Johansson Pounces as Maggie the Cat on Broadway: Review - Score: 8
From: Bloomberg By: Jeremy Gerard Publication Date: 01/17/2013
Unsurprisingly for Ashford, a musical comedy specialist, the show unfolds like a jagged waltz gone haywire. Maggie's not the only one recoiling from the heat of the sun on that hot tin roof.
STAGE REVIEW Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (2013) - Score: 8
From: Entertainment Weekly By: Thom Geier Publication Date: 01/17/2013
Like Brick, who gulps liquor until he hears 'that little click in my head that makes me peaceful,' this production tosses back many an intoxicating individual moment without ever quite clicking. B
ScarJo is red-hot in 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof' - Score: 8
From: NY Post By: Elisabeth Vincentelli Publication Date: 01/17/2013
Despite occasional staging touches - the sounds of fireworks and playing children always seem to surge at momentous times - the show has a certain tragic inevitability. It's a flawed but compelling picture of Southern discomfort.
On Broadway: ‘Cat’ lands on its feet - Score: 8
From: Washington Post By: Peter Marks Publication Date: 01/17/2013
At least in the new "Cat," the sense of menace activated by Hinds's Big Daddy provides a rationale for the mean-spiritedness spreading through his household like an oil slick. The husky-voiced Johansson, who won a Tony for her performance two years ago as the all-too-desirable dockworker's niece in Arthur Miller's "A View From the Bridge," holds her own here, managing a persuasive account of Maggie's quick wits and pragmatic focus. What's missing, though, is her drawing a bead on the character's insecurities, the desperation that compels Maggie to cling to a lie - and to a man who reviles her. (Walker, who played a rock star president in the irreverent-history musical "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson," lives up to his character's name here, imbuing Brick with a stony, one-note sullenness.)
http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/2013/01/17/cat-on-a-hot-tin-roof-review/1832711/ - Score: 8
From: USA Today By: Elysa Gardner Publication Date: 01/17/2013
Johansson's Maggie is no vamp. What makes her so distinct from View's Catherine -- aside from her accent (Southern, as opposed to Brooklyn) and hair color (strawberry blonde rather than brunette) -- is a certain premature hardness. Pacing the stage, her voice hoarse with frustration, the actress makes us keenly aware of how desperate this beautiful creature is as she appeals to the one man she needs, and possibly loves: her husband, Brick. Seduction is not the first thing on her mind; survival is.
A Storm From the South, Brewing in a Bedroom - Score: 7
From: New York Times By: Ben Brantley Publication Date: 01/17/2013
[Johansson's] sophomore Broadway performance isn't as fully integrated as the one she gave in "Bridge"; there are a few miscalculations in her take on Maggie. She is perhaps too forthright to be truly feline, and for a poor but well-brought-up debutante, her accent is strangely common. But Ms. Johansson confirms her promise as a stage actress of imposing presence and adventurous intelligence. 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...Ms. Johansson is also the only major player in "Cat" who appears to have a fully thought-through idea of the character she's portraying.
New York Review: CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF - Score: 7
From: Philadelphia Inquirer By: Toby Zinman Publication Date: 01/17/2013
Cat is a play about disease: not just the cancer that is destroying Big Daddy, but the "mendacity" and "disgust" devouring the family, and, by implication, American society: much more is at stake than the land, and we should be more powerfully moved than I, at least, was this time through.
Theater Review: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof - Score: 6
From: Vulture By: Scott Brown Publication Date: 01/17/2013
Even now, audiences are lining up to see Scarlett Johansson challenge the structural integrity of her slip as Maggie the Cat, Tennessee Williams's most bodacious creation: ambitious, lubricious, sex-starved, and ovulating. Your hundred-clams'-worth seems all but guaranteed. And yet the scene-stealer of the evening turns out to be a $5 bath towel. It's worn by Benjamin Walker, who plays Maggie's beautiful, inert husband Brick, broken plantation scion, shattered ex-gridiron star, and now celibate sot, still mourning the suicide of his "friend" and teammate Skipper.
'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof' on Broadway: Johansson's heat is only half the story - Score: 6
From: Chicago Tribune By: Chris Jones Publication Date: 01/17/2013
Scarlett Johansson...unlike so many young movie stars, she has no problem expanding her performance chops to the live theater, booming out a character that has been precisely forged and defined but ill-advisedly contained...a clear point of view is absent in this generally confused, low-stakes and halting production - that went through changes and subtractions in its preview period and now seems stuck. It's neither a traditional staging nor a suite of fresh ideas on a great American drama that should both embody timeless interpersonal truths and reflect how much our world is changed, sexually speaking, in little more than a half-century.
On Broadway, ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ is merely tepid - Score: 6
From: Boston Globe By: Don Aucoin Publication Date: 01/17/2013
Ashford overdoes the atmospherics; when a heavily symbolic storm arrives late in the play, it rumbles and crashes like something out of "Wuthering Heights.' The Pollitt household, designed by Christopher Oram, is enclosed by giant, creamy, billowing curtains. At center stage is a king-size bed, looming like an exclamation point over Brick's refusal to sleep with Maggie.
Scarlett Johansson in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof: My Review - Score: 6
From: Village Voice By: Michael Musto Publication Date: 01/17/2013
Tony winner Scarlett Johansson is the frustrated Maggie, who spends Act One raging against her alcoholic husband, Brick (Benjamin Walker) for not romancing her anymore, and worse, for looking better than ever. Johansson has fun with Maggie's imaginative way with language, but with her raspy voice and overly direct approach, she seems to be playing Maggie's extreme coarseness at the expense of her sultriness or vulnerability. Her high-volume take is interesting, but it's hard to believe the emotionally (and physically) crippled Brick wouldn't grab his crutch--as it were--and hobble away for miles rather than just roll over to the other side of the bed.
Theater review: "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" - Score: 6
From: Bergen Record By: Robert Feldberg Publication Date: 01/17/2013
If the first act belongs to Maggie, the second is the province of Big Daddy (Ciaran Hinds), Brick's vulgar, outsized father, who makes great noises in rejecting pretense and dishonesty. (Of his servile wife, Big Mama (Debra Monk), he says, "I haven't been able to stand the sight, sound or smell of that woman for 40 years now.")
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Richard Rodgers Theatre, New York - Score: 6
From: Financial Times By: Brendan Lemon Publication Date: 01/17/2013
Most of the electricity indoors is generated by Ciaran Hinds as Big Daddy and Debra Monk as Big Mama. Hinds hasn't quite the rotundity that we expect from Broadway Big Daddys. His beard and slick-backed hair suggest the con game of a riverboat gambler rather than the high stakes of an earthy Mississippi planter struggling with the spectre of cancer. But the actor's southern accent isn't syrupy, and he achieves genuine pathos in the act-two showdown with Brick about the latter's intimate relationship with his deceased buddy, Skipper.
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof - Score: 6
From: Time Out NY By: David Cote Publication Date: 01/17/2013
The night may be unsatisfying, but it's not a total loss. Ciarán Hinds's Big Daddy offers some goatish fun; Debra Monk's Big Mama bustles and blubbers amusingly. And Emily Bergl's Mae (Maggie's sister-in-law and rival for Big Daddy's inheritance) is deliciously bitchy. Johansson could take a few pointers from Bergl on the fine art of purring
Review: A noisy 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof' distracts - Score: 5
From: Associated Press By: Mark Kennedy Publication Date: 01/17/2013
Whether all the sound effects are meant to enhance the performances onstage or cover up the acting is unclear. What's not unclear is that an unnecessarily noisy production opened Thursday at the Richard Rodgers Theatre...Scarlett Johansson turns in a nifty turn as Maggie, finding humor and barely hidden desperation in her role as frustrated wife and mother-to-be. She's less overtly sexy than other actresses who have played the ironic role, making her Maggie more cerebral, angry and proud. Benjamin Walker, as her husband Brick, is slow to boil but savage when he does, a former athlete turned into a languid hunk of beef who sits on the edges of the stage avoiding conversation and hiding in a bottle. They have little chemistry at first - but that's kind of the point.
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof: Theater Review - Score: 5
From: Hollywood Reporter By: David Rooney Publication Date: 01/17/2013
Somebody spayed the cat. And it wasn't the hard-working main attraction Scarlett Johansson, who plays Tennessee Williams' tenacious feline title character in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. The star and her similarly marooned fellow cast members are all at the mercy of Rob Ashford, a director out of his depth and reaching for any floatation device he can grab in this sinking Broadway revival, which manages to be both thunderously emphatic and curiously flat.
'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof' review: Sedate revival for Scarlett Johansson - Score: 5
From: Newsday By: Linda Winer Publication Date: 01/17/2013
Broadway has embraced many - perhaps too many - breeds of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" in recent years. Tennessee Williams' hungry and restless Maggie has been reincarnated as a slinky sexpot (Elizabeth Ashley), a sexual bulldozer (Kathleen Turner), an ineffectual flower (Ashley Judd) and, barely five years ago, a smartly luscious kitten (Anika Noni Rose) in the all-black production best remembered for James Earl Jones as Big Daddy. What we have not had, at least in my experience, is a sedate Maggie in a tasteful, even timid revival of Williams' 1955 Pulitzer winner about voracious Southern-gothic greed and a loveless, lying family.
Theater review: ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ - Score: 4
From: NY Daily News By: Joe Dziemianowicz Publication Date: 01/17/2013
Fireworks light up the night sky during Big Daddy's birthday party in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." That's it for the sparks, unfortunately. Broadway's starry but misguided new take on Tennessee Williams' 1955 Pulitzer winner about secrets, lies and love is a dim and soggy affair.
Theater Review: 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof' - Score: 4
From: amNY By: Matt Windman Publication Date: 01/17/2013
This production generated bad word-of-mouth in previews for having an actor play the ghost of Skipper, who hovered silently around the stage. While that has thankfully been cut, what remains is an unconvincing, cheesy and cheap-looking production. At least Johansson is terrific, bringing a sultry, ferocious spirit to the famous role. Particularly fascinating is how she distinguishes Maggie's rough and nasty behavior with Brick and her well-composed, dolled-up performance for the rest of the family. Walker, sporting clean-cut looks and washboard abs, makes for a bland, one-dimensional Brick. 2 stars.
Tales of the Lonely Crowd - Score: 4
From: Wallstreet Journal By: Terry Teachout Publication Date: 01/17/2013
The world really didn't need yet another "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," least of all the one that just opened in New York. This is the third time in the past decade that Tennessee Williams's overripe, overwrought 1955 play about a grossly dysfunctional Southern couple (he's probably gay, she's definitely miserable) has been revived on Broadway. Like its predecessors, it's a belly-up disaster whose existence can be explained, if not justified, by the presence of a movie star in the cast.
There’s a Lot of Yelling but Little Drama in ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ - Score: 4
From: Backstage By: Erik Haagensen Publication Date: 01/17/2013
Ashford's awkward, excessively physical staging includes far too much unimaginative circling of Brick and Maggie's dominating bed. Though Williams does mandate things such as the offstage singing of field hands, Ashford ham-fistedly employs Adam Cork's busy sound design, especially in the too-obvious use of some punctuating fireworks. Ashford also begins and ends each act with Cork's crashing music cranked up high, as if to create by fiat the searing drama that he has been unable to unlock in the play. Williams should be allowed to make his own music.