The Vertical Hour. Director Sam Mendes. Starring Julianne Moore, Bill Nighy, Phillip Lucas. At the Music Box.
By Hannah Papageorge
A former war correspondent turned Yale professor (Julianne Moore) and her simple boyfriend (Philip Lucas) take a trip to the Welsh countryside to visit his father, who challenges the woman’s long-standing pro-war beliefs. Politics and personal histories clash, making the play volatile and unpredictable. The writing is witty and thoughtful, but Moore’s inexperienced performance is weak and lacks the passion her character requires. In contrast, theater veteran Bill Nighy commands the stage. The countryside set, which features a massive tree, is remarkable.
Rating: One hundred giant trees