BAY STREET THEATRE - SAG HARBOR, NY - November 2018:
BroadwayWorld - “This year the Sag Harbor venue has mounted A SUPERB SHOWING of the classic jazz era play The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald adapted for the stage by Simon Levy… The Great Gatsby is indeed another hit for the adorable Bay Street Theater. Be sure to catch this POWERFUL, VISUALLY STUNNING PRODUCTION. A classic tale and a fabulous cast make for A THRILLING NIGHT OF THEATRE." - Melissa Giordano
The East Hampton Star - "An Eerily Topical Gatsby Roars Into Sag Harbor... SUPERB... a brisk, satisfying take on Gatsby. Using a streamlined adaptation by Simon Levy — it clocks in at a little over 90 minutes — this version moves swiftly while still managing to hit all the novel’s major plot points and preserving some of Fitzgerald’s magical lyricism... It may be better to approach this production of “The Great Gatsby” as a relief from, rather than reminder of, our national travails. This SOLID PRODUCTION does just that." - Kurt Wenzel
Sampling of Other Reviews:
ALABAMA SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL
The Montgomery Full Review
MONTANA REPERTORY THEATRE (National Tour)
OREGON CONTEMPORARY THEATRE (Eugene, Oregon)
ROXY REGIONAL THEATRE (Clarksville, Tennessee)
TACOMA LITTLE THEATRE (Tacoma, Washington)
TWIN CITY STAGE (Winston-Salem, North Carolina)
Variety - "SWEEPING... EXCELLENT... AN UNDENIABLE CHEMISTRY AT WORK HERE THAT'S LAUDABLE... Levy's adaptation wisely anchors itself around the first-person account of narrator Nick Carraway... A SATISFYING CONCLUSION... AFFECTING!"
Minneapolis Post-Bulletin - "IT'S NOTHING LESS THAN MAGNIFICENT, a powerful realization of Fitzgerald's novel of obsession, love, money and the American dream. There's no question that 'Gatsby' has all the elements of GREAT THEATER... a grand christening of the main stage in the Guthrie's $125 million new home."
The Falcon Newspaper (Minneapolis) - "A STUNNING PERFORMANCE... artfully synthesizing the writer's renowned work onto the stage with Simon Levy's adapted script... With these colorful and profound characters, the dramatic performance engages the audience both in laughter and in genuine sympathy. BOLD AND ENTICING, the intense and convincing acting, the simple yet fitting sets, and the elaborate costumes all add to the EXCELLENCE OF THIS PRODUCTION. THIS PLAY GIVES LIFE TO FITZGERALD'S TIMELESS STORY."
Performing Arts (Minneapolis) - "A CLASSY AND ELEGANT PRODUCTION THAT IS CAPTIVATING AND MOVING... The Guthrie's dramatization of this classic was BEAUTIFULLY ORCHESTRATED."
ARIZONA THEATRE COMPANY
Arizona Daily Star - "By the end of the evening, THERE WAS A LONGING TO SEE IT AGAIN. AND THEN AGAIN... This adaptation by Simon Levy clearly understood that Fitzgerald's words are sacred and can't be improved upon. What was added, deleted or changed to adapt the story to the stage was so faithful to Fitzgerald that it became seamless... This is "The Great Gatsby," faithful to Fitzgerald and to the spirit of the novel. EXPECTATIONS WERE FAR EXCEEDED."
TucsonSentinel.com - "WELL-CRAFTED ADAPTATION... Amazing... This show is full of magical moments... Many brilliant turns of Fitzgerald’s words into succinct on-stage moments... This production of “The Great Gatsby” is worth seeing even for those not familiar with the novel. Though the book still deserves reading, think of the play as the most delightful, animated Cliffs Notes you’ll ever find... It is A SUMPTUOUS PRODUCTION THAT JOYFULLY DEMONSTRATES THE STRENGTHS THAT THE STAGE BRINGS TO STORYTELLING, even to a masterwork like Fitzgerald’s hallowed novel."
SEATTLE REPERTORY THEATRE
Seattle Post-Intelligencer - "SEATTLE REP SUPERBLY MINES THE ESSENCE OF FITZGERALD'S 'GREAT GATSBY'... Playwright Simon Levy does a BEAUTIFUL JOB of distilling Fitzgerald's sometimes fussy prose. Levy's combination of narration, dialogue and action delivers most of what is best in the novel... BEAUTIFUL... STUNNING... AMAZING... A BRILLIANT DISTILLATION."
Tacoma Weekly - "A BRILLIANT REWORKING!... the only play version authorized by the Fitzgerald estate since 1926... The use of the Saxman to establish mood was a great touch... MAGNIFICENT."
Seattle Gay News - "'GREAT GATSBY' CONTINUES TO PACK IN CROWDS AT SEATTLE REP PREMIERE... The Seattle Repertory has one of its strongest audience hits in recent years with its solid solid production... AN OUT-AND-OUT AUDIENCE PLEASER AND A HOT TICKET!"
GRAND THEATRE (London Ontario Canada)
London Free Press - "GATSBY SMILES!... Somewhere out there, Jay Gatsby is smiling one of those enigmatic smiles, with everything and nothing behind it. 'Yes, old sport,' Gatsby is saying, 'That's about right. That's about right.' Surely, that SMILING SIGN OF APPROVAL would be Gatsby's suitably understated take on Simon Levy's adaptation... a BEAUTIFULLY CRAFTED interpretation of the 1925 novel which defined the Jazz Age...THIS IS INDEED A GRAND GATSBY."
The Gazette - "The Grand Theatre’s Canadian premiere of The Great Gatsby DOES JUSTICE TO F. SCOTT FITZGERALD'S WORK... Fitzgerald would likely approve of director Susan Ferley’s work, as the stage production stays honest to his novel. The Great Gatsby’s actors... do a wonderful job portraying their characters... Simon Levy, who adapted The Great Gatsby for the stage, includes elements such as the green light on Daisy’s property that Gatsby continuously looks at over the docks. Through exaggerations and fine details, the stage production of The Great Gatsby reminds us that Fitzgerald’s plot is much more than a sad love story. The final scenes of the play are perhaps the best. After a shocking series of events, Carraway’s final reflections are of helplessness and bitterness. With a few final words, Greg Gale seals a melancholy tale and leaves the audience with a lingering feeling of nostalgia. Moving back to the 21st century is almost a shock—The Great Gatsby is NOT EASILY FORGOTTEN."
BAG & BAGGAGE THEATRE (Hillsboro, Oregon)
The Oregonian - "Simon Levy's EXQUISITE ADAPTATION of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel "The Great Gatsby" is so well-crafted, lyrical and so completely whole unto itself that we're mesmerized as we watch the actors with Bag & Baggage Theatre spin out the story together onstage at Hillsboro's Venetian Theatre as if for the first time. It's a tale that appears to float behind a gauze of memory, but one that grabs us with fervor and spins us around emotionally. The play exudes a surreal quality, and director Scott Palmer uses stylized movement to augment a sense of memory, creating tableaux vivants of actors clustered in various scenes... By distilling the language, Levy manages to pare down lines and descriptions from the book, stripping the dialogue to the bare essentials. It not only clarifies the narrative but also creates the strong backdrop permeating the work, the 1920s in East Coast America during the Jazz Age, surrounded by the glamorous mansions of the rich, a sense of reckless abandon, boundless wealth, and an emphasis on the youth culture... If you seek strong theater with crystalline acting, eye-popping visuals and A SCRIPT LOVINGLY SHAPED from a classic about chasing the American dream, DON'T MISS THIS. The production is an Oregon premiere."