Frost heats up Broadway ; New York critics give British play a rave reception
From: Evening Standard – London | Date: April 23, 2007
IT was one of last year’s top West End draws. Now Frost/Nixon is basking in a triumphant opening on Broadway.
Peter Morgan’s drama, depicting behind the scenes events at David Frost’s 1977 TV interviews with former US president Richard Nixon, played to packed houses at the Donmar Warehouse and the Gielgud Theatre.
(Bette Hosting Ahmet Tribute)
It went on to win a special prize at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards in November.
The New York production, by Donmar artistic director Michael Grandage looks set to repeat its London success.
Among a host of stars attending last night’s opening at Manhattan’s Bernard B Jacobs theatre was Sir David Frost himself, who is re-releasing the original interviews on DVD.
Sir David, watching the play for the fourth time, said: “I thought it went very well tonight. It’s brilliantly written, directed and acted.
“There’s a bit of fiction around 15 per cent and one or two things I could do without. To build up the drama they exaggerated that the early interviews had not gone well.
But overall this is a terrific night in the theatre.” “It’s an odd feeling seeing myself on stage. But I’m so interested in the material that I quite soon just take it as if it’s the Frost character I’m seeing rather than me.” Also in the audience last night, were singers Bette Midler and Tony Bennett, actors Kim Cattrall and Claire Danes, and TV presenter Barbara Walters. They joined a British contingent that included the Duchess of York and Stephen Frears.
Michael Sheen and Frank Langella reprised their roles as Frost and Nixon respectively. Sheen said: “Playing David Frost on Broadway has been quite liberating because people in London are really familiar with him and have preconceived ideas. ” Ben Brantley of the New York Times described Sheen’s performance as “excellent” and Langella’s as “titanic”. He described Frost/Nixon as a “British import staged with the momentum of a ticking-bomb thriller and the zing of a boulevard comedy”.
The LA Times talked of the production’s “crackling intensity”.
The film rights have been bought by Ron Howard. Speculation is rife that Warren Beatty will play Nixon although Sheen is expected to reprise the role of Frost on-screen.
Morgan was also last night celebrating winning a Bafta TV award for his Channel 4 drama Longford..