Manhattan Theatre Club's new Broadway production of Terrence McNally's MASTER CLASS, directed by Stephen Wadsworth, opened Thursday night, July 7 on Broadway. Check below to see what the critics had to say!
Terrence McNally's play about Maria Callas (Tyne Daly) takes us to one of her famous master classes, where, late in her own career, she dares the next generation to make the same sacrifices and rise to the same heights that made her the most celebrated, the most reviled and the most controversial singer of her time.
MASTER CLASS stars Olivier Award nominee Sierra Boggess (Sharon Graham), Clinton Brandhagen (Stagehand), Jeremy Cohen (Manny), Tony and Emmy Award winner Tyne Daly(Maria Callas), Drama Desk Award winner Alexandra Silber (Sophie De Palma), and Garrett Sorenson (Anthony Candolino). The creative team for MASTER CLASS includes Thomas Lynch (scenic design), Martin Pakledinaz(costume design), David Lander (lighting design), Jon Gottlieb (sound design), and Paul Huntley(wig design).
Ben Brantley, The New York Times: "Master Class" is not, by even a generous reckoning, a very good play, though it can be an entertaining one. Mr. McNally is an opera buff who here mixed a passionate fan's knowledge of myth, gossip and music into one pulpy, Broadway-ripe package. Yet Ms. Daly transforms that script into one of the most haunting portraits I've seen of life after stardom.
Jeremy Gerard, Bloomberg: Terrence McNally's funny, reverential and wholly engrossing "Master Class" brings us all too briefly into the distinctive orbit of Maria Callas...And as the play recreates a master class in singing, so Tyne Daly as the singer offers a master class in technique to inspire any acting student or colleague.
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter: It should be no surprise that someone with six Emmys and a Tony is an accomplished actor, but Tyne Daly is doing something extraordinary in Master Class...Bottom Line: Tyne Daly's mercurial performance gives equal exposure to her character's formidable outer shell and to the corrosive solitude within
Howard Shapiro, The Philadelphia Inquirer: In Master Class, McNally conjures a Callas of flesh and blood - as concerned about high Fs as she is about finding a decent wash-and-set at the beauty parlor. She is a woman who appears to command the world - played here by a woman who clearly commands a room.
Mark Kennedy, Associated Press: Tony Award-winning Daly puts everything she's got into portraying Callas in a new revival of Terrence McNally's play, directed by Stephen Wadsworth, which opened Thursday at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. Daly is sometimes ragged, but always courageous.
Jonathan Mandell, The Faster Times: Luckily, "Master Class" is less a deep character study than an entertainment, and Daly delivers the zingers like the pro that she is, reliably eliciting laughs when she tells a member of an audience "You don't have a look," or when she dismisses the idea that she is engaged in rivalries with other singers: "How can you have rivals when no one can do what you can do?".
Peter Marks, Washington Post: In Tyne Daly's striking turn as Maria Callas, it's not so much Callas's imperiousness that comes across, as the ferocity of her self-belief...[Master Class] is about 99 and 44/100 percent Callas, a proportion that works just fine with Daly cracking the whip.