When plays are in previews, it’s expected that there will be a kink or two to work out. But ten kinks? That might be too many. And last night at a preview for Kenneth Lonergan’s The Starry Messenger, that’s how many times Matthew Broderick had to refer to a prompter comfortably sitting in the front row. That’s better than Merwin Goldsmith, though, who used a script onstage. To be fair, he only joined the play last week.
Last Thursday, Lonergan, who wrote and is directing the long-awaited play about a teacher who begins an affair with a younger woman, said he was “alternating between great hope and total despair about the show.” Given the performance Monday, and the reaction from some of those who were there, it sounds like he may want to lean a little toward the latter.