Scarlett Johansson opens on Broadway in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof"
This undated image shows Scarlett Johansson during a performance of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," playing at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York. / AP Photo/Boneau/Bryan-Brown/Joan Marcus
Three years after winning a Tony Award for her role in "A View from the Bridge," Scarlett Johansson is back on Broadway as Maggie the Cat in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof."
"Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" opens on Broadway
The revival of Tennessee Williams' play had its opening night on Thursday. Victor Garber, Sarah Paulson, Carrie Preston, Nick Jonas and Paul Dano were among the stars who attended the opening at the Richard Rodgers Theatre.
Reviews of the play, and Johansson's performance, have been mixed. Here's what some critics had to say:
"Ms. Johansson confirms her promise as a stage actress of imposing presence and adventurous intelligence," said Ben Brantley of The New York Times. "Quibble all you want about the particulars of her performance. She obviously has a strong sense of what she wants to do here and the convictions to follow it through. Her Maggie is, as she must be, an undeniable life force and -- as far as this production, directed by Rob Ashford, is concerned -- a lifeline."
"The creative team behind the Broadway revival of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" has apparently concluded that Tennessee Williams' script needed more fireworks. So they went ahead and added them," Mark Kennedy of the Associated Press said. "They also added cap guns, the sound of crickets, musical crescendos, ringing telephones, chiming clocks, thunder crashes and a mind-boggling nine songs, some sung while the action is happening. One more song and this show might be classified a musical."
"Johansson is alarmingly one-note while delivering lines that have been said by the likes of Barbara Bel Geddes (the original Maggie), Elizabeth Taylor (in the '58 film) and most recently on Broadway by Anika Noni Rose (just five years ago). Her voice is raspy and lacks vitality; it has the musicality of a foghorn. The power of the words gets lost in translation," said the New York Daily News' Joe Dziemianowicz.
"Johansson has made some bold choices in the demanding role, aging herself with a coarsened, growling voice, knowing humor and a refusal to soften the character's abrasive edge. There's no kitten in her cat," said David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter. "But keeping Maggie's vulnerability hidden until the final act seems a mistake. Without the underlying wounds she's just a shrew."
Thom Geier of Entertainment Weekly said, "Scarlett Johansson brings a fierce fighting spirit to Maggie the Cat in director Rob Ashford's languorous Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams' 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof'...But for a movie star with major sex-appeal, she falls surprisingly short in seductiveness. Her Cat flashes her claws, but doesn't purr."
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