Whilst in NYC this weekend to watch my Broncos beat the Jets, I caught The Real Thing on Broadway (in previews at the moment) starring Ewan McGregor, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Cynthia Nixon. It's the Broadway debut for McGregor and Gyllenhaal, while Nixon returns to the show in which she made her Broadway debut in 1983 (with Jeremy Irons and Christine Baranski) and made history for simultaneously performing in two broadway shows at the same time (the other being Hurlyburly).
The Real Thing is probably my favorite Tom Stoppard play. Studio Theatre did a great rendition of it in DC last year. A much better rendition than what's currently on Broadway. McGregor shines as Henry, but that's about it to praise in this production. Gyllenhaal's character is supposed to be charasmatic enough for McGregor to leave his wife for all of 5 minutes into the play and yet she comes off just as dull (though a touch more self-righteous) than Nixon. Josh Hamilton is good as Max. But let's be real -- no one is buying tickets to see this to see Josh Hamilton as Max.
The staging also leaves a lot to be desired. Music plays an important role in the play (hello, did I mention it's a Tom Stoppard play?). The director, for whatever reason, isn't content to let music play it's normal role. No, he has to smack you in the face with it but having each act start with a group of the actors (of which only McGregor can actually sing) singing a song together before the action starts. The actors also sing along to whatever song is playing during scene changes for no apparent reason. Someone please make them stop this before the show launches for real. It makes a mockery out of a great play.