Sunday, April 14, 2024

Hugh Dancy, Nina Arianda Whip “Venus in Fur” Into Shape


Another big Broadway bow: Hugh Dancy and Nina Arianda pretty much stole the week, and it’s only Tuesday. They opened the Manhattan Theater Club’s fall season with a wild rendition of David Ives’ “Venus in Fur.” Claire Danes (Mrs. Dancy), Christie Brinkley, Richard Kind, famed playwright Arthur Kopit, Gretchen Mol and Tod Williams, Dylan Baker, Joe Mantello, Michael Cerveris, and “True Blood” star Carrie Preston were in the audience to cheer them on, too. How wild is “Venus in Fur”? It’s sort of PG-13 S&M mixed with comedy. It’s a hilarious seesaw of power and empowerment as directed by Walter Bobbie. The show proceeds without an intermission as Dancy and Arianda are combatants, so to speak, in an audition space Off Broadway. Dancy’s Thomas is looking for actresses to play the lead in his show. Arianda’s Vanda, dressed in leather and carrying a bag full of costumes, shows up to audition for the role. She seems daffy, but soon it seems that Vanda is an onion with a lot of layers. Arianda, nominated for a Tony last season in “Born Yesterday,” is jaw dropping. Dancy, as I’ve said before, is a 10 year in the making overnight sensation. Tomorrow, long lines at the box office–and that’s if you can get in. MTC is a subscription theater.





Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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