Matt Wolf of theartsdesk.com says: The Franklin we see at the start - a beginning, given this show's structure, that is also its ending - is an in-demand Hollywood player with both the industry and all womankind at his feet. Gone missing along the way are his thrusting musical theatre aspirations, his family (he scarcely sees his son), and the bonds of friendship that were forged on the Sputnik-era New York rooftop where the narrative eventually lands, the shimmering buoyancy of the show's closing number, "Our Time", amplified by our awareness of the betrayals, heartache, and more that would afflict these innocents inhabiting that too-brief Elysium before life's abrasions come to call.
Michael Coveney of whatsonstage.com writes: This is a lovely directing debut by Maria Friedman, a full-value, beautifully cast, moving and assured production of Stephen Sondheim's and George Furth's poignant 1981 musical (based on a 1934 play by George S Kaufman and Moss Hart) about friendship, collaboration and trading your idealism for the easy material life.
Sam Marlowe of Timeout says: Happily, Maria Friedman - as a performer a much-admired Sondheim interpreter - proves the possessor of a dexterous pair of hands. Her directorial debut is at its best richly detailed, the eroded ideals, desperation and disillusionment of middle age depicted with both brutal honesty and compassion, in gut-wrenching contrast to the heady optimism of youth.
Based on the play by Kaufman and Hart, Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s musical charts the turbulent relationship between three friends, Franklin, Charley and Mary, over three decades. Starting in 1980 and travelling backwards in time, this powerful and moving story features some of Sondheim’s most beautiful songs including ‘Good Thing Going’, ‘Not a Day Goes By’ and ‘Old Friends’.
Originally directed on Broadway by Harold Prince. Originally produced on Broadway by Lord Grade, Martin Starger, Robert Fryer and Harold Prince in association with Ruthie Mitchell and Howard Haines
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Photo Credit: Tristram Kenton