Review: Man and Boy

High finance and low morals collide in Terence Rattigan's drama.

0

Comments

Add +
  • Photograph: Joan Marcus

    Man and Boy

    Man and Boy at American Airlines Theatre

  • Photograph: Joan Marcus

    Man and Boy

    Man and Boy at American Airlines Theatre

  • Photograph: Joan Marcus

    Man and Boy

    Man and Boy at American Airlines Theatre

  • Photograph: Joan Marcus

    Man and Boy

    Man and Boy at American Airlines Theatre

Photograph: Joan Marcus

Man and Boy

Man and Boy at American Airlines Theatre

Time Out Ratings :

<strong>Rating: </strong>4/5

When asked about the scandal engulfing him, financier Gregor Antonescu curtly explains that his business is undergoing "a crisis of confidence and of liquidity." Antonescu may be lacking credit and capital, but Frank Langella, who plays the amoral money manager in this juicy revival of the Terence Rattigan play, fully supplies the character's needful qualities. For liquidity, I mean a looser sense; Langella glides frictionlessly through his scenes, coolly muscling his way to center stage. As for confidence, well, it's hard to imagine a more commanding and forceful actor in the city. Langella is such a master manipulator of space and time, it's hard to believe that his character is destined for a semitragic fall.

English director Maria Aitken (The 39 Steps) deserves full credit for taking a solid cast and keeping them all on the same page. Under her steady gaze Man and Boy clips along, a cynical tale of fathers, sons and human bonds sold for profit. Adam Driver continues to impress as Antonescu's weak-willed estranged son, a pianist who is played upon by his exploitative father. Virginia Kull is sweetly sensible as the son's girlfriend. Playing a corporate shark with a taste for chum in the form of handsome young men, Zach Grenier leers and sneers amusingly. And in the understated but key role of Antonescu's right-hand-man Sven, Michael Siberry almost steals focus through cold, riveting stillness.

That's quite a feat when you consider that Langella could quite easily devour the show. But again, Aitken makes sure that this late Rattigan (a flop on Broadway in 1963) works as more than a character- actor showboat. A lesson in the wages of greed, the play's very timely and very American—a nice way for us to celebrate this quintessential British playwright's centenary.

See more Theater reviews and follow David Cote on Twitter

American Airlines Theatre. By Terence Rattigan. Dir. Maria Aitken. With Frank Langella, Adam Driver. 2hrs 15mins. One intermission. See complete event information

Users say

0 comments