Ring Round the Moon

Theatre Review by Fergus McGillicuddy

New York - April 28, 1999


Ring Round the Moon There is something particularly pleasing about this Lincoln Center Theater production of Ring Round the Moon, Christopher Fry's adaptation of Jean Anouilh's 1947 Invitation au Château opening tonight at the Belasco Theatre, being the last entry in the 1998-1999 Tony season. There is a gentle, comic irony present which would not have been lost on its author, Anouilh. His plays, popular in America in the 50s and early 60s, while true to his entertaining plots, were always about "greater issues," more often than not personal happiness as defined by the differing realities of the different classes and what, if anything, people owed each other. While this may no longer be a significant or even appropriate subtext for today's audiences, it does invoke a certain timely speculation on Broadway theatre in general; where we are now and where we are going.

This Ring Round the Moon is a good, solid production of an eminently ripe for revival play employing some of the best established talents on Broadway and a number of young, promising performers. Free of the strident, overwhelming hype which seems to have become a necessary element in most other shows this season, it has been cast, designed, rehearsed and is now opening in a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere; sure of itself and what it has to offer. And, what it has to offer is an entertaining evening at the theatre, complete with a beautiful and polished physical production, more than its fair share of engaging performances, and the chance to see a young actor - Toby Stephens, son of Maggie Smith - at the beginning of his climb to stardom.

That a non-profit or even commercial production like this Ring Round the Moon can open on Broadway is both reassuring and promising. It says that the traditional theatrical values are still in place and strong as they ever were. It says that Broadway is still rooted in a culture based on quality and talent. And it shows that there is a firm foundation on which to build the theatre of the future.

Ring Round The Moon by Jean Anouilh, as adapted by Christopher Fry. Directed by Gerald Gutierrez. Sets designed by John Lee Beatty. Costumes designed by John David Ridge. Lighting designed by Natasha Katz. Sound designed by Aural Fixation. Choreography by Kathleen Marshall. Incidental music by Francis Poulenc. With Candy Buckley, Richard Clarke, Frances Conroy, Gretchen Egolf, Phillip Hoffman, Simon Jones, Haviland Morris, John Newton, Marian Seldes, Derek Smith, Toby Stephens, Joyce Van Patten, and Fritz Weaver.

Running time: 2 hours and 30 minutes, including one 15 minute intermission.

Theatre: Belasco Theatre, 111 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036 (between Broadway & 6th Avenue)

Schedule: Tuesday through Saturday at 8 PM, Wednesday and Saturday at 2 PM, Sunday at 3 PM.

Audience: May be inappropriate for children 13 and under. Children under 4 are not permitted in the theatre.

Tickets: $25 - $55

Tickets in person: Box Office hours Monday through Saturday 10 AM to 8 PM, Sunday Noon to 6 PM.

Tickets by phone: Tele-charge at (212) 239-6200, or outside the New York metro area (800) 545-2559, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Tickets on-line: NetTiks at http://www.telecharge.com/

Tickets by e-mail: tickets@telecharge.com

Tickets by snail mail: Ring Round the Moon, PO Box 998, Times Square Station, New York, NY 10108-0998.

Student Rush Tickets: $20 student rush tickets are available at the Box Office, day of performance only. One ticket per valid I.D. Subject to availability.

Standing Room: $15 tickets sold the day of the performance, only at the Box Office, only if the performance is sold out.