C Gary Lucas - Official Website

Review of John Turturro's "Sabbath's Theater" (Philip Roth) 10/10/23

THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT: We went to the first preview of this tour de force last night and what can I say but that it did not disappoint, not by a long chalk. John Turturro was simply incandescent and brilliant as were Elizabeth Marvel and Jason Kravits. This is by far the greatest adaptation of any Philip Roth novel I've seen in any medium. The ensemble acting was riveting, and kudos to Jo Bonney's sundry direction. Hilarious, shocking, smutty, and teetering on the cusp of tragedy throughout, with as vivid and life-affirming a character as only Philip Roth could have conjured up (think Alexander Portnoy as aging artiste erotomaniac), John Turturro's Mickey Sabbath is a comic antihero for the ages, on the order of a Jewish version of J.P. Donleavy's wild Ginger Man, brimming with a comic-demonic lifeforce rivaling Mark Rylance's star turn as Rooster Byron in Jez Butterworth's "Jerusalem", and David Thewlis's Johnny in Mike Leigh's "Naked". Run, fly, but by all means see this play which is destined to be a huge hit. They're going to be raving about John Turturro's performance in this as long as people continue to go to the theater. Now playing at The New Group's Linney Theater on West 42nd Street.