Butterworth's THE RIVER Drowns in Its Own Ambiguity

November 17, 2014 5:46 AM

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Given that Hugh Jackman is one of those actors who can pretty much name whatever Broadway vehicle he desires and producers will quickly nab a theatre, confident of healthy profits, one would wonder what it was that attracted him to Jez Butterworth's lethargic little chamber drama, The River, aside from a 90-minute work day.

Paired again with director Ian Rickson, who mounted his Jerusalem on Broadway a few years ago, Butterworth's effort is intentionally filled with ambiguity and unanswered mystery designed to keep viewers guessing. Unfortunately the ambiguity gets so dense, and the dialogue so lifeless, that there's l...

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