I had the privilege of attending a "marathon" performance of Tom Stoppard's Coast of Utopia trilogy in New York this weekend. Being crammed into a small seat for 9 hours isn't pleasant for a tall drink of water like me, but it was worth it.
The plays chronicle the personal and political lives of a group of 19th century Russian intellectuals and their families. An all-star cast includes Ethan Hawke, Billy Crudup (very funny), Josh Hamilton, Martha Plimpton, Jennifer Ehle, and Brian O'Byrne (in the central role of Alexander Herzen).
Some critics (Robert Brustein in The New Republic) claim the plays are too much about ideas and not enough about character, but I can honestly say I was never bored since the production is acted, directed, and designed by top-drawer artists. I'll no doubt be sharing more about the plays in posts to come, but for now just share in my excitement.