Photos by Paul Kolnik
2 hours and 45 minutes, with two 10 minute intermissions
Tony Tony Tony
GOLDEN BOY, by Clifford Odets, charts the swift rise of a gifted twenty-one-year-old violinist, Joe Bonaparte, who is corrupted by fame and fortune when he chooses to become a professional boxer. Surrounding his hero with a gallery of sharply written characters who try to shape and guide Joe's destiny, Odets lays out the young man's many facets: sensitive musician, rebellious son, frustrated lover, and self-destructive champion. In the end, it is the seductive promise of the American dream that betrays Joe as it did for so many in the Depression years.
Originally produced by the Group Theatre in 1937,
GOLDEN BOY was a great success for its author and his most popular play:
"Golden Boy was worth waiting for. It is a pungent, flashy story of a prizefighter who knocks out his own ego. Mr. Odets writes straight through the heart with the strength and gusto of a genuine artisan of the theatre."
--Brooks Atkinson, New York Times, Nov. 5, 1937
LCT's Resident Director, Bartlett Sher -- who brought us the 2006 Tony-winning revival of Awake and Sing! -- brought GOLDEN BOY back to the Belasco, where it was first produced. In his words, "Clifford Odets is one of the best 20th-century American playwrights and the obsessions and concerns that inform his work are what make him unique and great. As Joe Bonaparte struggles to define himself, each of us should also ask ourselves: Are you the violinist or are you the boxer? Will you allow your humanity to be crushed, whether it's for love, or fame, or money, or anything else?"
The cast for this 75th anniversary production included Seth Numrich (Albert Narracott in War Horse) as Joe Bonaparte; Tony Shalhoub as Joe's father; Danny Burstein (Luther Billis in South Pacific) as his trainer, Tokio; and Yvonne Strahovski as his girl, Lorna Moon, among a superb cast of nineteen.