The Homecoming

Harold Pinter is not for everyone.  He can be surreal;  his sense of humor can be missed;  his moral lessons of the dark vision of human life can be disturbing.

Most important is that the director and the actors get him for there to be any chance of a successful production.

Fortunately this production is spot on.  Daniel Sullivan’s production is like a single clear note on a well-tuned, precious antique violin.  A veteran director with 16 Broadway plays to his credit, he also directed the fabulous Mary Louis Parker play, “Proof.”

The sterling cast shares the credit.  Ian McShane’s Broadway debut coincides with the debut of this play on Broadway 40 years ago.  He plays Max and If you are an HBO fan, you will remember him as Al Swearengen, the saloon owner and behind scenes town controller of “Deadwood” who is not above murder as a business tool.  He was good there and he does not disappoint here.  Joined with Raul Esparza as Lenny, Michael McKean as Sam, James Frain and Gareth Saxe as Teddy and Joey respectively, the cast brings the humor and morality to life.

When Eve Best first made her appearance as Ruth I was “ho hum, here’s an actress who is not so glamorous in a role that is not going anywhere interesting.”  By the time she got through bringing Ruth to life I wanted to climb the stage and take a big bite out of her, so captivating was she. Eve Best can keep a roomful of men on a string like a spider keeps flies on the strands of her web, mesmerized, rapt, entranced into silence;  frozen.  I cannot imagine an actress underplaying sexiness so effectively and touching me in places of which I dare not elaborate on air.

Great production of a tough play to deliver effectively.