Both drama critics of the New York Times, Ben Brantley and Charles Isherwood, say that Scarlett Johansson deserves a Tony award for her Broadway debut in the revival of Arthur Miller’s “View From the Bridge.” Isherwood, in an interview with the actress at the Chateau Marmont, admits he didn't see it coming:
The steady stream of Hollywood stars returning to (or making first forays into) the theater has been a phenomenon bemoaned both by critics who have watched as star casting has become the only reliable draw at the Broadway box office and by working theater actors who see fewer chances at landing significant roles.
Just when the hand wringing was reaching a maximum last fall — with Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman having broken box-office records for the negligible play “A Steady Rain” and Jude Law packing them in to see his histrionic “Hamlet” — Ms. Johansson’s forceful, intelligent and moving performance opposite Liev Schreiber in Miller’s common-man tragedy became a modest game changer, or at least a shutter-upper of the determined naysayers. (All right, I’ll admit I was probably one of the louder carpers.)
Onstage she was vibrant and natural, but the performance went beyond a charismatic portrait of innocence to reveal far more delicate nuances as the affection her character held for the uncle who had raised her became poisoned by suspicion and guilt and fear.
Isherwood also reviews the Center Theater Group's production of "Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo,” now at the Mark Taper Forum.
Photo: Sara Krulwich/The New York Times