The Seagull

from New York magazine, December 7, 1995

(I am leaving out the parts of the article that do not talk about Tyne Daly.)

There may have been worse productions of this masterpiece within human memory, but in the 33 years I've been covering the theatrical scene, definitely not. Indeed, with the possible exception of NAT's The Master Builder of last season, I cannot think of any masterwork given such a masterly deconstruction as this one gets from an ensemble out of hell. After all, despite their similarly zoological titles, The Seagull and Moose Murders are not usually perceived as the same play.

Although survivors of this evening at the barricades might at least enjoy the game of debating who is worst in this cast of unfortunates, I unhesitatingly designate the winner to be Tyne Daly as Arkadina. Shaped like a sack of potatoes left out in the rain, gifted with a mouth that cries out for some cud to chew on, and sounding like a Brooklyn policewoman on a beloved TV series, Miss Daly throws her not inconsiderable weight about hither and yon, only to land with unerring precision on the line or situation she deems in need of crushing. And, given her policewomanly way with things, no line or situation is presumed innocent. It is true that Chekov wanted his melancholy plays staged as comedies, butat Miss Daly's performance he would have laughed until he cried, thus returning the production to the Stanislavskian pathos from which he wished to rescue his play.

From Time magazine, December 14, 1962

(Again I've only used the section dealing with Tyne Daly)

As the actress Arkadina, Tyne Daly stresses monstrous self-absorption. Not for Daly the customary dotty unawareness of how she puts down her son, a would-ve avant-garde playwright; each belittling gesture is calculated cruelty.

(I interpret this as a positive statement considering that the article also said the performance was at times imperfect and campy, but it still told "...the story beautifully").

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