@ The Black Box Theatre, 430 N. Main St.

The Real Thing

by Tom Stoppard, directed
by Ceil Herman

  • Left to Right: Annie (Nora Brown) and Henry (Josh Taulbee)
  • Left to Right: Charlotte (Jamie Bronstein) and Henry (Josh Taulbee)
  • (L to R) Annie (Nora Brown) and Bille (Abe Espana)
  • Max (Eric Brekke)
  • Left to Right: Brody (Sean Murphy) Annie (Nora Brown) and Henry (Josh Taulbee)
  • (L to R)Henry (Josh Taulbee) and Debbie (Ellie Hernandez)
  • Bille (Abe Espana) and Annie (Nora Brown)
  • Charlotte (Jamie Bronstein) and Henry (Josh Taulbee)

Jun 17-Jul 10, 2016

FRI JUL 8 | 8:00 PM
SUN JUL 10 | 2:30 PM


A two-time Tony Award Winner, this intellectually and emotionally engaging comedy is about love, marriage and fidelity.

Winner! Tony Award for Best Play - 1984 and Winner! 2000 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play.

"So packed with wit, ideas and feelings ... Stoppard's most moving play and the most bracing play anyone has written about love and marriage in years." -The New York Times.

"Shimmering, dazzling theatre, a play of uncommon wit and intelligence which not only thoroughly delights but challenges and illuminates our lives." -WCBS TV.onstage.com

From his Tony-winning "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead" in 1967, Tom Stoppard has been known for his intellectually stimulating and witty plays. "The Real Thing," written in 1982 has had a distinguished production history. Felicity Kendal and Roger Reese originated the role of Annie and Henry, respectively. That production received the 1982 Evening Standard Award for Best Play. The Broadway production received the 1984 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding New Play and the Tony Award for Best play. In addition Glenn Close as Annie, Jeremy Irons as Henry and Christine Baranski as Charlotte received Tony awards.

In his review for The New York Times, Frank Rich wrote that "The Broadway version of The Real Thing - a substantial revision of the original London production - is not only Mr. Stoppard's most moving play, but also the most bracing play that anyone has written about love and marriage in years."
The play was revived in 2000 with Jennifer Ehle as Annie and Stephen Dillane as Henry. It played on Broadway and at the Donmar Warehouse in London. Ehle and Dillane both won Tony Awards for their roles and the production won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play as well as the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival of a Play.A Broadway revival opened in 2014, with Ewan McGregor and Maggie Gyllenhaal as Henry and Annie, Josh Hamilton as Max and Cynthia Nixon, who played the role of Debbie in the original Broadway production, as Charlotte.

"The Real Thing" examines what Tom Stoppard saw as an element he had neglected in his previous plays, the ability to show what keeps couples together or rips them apart, and it is highly self-reflective. The main character, Henry is a playwright and we quickly see all the insecurities and suspicions that make up his fragile ego. The main problem is that Henry has been writing about romance but can't seem to experience it. The premise is that he's looking for "the real thing" and thinks he has found it. Apparently it's not that easy and this makes for great repartee and wonderful sarcasm. There are also tucked-in references to other plays and the use of staged play within a play echoes the search for "The Real Thing."


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