Oslo (Vivian Beaumont)

 

Photos by T. Charles Erickson

 

 

Excerpts from the reviews

“A thrilling production . . . as expansive and ambitious as anything in recent Broadway history . . . Directed with a master’s hand by Bartlett Sher. . . . This rich drama of quixotic politics [is] a marvel of both expository efficiency and exciting showmanship . . . Oslo features a vast cast of characters, of widely varied temperaments and ideological stripes. Yet somehow, by the end, this production’s vital ensemble makes you feel you have come to know every single one of them. . . . The actors . . . are all first-rate, Each is giving a finely detailed performance — and in some cases, several performances — that feels both true to and larger than life. That includes everyone from T. Ryder Smith as the Norwegian Foreign Minister Johan Jurgen Holst to Henny Russell as the adored cook at the chateau, whose waffles become a sword of peace. . . . Terje and Mona are portrayed with incredible charm and dedication by Jefferson Mays and Jennifer Ehle . . .”
– The New York Times, Ben Brantley

“An extraordinary achievement . . . a three-dimensional geopolitical chess match, told as if each player were a complete human being capable of passion, error, humor and honor, reveals the keen eye and ear of a writer working in veritable mind-melding harmony with a superb director.”
– Washington Post, Peter Marks

“Powerful and haunting . . . Barlett Sher achieves a gallery of first-rate performances . . . Johan Jurgen Holst is played with fierce incisiveness by T. Ryder Smith . . . Diplomacy, Oslo makes clear, is a torturous process. But what world could we live in without it?”
– Village Voice, Michael Feingold

“An intricately crafted, beautifully staged, movingly acted tribute to the virtues of optimism, compromise, and conversation.”
– The Forward, Jesse Oxfeld

“A madly engrossing play . . . A wonder of savvy stagecraft and wily performance.”
– New York magazine, Jesse Green

“Smart, touching and spiked with spy-novel tension and wry humor . . . It’s a meaty subject that bursts to life with you-are-there urgency, clever narrative rewinds, vivid characters — and waffles. . . . A sterling ensemble . . . Everything clicks in director Bartlett Sher’s elegant and evocative production.”
– New York Daily News, Joe Dziemianowicz 

“Bracing and absorbing . . . the balance of passion, discipline, and suspense is organically, thrillingly theatrical.”
– Entertainment Weekly

“Riveting . . . Inventive and inspiring . . . Meticulously constructed by the astonishing J. T. Rogers [and] directed with the utmost skill and intelligence by Bartlett Sher. . . seamless and exacting, direct and thrilling . . . The other Norwegians, Johan Jurgen Holst, Foreign Minister of Norway (T. Ryder Smith who also vanished into the character of groundsman Grandal), and his wife, Marianne Heiberg, executive with the Fafo Institute (Henny Russell, again, almost unrecognizable from the character of housekeeper Grandal) play their diplomatic roles with perfection. The repeated scene of these two with Holst and Juul couldn’t be better orchestrated if they tried.”
– Front Mezz Junkies

“A taut three hours that hold us breathless and leaves us both thinking and weeping. . . . Juul and Rod-Larsen – brilliantly played by Ehle and Mays – alternately skate and stumble their way through gatherings of Israelis and Palestinians that move, slowly yet skillfully, up the chain of diplomatic command as long-time and seemingly immovable adversaries bargain, argue, fight, drink, eat, and uneasily and surprisingly stumble towards agreement. . . . The entire cast is uniformly captivating.”
– Zeal NYC

“Extraordinary . . . Even if you have little or fleeting interest in the Middle East peace process or diplomatic intrigue, or the key role that Norwegian hospitality—particularly waffle-making—played in the Oslo Accords, you will find J.T. Rogers’s carefully researched play supremely riveting. Every aspect of it—the writing, the direction by Bartlett Sher, the fine performances—is pretty near immaculate.”
– The Daily Beast

“The approach to politics practiced in (and preached by) Oslo is so different from our current discourse that it might seems quaint if it weren’t so persuasive.  . . . Directed by Bartlett Sher with the same distinguished ensemble cast as in its Off Broadway run last year . . . In its bittersweet final swell of hopefulness and humanity, it rewards one of our most endangered virtues, in theater as well as in politics: patience.”
– TimeOut NY, Adam Feldman

 

Rehearsals 

 

Offstage

Photos, above: The cast on International Women’s Day; opening night, l to r: Michael Aranov, Anthony Azizi, T. Ryder Smith, Jefferson Mays, Daniel Oreskes; cast with Chimi Peres, son of Shimon Peres; cast with Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, center; cast with Bill and Hilary Clinton; full cast and crew at end of run.

 

Awards

Tony Award – Best Play; Best Supporting Actor: Michael Aranov
New York Drama Critics’ Circle – Best Play
Drama Desk – Best Play; Best Featured Actor: Michael Aranov
Outer Critics Circle – Best Play
Drama League – Best Play
Lucille Lortel – Best Play; Best Director: Bartlett Sher; Best Leading Actress: Jennifer Ehle; Best Supporting Actor: Michael Aranov
Obie Award – Best New American Theatre Work; Outstanding Ensemble Cast

J.T. Rogers and Andre Bishop accepting Tony Award for Best Play.

 

Publicity

Full reviews