The British actors, who play superhero rivals in the comic book franchise, have teamed up again to present two plays on the New York stage, Harold Pinter's No Man's Land and Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot.
The shows, which are performed in repertory, opened at New York City's Cort Theatre on Sunday (24Nov13), and the veteran stars won a slew of praise from theatre critics for their double bill.
Ben Brantley of the New York Times called the plays "absurdly enjoyable revivals" and branded the actors "lions of the British stage", while adding of the production, "These shows are an irresistible celebration of two actors' love affairs with their scripts."
The New York Post's Elisabeth Vincentelli writes, "There's a simple explanation for Pinter's No Man's Land and Beckett's Waiting for Godot thriving amid a sea of light musical fare: They both star Ian MCKellen and Patrick Stewart - better known as Gandalf and Captain Jean-Luc Picard, respectively... Unlike many marquee names who wash up on the Great White Way, these two know their way around a stage. They have what seems like 328 years of combined experience... These guys' screen credits may be luring crowds, but it's their craft that earns the applause."
Joe Dziemianowicz gives the plays four stars and adds, "The stars grip tight. Stewart is hearty and game. MCKellen, even better, is hilarious and heartbreaking. It's a fine bromance - Broadway is lucky to have it."
David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter concludes, "Ian MCKellen and Patrick Stewart make a riveting duo... The gravitas, penetrating intelligence and mercurial wit they bring to their performances in these contrasting yet strangely complementary works was to be expected given the two actors' breadth of experience."
The two actors previously performed Waiting for Godot on the West End stage in 2009, while they first appeared on stage together in a 1977 production of Every Good Boy Deserves Favour by Sir Tom Stoppard.