen and the revolutionaries in his circle look back from the vantage point of their exile in England at their dreams of overturning the tsar, at the paths taken and not, and at the Russia of their memory.
Previews from : 17th October 2006
Opened : 27 November 2006
Closed : 12th May 2007
Audience: The Coast of Utopia may be inappropriate for children aged under 13 years. No children under 5 years of age will be permitted in the Vivian Beaumont Theater
Voyage - 3 hours with one 15 minute intermission
Shipwreck - 3 hours with one 15 minute intermission
Salvage - 2 hours 30 minutes with one 15 minute intermission
Opening night: 17 October 2006
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