By Sam Negin
Theater Editor & Columnist
Last night, a Broadway revival of Henrik Ibsen‘s play An Enemy of the People opened on Broadway. I had the great pleasure of being in attendance at the performance, which I will review here along with a summary of the reviews found in several leading trade papers.
Among the enthusiastic crowd were several theater and film regulars, including Manhattan Theatre Club Artistic Director Lynne Meadow, costume designer William Ivey Long, Emmy winner and two-time Tony nominee Bobby Cannavale, four-time Tony nominee Jan Maxwell, film and theater star Tate Donovan, TV and stage star Sam Waterston, Tony nominee and stage vet Jessica Hecht, acting duo Dylan Baker and Becky Ann Baker and the great stage and screen vet James Earl Jones.
The play stars four-time Tony winner Boyd Gaynes and Emmy winner Richard Thomas (TV’s The Waltons), who play brothers living in a small resort town in Norway of which Mr. Thomas’ character, Peter, is the mayor and Mr. Gaynes’ character, Thomas, is the chief doctor. When Thomas discovers that his father-in-law’s tannery is polluting the water supply, causing everyone who comes to the spa looking for health to, instead, become infected with a variety of diseases, he vows to change the town’s ways even though shutting down the spa to re-route the pipes would decimate any economic activity in the village.