This Seagull, imported from London, has its share of stars, with Kristin Scott Thomas reprising her acclaimed Arkadina and Peter Sarsgaard as Trigorin. But with both those performances hitting one note—Thomas’s, expertly, the manic diva; Sarsgaard’s, less so, a sort of beige beardiness—the real joys are in the supporting cast. The increasingly indispensable Zoe Kazan slips grace notes of sadness into a broadly funny performance as Masha, while Mackenzie Crook makes Konstantin’s gloominess comic but never the butt of the joke. That’s a tough trick, considering I’m used to laughing bitterly at Crook as the excruciating Gareth on the British Office. (This entire production is cleverly Officey, in fact: inept jokes, awkward silences, and Arkadina, a desperate performer, as David Brent.) Ian Rickson’s direction is attentive throughout, and occasionally inspired, as in the tableau that ends the show, which continues the action just past the play’s last line, ending The Seagull with an ellipsis—a Chekhovian straggle of dots, arrayed across the stage.
By Anton Chekhov.
At the Walter Kerr Theater.