Key Largo

Critics

LemonMeter

70 %

Reviews: 15

Audience

LemonMeter

Reviews: 1

Tue Dec 10, 8:00pm

Key Largo

WORLD PREMIERE ADAPTATION & GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE COMMISSION

FEB 4 – MAR 8, 2020

Adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher & Andy Garcia

Based on the play by Maxwell Anderson and the screenplay by Richard Brooks & John Huston

Produced in association with Frank Mancuso & Andy Garcia

Featuring Andy Garcia

Welcome to the eye of the storm! Key Largo is a bold reimagining of Maxwell Anderson’s Broadway hit that became the iconic noir film starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. Returning from World War II, disillusioned Frank McCloud travels to a hotel in Key Largo to pay his respects to the widow of a fallen friend. What McCloud doesn’t count on is an entirely different battle with mobsters who have overtaken the hotel, led by the ruthless Johnny Rocco (Academy Award nominee Andy Garcia). As a hurricane barrels toward the Keys, McCloud must face his demons in order to take down a monster.

Reviews

Avatar

Key Largo’s story, which was fresh and powerful in 1946—and two years later in the John Huston movie—seems creaky and contrived today. But it does look good up there on the Geffen stage, thanks to John Lee Beatty’s wizardry.

sweet-sour - Willard Manus - Total Theater - ...read full review


Avatar

Utilizing superb craftsmanship, this project fails to wrench out of its premise the suspense needed to validate this adaptation – and a large part of that is miscasting. Still, Shakman and Co. are definitely headed in the right direction.

sweet-sour - Tony Frankel - Stage and Cinema - ...read full review


Avatar

The direction works, the acting is OK, but the scenic design nearly steals the show with its expansive shuttered lobby.  The sound design is also impressive and effective, although the sound of the buoy’s clang is a bit annoying.

Garcia’s performance holds this show together.  There are some delicious moments in the show. Joely Fisher shines as she leaves herself on the stage – as does Plana who delivers an authentic blind portrayal.

sweet-sour - Darlene Donloe - Donloe's Lowdown - ...read full review


Avatar

This play lacks a theme and characters to care about. There’s no chemistry between the lovers. If we could see closeups and glances between the actors on a big screen, this play might work. As it is, it’s like watching the original movie on a small TV 20 feet away. Their predicaments, while moody, weren’t interesting and most characters didn’t seem to care about their problems either. The gunshots and hurricane did liven things up.

sour - Chris


Patrick Chavis

Key Largo doesn’t have any tricks or flash it just tells the story authentically. If you’re already a fan of the noir drama this might be on the best ones to come out all year.

sweet - Patrick Chavis - LA Theatre Bites - ...read full review


Deborah Klugman

At a time when gangsterism has usurped the highest echelons in our land, viewing a Johnny Rocco as the ultimate villain is, for me, an uphill sell.

sweet-sour - Deborah Klugman - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Rob Stevens

The timing of Doug Hughes’s direction and the character development are thrown off in this production....The real star of the show is John Lee Beatty’s amazingly detailed and beautifully constructed scenic design which also artfully begins to self-destruct during the hurricane

sour - Rob Stevens - Haines His Way - ...read full review


Avatar

The parallels in this reimagined Key Largo are self-evident to anyone who’s followed the news or the tweets. Whether you find this production hits too close to home or whether you find it cathartic, the cast acquits itself admirably with conviction.

sweet - Steve Gottfried - Cultural Weekly - ...read full review


Avatar

Rocco is the engine that drives this adaptation of the play; without him it would wither like a leaky balloon. And while he is the play’s life-giver, he is also the taker, leaving little room for dramatic possibilities between McCloud and Nora, the heart of the material.

sweet-sour - Jordan Riefe - Hollywood Reporter - ...read full review


Avatar

Symbolism includes storms, predators, crutches, and other representations of good and evil. Those whom we might identify with, or learn from, however, might secretly surprise us.

Like a frustrated child, Rocco rages against the storm, firing his gun and demanding the thunder stop. And we believe that we are watching a real man in a real hotel lashing back at a real storm. If entertainment takes us out of our theater seats and into a story, this is entertainment indeed.

sweet - Dany Margolies - Daily News - ...read full review


Avatar

The film, with all its technological advantages, seems less real than the stage production.

But Garcia is the secret weapon in his reworking of “Key Largo.” Whether wandering around in a red robe like a debauched emperor or making an exit in the white suite of a Southern swell (the costumes by Linda Cho are all on the money), he wears Rocco’s intimating demeanor like a second skin. More impressive still, Garcia make us momentarily forget the illustrious precedent of the movie by keeping us completely absorbed in the machinations of this updated moral caper.

sweet - Charles McNulty - LA Times - ...read full review


Travis Michael Holder - Ticket Holders LA

The production, under the leadership of Tony-winning director Doug Hughes, is simply smashing. It is continuously tense, relentlessly engaging, and theatrically dazzling throughout. John Lee Beatty’s majestic two-story set is incredibly detailed and especially amazing when it comes crashing down in that dreaded hurricane at the center of the movie, here recreated with astoundingly real special effects. Still, what makes this production succeed so splendidly is the cast. Andy Garcia is riveting, obnoxiously grandiose and wonderfully slimy in an endearing way and Joely Fisher is mesmerizing, even surpassing Claire Trevor in the role which won her an Oscar. As exceptional and promising as this memorable theatrical reinvention is, it would surprise me if its evolution ended when it closes here. Credit for part of what this team has accomplished is that it was created under commission from the Geffen initiated by and with the blessing of Matt Shakman, who in his two-year reign as the complex’s artistic director has made the Geffen Playhouse a place to watch once again.

sweet - Travis Michael Holder - Ticket Holders LA - ...read full review


Erin Conley

This production is visually gorgeous, unfolding on an ornate and adaptable set (John Lee Beatty). The lighting (Peter Kaczorowski) and sound design (Alex Hawthorn) work together to set the mood as the hurricane threatens to overtake the hotel. Overall, this substance of this production never quite manages to live up to its high-quality packaging. Perhaps gangster stories are just better off on the big screen.

sweet-sour - Erin Conley - On Stage & Screen - ...read full review


Avatar

Tony award winning scenic designer John Lee Beatty, creates the Key Largo Hotel lobby set, that becomes an integral part of setting the tone for the drama brewing inside and out. When Andy Garcia and his group of “merry men" hole up inside the hotel until a hurricane passes through, the tension inside is as electrifying as the lightning outside.

sweet-sour - Jill Weinlein - On Stage Blog - ...read full review


Shari Barrett

Thanks to the skill of Mr. Garcia to dominate the action with his presence, eye-catching, post-World War II period-perfect costumes designed by Linda Cho which certainly add lots of flash to character portrayals, and the skill of director Doug Hughes and fight choreographer Steve Rankin, the raging intensity both outside and inside the KEY LARGO Hotel will keep audiences on the edge of their seats throughout the production, even though most probably know how the story will end, given the popularity of the 1948 film.

sweet - Shari Barrett - Broadway World - ...read full review


Steven Stanley

With Andy Garcia’s above-the-title star billing pretty much guaranteeing sold-out houses throughout the run, Geffen Playhouse may well have the biggest holiday-season hit in town, and though it’s far from traditional “holiday entertainment,” as adrenaline chargers go, Key Largo can’t be beat.

sweet - Steven Stanley - StageSceneLA - ...read full review


Avatar

Key Largo’s story, which was fresh and powerful in 1946—and two years later in the John Huston movie—seems creaky and contrived today. But it does look good up there on the Geffen stage, thanks to John Lee Beatty’s wizardry.

sweet-sour - Willard Manus - Total Theater - ...read full review


Avatar

Utilizing superb craftsmanship, this project fails to wrench out of its premise the suspense needed to validate this adaptation – and a large part of that is miscasting. Still, Shakman and Co. are definitely headed in the right direction.

sweet-sour - Tony Frankel - Stage and Cinema - ...read full review


Avatar

The direction works, the acting is OK, but the scenic design nearly steals the show with its expansive shuttered lobby.  The sound design is also impressive and effective, although the sound of the buoy’s clang is a bit annoying.

Garcia’s performance holds this show together.  There are some delicious moments in the show. Joely Fisher shines as she leaves herself on the stage – as does Plana who delivers an authentic blind portrayal.

sweet-sour - Darlene Donloe - Donloe's Lowdown - ...read full review


Patrick Chavis

Key Largo doesn’t have any tricks or flash it just tells the story authentically. If you’re already a fan of the noir drama this might be on the best ones to come out all year.

sweet - Patrick Chavis - LA Theatre Bites - ...read full review


Deborah Klugman

At a time when gangsterism has usurped the highest echelons in our land, viewing a Johnny Rocco as the ultimate villain is, for me, an uphill sell.

sweet-sour - Deborah Klugman - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Rob Stevens

The timing of Doug Hughes’s direction and the character development are thrown off in this production....The real star of the show is John Lee Beatty’s amazingly detailed and beautifully constructed scenic design which also artfully begins to self-destruct during the hurricane

sour - Rob Stevens - Haines His Way - ...read full review


Avatar

The parallels in this reimagined Key Largo are self-evident to anyone who’s followed the news or the tweets. Whether you find this production hits too close to home or whether you find it cathartic, the cast acquits itself admirably with conviction.

sweet - Steve Gottfried - Cultural Weekly - ...read full review


Avatar

Rocco is the engine that drives this adaptation of the play; without him it would wither like a leaky balloon. And while he is the play’s life-giver, he is also the taker, leaving little room for dramatic possibilities between McCloud and Nora, the heart of the material.

sweet-sour - Jordan Riefe - Hollywood Reporter - ...read full review


Avatar

Symbolism includes storms, predators, crutches, and other representations of good and evil. Those whom we might identify with, or learn from, however, might secretly surprise us.

Like a frustrated child, Rocco rages against the storm, firing his gun and demanding the thunder stop. And we believe that we are watching a real man in a real hotel lashing back at a real storm. If entertainment takes us out of our theater seats and into a story, this is entertainment indeed.

sweet - Dany Margolies - Daily News - ...read full review


Avatar

The film, with all its technological advantages, seems less real than the stage production.

But Garcia is the secret weapon in his reworking of “Key Largo.” Whether wandering around in a red robe like a debauched emperor or making an exit in the white suite of a Southern swell (the costumes by Linda Cho are all on the money), he wears Rocco’s intimating demeanor like a second skin. More impressive still, Garcia make us momentarily forget the illustrious precedent of the movie by keeping us completely absorbed in the machinations of this updated moral caper.

sweet - Charles McNulty - LA Times - ...read full review


Travis Michael Holder - Ticket Holders LA

The production, under the leadership of Tony-winning director Doug Hughes, is simply smashing. It is continuously tense, relentlessly engaging, and theatrically dazzling throughout. John Lee Beatty’s majestic two-story set is incredibly detailed and especially amazing when it comes crashing down in that dreaded hurricane at the center of the movie, here recreated with astoundingly real special effects. Still, what makes this production succeed so splendidly is the cast. Andy Garcia is riveting, obnoxiously grandiose and wonderfully slimy in an endearing way and Joely Fisher is mesmerizing, even surpassing Claire Trevor in the role which won her an Oscar. As exceptional and promising as this memorable theatrical reinvention is, it would surprise me if its evolution ended when it closes here. Credit for part of what this team has accomplished is that it was created under commission from the Geffen initiated by and with the blessing of Matt Shakman, who in his two-year reign as the complex’s artistic director has made the Geffen Playhouse a place to watch once again.

sweet - Travis Michael Holder - Ticket Holders LA - ...read full review


Erin Conley

This production is visually gorgeous, unfolding on an ornate and adaptable set (John Lee Beatty). The lighting (Peter Kaczorowski) and sound design (Alex Hawthorn) work together to set the mood as the hurricane threatens to overtake the hotel. Overall, this substance of this production never quite manages to live up to its high-quality packaging. Perhaps gangster stories are just better off on the big screen.

sweet-sour - Erin Conley - On Stage & Screen - ...read full review


Avatar

Tony award winning scenic designer John Lee Beatty, creates the Key Largo Hotel lobby set, that becomes an integral part of setting the tone for the drama brewing inside and out. When Andy Garcia and his group of “merry men" hole up inside the hotel until a hurricane passes through, the tension inside is as electrifying as the lightning outside.

sweet-sour - Jill Weinlein - On Stage Blog - ...read full review


Shari Barrett

Thanks to the skill of Mr. Garcia to dominate the action with his presence, eye-catching, post-World War II period-perfect costumes designed by Linda Cho which certainly add lots of flash to character portrayals, and the skill of director Doug Hughes and fight choreographer Steve Rankin, the raging intensity both outside and inside the KEY LARGO Hotel will keep audiences on the edge of their seats throughout the production, even though most probably know how the story will end, given the popularity of the 1948 film.

sweet - Shari Barrett - Broadway World - ...read full review


Steven Stanley

With Andy Garcia’s above-the-title star billing pretty much guaranteeing sold-out houses throughout the run, Geffen Playhouse may well have the biggest holiday-season hit in town, and though it’s far from traditional “holiday entertainment,” as adrenaline chargers go, Key Largo can’t be beat.

sweet - Steven Stanley - StageSceneLA - ...read full review


Avatar

This play lacks a theme and characters to care about. There’s no chemistry between the lovers. If we could see closeups and glances between the actors on a big screen, this play might work. As it is, it’s like watching the original movie on a small TV 20 feet away. Their predicaments, while moody, weren’t interesting and most characters didn’t seem to care about their problems either. The gunshots and hurricane did liven things up.

sour - Chris