Friday, February 2, 2007
The Coast of Utopia: Salvage
What happened? Voyage was a delightful romp of a Russian soap with philosophy and fun facts thrown into the mix. Shipwreck was brilliant, profound and totally moving. And now, we have Salvage, which is, on a whole, unsalvageable. Taking place mostly in London, where Alexander Herzen took up residence after the death of his wife, child and mother, the final installment of Tom Stoppard's Coast of Utopia trilogy seems as if it was culled from throwaway moments cut from the first two better plays. The lack of interest here extends to Brian F. O'Byrne as Herzen; he could, no pun intended, coast through Voyage and Shipwreck because they were so well-written. However, the flaws of this play really heighten the fact that he is so utterly miscast as Herzen that it's almost embarrassing. The only positive touches here are Josh Hamilton and Martha Plimpton as Nicholas and Natasha Ogarev; both of these talents have spent most of the trilogy on the sidelines and now finally get a chance to shine.