Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal (Secretary, Donnie Darko, The Dark Knight) has performed on stage before, but off-Broadway. Now she’s making her big Broadway debut with actor Ewan McGregor in a new revival of Tom Stoppard’s The Real Thing. This is the third time the actors have worked together. They played husband and wife in the 2010 film Nanny McPhee Returns and starred in an HBO pilot based on Jonathan Franzen’s book The Corrections. (It wasn’t picked up.)
The Real Thing just opened at the Roundabout at the American Airlines Theatre in New York and it isn’t getting great reviews. It may not be the actors’ fault. The The Real Thing originally debuted in London in 1982 and then opened in New York in 1984 starring Jeremy Irons, Glenn Close, Christine Baranski (The Good Wife) and Cynthia Nixon (Sex & the City). It was a highly-acclaimed production. Then it was revived in 2000 on Broadway, again to strong reviews. That cast included Jennifer Ehle (Zero Dark Thirty, The King’s Speech) and Stephen Dillane (Game of Thrones). Ben Brantley of the New York Times says of the current revival, the “production is one of those unfortunate revivals that make you wonder if the play in question is worth revisiting.” The play’s the thing, after all.