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.