A theatrical adaptation of Truman Capote's classic novella "Breakfast At Tiffany's" has opened on Broadway. NY1's Roma Torre filed the following review.
Any adaptation of Truman Capote's "Breakfast At Tiffany's" has a huge hurdle to overcome — the movie starring Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly. So indelible was the performance, all others in the role face comparison.
The play works awfully hard to put a new face on Holly and company, but that's just the problem. Holly's not supposed to work hard at anything.
Capote's novella is a bittersweet character study of a prostitute who rather sees herself as a wild thing, like her unnamed cat. Her neighbor, a struggling writer, falls for her, as so many men do. But she keeps him at arm's length, preferring the company of hangers-on and the favors of her wealthier clients. As Holly's crafted facade crumbles, we come to see the sad, wounded innocent within.
Emilia Clark has the challenging task of playing the iconic free spirit. Physically, she possesses an alluring attractiveness. But Holly must have a natural effervescence — that's what draws everyone into her orbit. Clark has the right impulses but her eccentric affectations — the vocal inflections, the perched cigarette — seem too studied when they should be effortless.
Richard Greenberg's adaptation hews much closer to the book than the movie and that's a good thing. This Holly is an intriguingly complex character. But the script is structurally episodic, almost by the numbers; and Sean Mathias' inconsistent direction further undercuts the inherent drama.
Sharing Holly's urban play space are an oddball cast of characters. George Wendt stands out as bartender Joe and Cory Michael Smith makes an engagingly perplexed Fred.
Fans of the film will likely miss Henry Mancini's tuneful "Moon River." But I missed the book’s incisive views on social identity in the big city. The play's own identity, somewhere between the book's poignant darkness and the film's lighter treatment, is a less-than-ideal middle ground.