The John Golden Theater, Broadway
Opening Night: November 20, 2011
Sets and Costumes by David Zinn
Music and Sound by John Gromada
Photos by Joan Marcus
“Maybe you can’t judge a book by its cover, but apparently you can come up with a spot-on appraisal just by eyeballing a couple of sentences. That, anyway, is the impression left by “Seminar,” the shiny, facile new comedy by Theresa Rebeck, which stars Alan Rickman as the posturing celebrity teacher of a writing workshop.
Time and again in this play, which opened on Sunday night at the Golden Theater, people pick up manuscripts that they’ve never seen before and, before you can say Evelyn Wood, arrive at definitive pronouncements on the contents therein. At first I thought these rushes to judgment were satiric, comments on a culture of short attention spans and instant opinions.
And it is kind of funny when the magisterial Leonard, Mr. Rickman’s character, dismisses a short story that was six years in the making after reading only to the first semicolon. It is also a pleasure to hear Mr. Rickman pronounce “semicolon” with a pinching nasality that turns a punctuation mark into a symptom of terminal constipation.”
Ben Brantley, New York Times