New York Theater October 10, 2019 Leave a comment Can an underemployed middle-aged jerk be a babe magnet? Wheeler, it must be said, has plenty of acidic comments to make about such phenomena. Barford, right, and True-Frost play best friends who debate topics like the right word for big breasts. Now, this relationship continues to grow and expands to Broadway with this New York premiere of Linda Vista. Here are the bare bones of its familiar-sounding plot: Wheeler, in the midst of a protracted divorce and estranged from (and seemingly uninterested in) his 13-year-old son, moves into his own place, an apartment complex (as squalidly sterile as such environments can be, in Todd Rosenthal’s set, lighted without mercy by Marcus Doshi). Now cut to a scene early in the second act when Wheeler, on a date in a restaurant, ends a promising relationship with a brusque, simple sentence that lands like a lethal karate chop. For tickets and further information, visit www.steppenwolf.org or call 312-335-1650. Share: “Linda Vista” premiered at Steppenwolf in Chicago. ABOUT US. The everyday poison known as toxic masculinity becomes dangerously easy to swallow in “Linda Vista,” Tracy Letts’s inspired, ruthless take on the classic midlife-crisis comedy. Tracy Letts’s “Linda Vista” has announced complete casting for its Broadway run this fall. Linda Vista | Broadway Direct ALL BROADWAY SHOWS IN NYC SUSPENDED THROUGH MAY 30, 2021. Last night Second Stage Theater kicked off its largest Broadway season to date with the official opening of the first of three productions at The Hayes Theater. And in the production’s first half I worried that Letts might be hoping to fill the vacuum left by the death of Simon, the lucrative master of the breezy comedy of anxiety. “Oh, absolutely,” she responded. And as he keeps racking up the sexual conquests, a part of us is meant to cheer him on. The play, you see, memorably includes several gut-wrenching occasions when Barford’s Wheeler flips his appealingly grouchy persona to reveal a black hole of ugly, flailing, desperate narcissism. That’s a question theatergoers are likely to ask about Wheeler, the central character in Linda Vista, Tracy Letts’ latest play on Broadway. Second Stage Theater presents the Steppenwolf Theatre production of Linda Vista (in association with Center Theatre Group), written by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Tracy Letts and directed by Dexter Bullard, as part of its 2019-2020 Broadway season. And oh, the pity of it. Written by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Tracy Letts, this dark comedic take on a midlife crisis comes with an age recommendation of 16+ and is as entertaining as it is colorful... In the case of Second Stage Theater 's Broadway premiere of Linda Vista at The Hayes Theater, the telling is a complicated one. All of the aforementioned actors appeared in the Broadway production of August: Osage County and now reunite with the playwright for another Broadway venture. I asked the woman with whom I saw the play if she thought Wheeler would make a conquest of this last character. Linda Vista will play the Steppenwolf Downstairs Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted, Chicago, through May 21, 2017. Linda Vista's strongest elements spring from Letts' nuanced handling of his characters. "Linda Vista" is very much a classic Steppenwolf kind of show — funny, edgy, smart — and I don't doubt it will be a hit, and so it deserves to be, but you can, in its best moments, see it as a meditation on that old Steppenwolf brand, colliding uneasily against the new realities and interests of the American theater." Television made them obsolete, and in its opening scenes, “Linda Vista” plays like a … Wheeler (Ian Barford) is recently separated from his wife and even more recently moved out of her garage where he slept on a cot. Chantal Thuy and Ian Barford in the Steppenwolf Theatre Company production of Tracy Letts’ 'Linda Vista.' In addition to “Linda Vista,” the prolific playwright will have another show produced on Broadway this season. Played with immense, shaggy charm — and anger to match — by Ian Barford in a performance that reminds you of how brilliantly bruising Steppenwolf acting can be, this charismatic loser is named Wheeler. Letts’s long-awaited return to Broadway received mostly positive notices. They are beautifully portrayed by Sally Murphy (as Margaret, Paul’s wife); Cora Vander Broek (Jules, a professional life coach and Margaret’s good friend); Caroline Neff (Anita, who works in the shop with Wheeler); and Chantal Thuy (Minnie, a 20-something American-Vietnamese rockabilly chick). 2019 Edition. Running time: 2 hours 40 minutes. Letts has forged a fruitful relationship with Second Stage Theater in recent years, with the company staging his plays Man from Nebraska (itself a 2004 Pulitzer Prize finalist) and Mary Page Marlowe at the Tony Kiser Theater in 2017 and 2018, respectively. are a diverse lot. And that despite his failing hip and fatuous flippancy during emotional crises, he’ll always find women who want him. “Linda Vista” is one of those boulevard comedies that you don’t see on Broadway anymore. My dad had shelves of novels about such men — written by Kingsley Amis, John Updike and Philip Roth. He has also starred in the ground-breaking Broadway premiere of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, as well as a dozen production at Steppenwolf in Chicago. Such an attitude is atmospheric in “Linda Vista,” and it manifests in an assortment of casual cultural references: to a true crime television show (about a sex slave in a basement); comic book superhero movies; humiliation porn; and that monumental work of navel gazing, “My Struggle” by Karl Ove Knausgaard. It won’t be the last time it does so. 50-year-old Wheeler finds himself newly divorced and in the midst of his own mid-life downward spiral. Broadway News. The multi-faceted Wheeler isn't easily pinned down. Caroline Neff, left, plays a woman who works in a photo repair shop alongside Barford’s Wheeler. (l to r) Cora Vander Broek and Ian Barford in ‘Linda Vista.’ (Photo: Joan Marcus) By Matthew Wexler. 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