We take a look at what is being said about the Broadway production starring Audra McDonald.

Audra McDonald in Ohio State Murders. Photograph: Richard Termine

The Guardian: *** “Ohio State Murders works best as a reflection of Alexander’s emotional experience, not as a “whodunnit” about her daughter’s murder. The murderer central to the play is named halfway through. With such suspense slackened, the focus should be on Alexander’s emotional experience and thinking.”

New York Times: “Leon, too, works smartly against the grain of the play. In thoughtfully mimed vignettes, he shows us that the other characters, beautifully enacted if with little to say, are not just puppets of Suzanne’s memory but living creatures with their own struggles. They are lit (by Allen Lee Hughes) and costumed (by Dede Ayite) less forbiddingly than the script might lead you to expect, and accompanied by sound and music (by Justin Ellington and Dwight Andrews) that admits other emotions to the horror.”

Variety: “It may be easy to take for granted that Audra McDonald, with six Tony Awards to her name, is capable of performances that creep delicately into your psyche and rattle around there as if clearing bats from its darkest recesses. A meticulous cartographer of the heart and mind, she charts human interiors that feel previously unknown, or, in the case of “Ohio State Murders,” which opened on Broadway Thursday night, unimaginable before she brings them to life.”

The Wrap: “In the beginning, McDonald’s halting delivery comes across as an actor’s tic, a mannerism carried to the extreme. By the play’s end, that overly studied reserve may be the only thing that keeps this character from absolutely exploding with rage.”

Deadline.com: ” McDonald, far and away one of Broadway’s greatest performers, brings such considerable emotional weight – and expectation – to the stage that Ohio State Murders feels loaded with portent from the get-go. The set, designed by the always inspired Beowulf Boritt, is dominated by bookcases hanging, tilted, in mid-air and planted like toppled gravestones on the ground, while Allen Lee Hughes’s lighting design literalizes the shadows of memory into a gothic and gloomy visual statement.”

Talkin’ Broadway: “While McDonald’s performance is the prime one, the rest of the cast is equally up to the task: Bryce Pinkham as a junior lecturer who thrills Suzanne with his reading aloud of Thomas Hardy’s masterwork, “Tess of the D’Urbervilles”; Lizan Mitchell as her loving aunt who becomes her guardian angel after her own parents turn on her; Abigail Stephenson as one of Suzanne’s few friends; and Mister Fitzgerald as her kind and patient beau and, later, her husband. Likewise, the production is perfectly supported by its design elements, especially by Beowulf Boritt’s set design, both imagistic and practical, and by Allen Lee Hughes’s shadowy and haunting lighting.”

Vulture.com: “This production, like the young Suzanne, feels as if it is working to accommodate the expectations of the industry, with its careful staging and public emphasis on the historic aspect of Kennedy’s debut. Audio interviews with the playwright play before the curtain rises, and the cast salutes a photo of her during their bows. You are left with the feeling of wishing for something stranger, and also of seeing those accommodations more clearly. You hope this is an entrée into more productions of Kennedy’s work, ones that take her ideas further.”

Time Out: **** “In director Kenny Leon’s thoughtful production, Beowulf Boritt’s set suggests a storm of research-library shelves, some suspended in midair and some half-buried in the ground, as though Suzanne existed in both the midst of a catastrophe and the ruins of one. The forces stacked against her extend to the back wall of the stage, which is gashed by a craggy ravine—the site of a winter homicide—behind which snow descends continuously. The chills that periodically shoot through this play are part of the same cold front as the steady, muffling whiteness that falls gently in its background.”

To find out more visit: https://ohiostatemurdersbroadway.com/


%d bloggers like this: