Kiefer Sutherland and Chris Noth's Broadway revival of That Championship Season has left critics unimpressed following its official opening on Sunday (06Mar11).
The Jason Miller play, centred on four former high school basketball players who meet up with their coach 20 years on, originally debuted at an off-Broadway theatre in 1972, and went on to scoop a Tony Award for Best Play and a Pulitzer Prize the following year (73).
It emerged last year (10) that director Gregory Mosher would helm a revival of the show, starring Sex and the City actor Noth and 24's Sutherland in his Broadway debut - but the reboot has not impressed reviewers.
The New York Times' chief theatre critic Ben Brantley branded it "extroverted", "star-swollen", and dated, adding: "Gregory Mosher's production... seems to be shouting at you."
Bloomberg's Jeremy Gerard brushed off the show as an "irony-free revival", and slammed Noth's performance, writing, "Mosher hasn't coaxed much more than whining and empty bluster from his cast. Hardest to take is Noth, who fills the theatre with Serious Acting, entailing much grimacing and mangling of words".
Scott Brown, writing in New York magazine, describes the play as "dog-eared", "a season or 40 out of date", with a "distinct cologne of embalming fluid", and damns the second half of the show as "interminable".
But Usa Today's Elysa Gardner took some positives from the performance, insisting That Championship Season is "a capably crafted and solidly acted show".