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REVIEW ROUNDUP: Alec Baldwin, Sam Underwood, et al. Open in Peter Shaffer's Equus at John Drew Theatre

By Long Island
Sam Underwood (right) and the company of Equus
(© Gary Marmay)
Sam Underwood (right) and the company of Equus
(© Gary Marmay)
Alec Baldwin and Sam Underwood have officially opened in Peter Shaffer's revised version of Equus running through July 3 at the John Drew Theater at Guild Hall. Tony Walton has directed the production.

The company also features Kathleen McNenny, Jennifer Van Dyck, Shashi Balooja, Nehassaiu deGannes, Steve Hamilton, Terrence Michael McCrossan, Tuck Milligan, Chuck Novatka, Taylor Proffitt, Jp Qualters, Georgia Warner, and Mark Larson.

Reviews have begun to appear and critics are praising not only the central performances, but also Walton's staging and the contributions of scenic designer Heather Wolensky and lighting designer Sebastian Paczynski.

Among the reviews are:

Newsday
Alec Baldwin shows dramatic chops in Equus
"As directed by Tony Walton, Baldwin establishes a dark, mythic undertone from the outset and makes Dr. Dysart's misgivings about treating young Alan Strang almost palpable. He and Kathleen McNenny, the magistrate who brings Dysart the case, breathe life into what are essentially expository scenes with their unspoken sexual tension as the psychiatrist reveals the dead core of his personal life."

-----

"Sam Underwood's forlorn mien that evokes a horse with sad eyes. His Alan appears all but unreachable. ...Deploying a new tack in the script, Dysart gives Alan a cassette player to facilitate his treatment. But the recorder also produces soliloquies that Underwood deftly uses to gain our sympathy...."

The Sag Harbor Express
Blinded by Faith: Equus
"It's wonderful that with this production, East End audiences have an opportunity to see Alec Baldwin perform live. His television and film work has garnered much attention, but watching him on stage reminds us that he is, at heart, a serious actor and one who's not afraid of challenging material."

-----

"Sam Underwood is brilliantly cast opposite Baldwin as young Alan Strang, the sullen and dark eyed youth at the center of the controversy. ...[He] treads the fine line of youth and maturity with deft skill."

Hamptons.com
Equus At Guild Hall: Baldwin And Underwood At Full Artistic Gallop
"Directed by the legendary Tony Walton, the staging, acting, lighting and set design is superb. This is truly one of the most extraordinary productions ever staged in the East End."

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"Watching Baldwin on stage made me think that this was an actor whose enormous personal artistic success may reside in the mediums of film and television, but whose true passion is for the feel of the boards beneath his feet. His performance was simply striking in a role that is particularly difficult...In a nutshell, Baldwin is brilliant!"

-----

"Underwood is undoubtedly a rising star with a profound gift for the stage and a definite future in film. If I were to make an analogy, I would describe him as a young, British Leonardo DiCaprio. It is easy to overplay psychological dysfunction on stage, to his credit Underwood did not. His performance was understated, yet rich in emotion."

Huffington Post
Equus in East Hampton
"Based upon a kernel of a true story, Equus is embellished psychologically, eroticized. This is a brave play that can feel dated, but the Guild Hall production gets it right."

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"See it for the suspense, the masterful unraveling of a crime, but more, for the emotional pitch, the pandemonium of steeds gone wild. When theater as spectacle is done this well, it is simply thrilling."

For further information, visit: www.guildhall.org.


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