Love Letters continues its run at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre with Alan Alda taking over for Brian Dennehy in the role of Andrew Makepeace Lad III and Candice Bergen following up Carol Burnett as Melissa Gardner. Under the direction of Gregory Mosher the two will continue these roles until December 18th. A star filled lineup follows including Stacy Keach & Diana Rigg as well as Martin Sheen & Anjelica Huston.
The play, written by A.R. Gurney, features just two characters sitting next two one another at a desk, telling the story of their lives through letters, cards and invitations exchanged over 50 years. The staging leaves a heavy burden on the director and the two actors involved. In this production, they carry that burden masterfully.
Bergen understands and expertly portrays the energy, struggle, brilliance and depression that fill her complex character. This makes her able to convey what would normally be sorrowful thoughts in a way that induces laughter.
Alda fits the straight-laced Ladd perfectly. More impressively, he adeptly displays the empathetic, artistic man behind the WASP. This is absolutely vital to the success of the play as the connection between these two characters would wither and become unrealistic without.
The real beauty of the play lies in the silences; credit to director Gregory Mosher. In a work that is composed entirely of a pseudo-dialogue between two characters, the quiet points are abrupt, anticipation driving, emotionally intense, expressions that words could never achieve. The last speechless moment both exemplifies the importance of these silences and contrasts all those that precede it for everyone knows exactly what that final silence means.
It is an often told story only because it is so often true. That two people who seem to fit together perfectly, who connect as friends though both with a romantic ideal in mind, end up losing a battle with timing; never being in the right place for the other at the right time.
This is certainly a show worth seeing, find the full schedule below:
Nederlander’s Brooks Atkinson Theatre
256 West 47th Street
Alan Alda & Candice Bergen
November 9 – December 18
Stacy Keach & Diana Rigg
December 19 – January 9
Anjelica Huston & Martin Sheen
January 10 – February 15