Ben Brantley of the New York Times started his review by saying, “Let me just say up front that I was rooting for Sienna Miller.” Let me just say I wasn’t rooting for Sienna Miller. Maybe the better statement is: I wasn’t expecting much from Sienna Miller. As “movie stars” are showing up on Broadway more and more often, and many times it feels uncomfortable and forced (Julianne Moore in The Vertical Hour, anyone?), I didn’t expect much from Miller. I was pleasantly surprised by her and After Miss Julie.
Miller (as Julie) and the other Miller—Johnny Lee Miller as John—do “crazy” its justice. They both do neurotic, spiteful, sad, needy, fearful, mean…very well. Their range was impressive. One of the most titillating dialogues:
JULIE: Am I your conquest? Nothing more?
JOHN: Don’t force me to be cruel.
JULIE: Tell me what I am.
JOHN: A fuck.
JULIE (childlike, to herself): I’m all dirty.
JOHN: So wash.
JULIE: STAND UP WHEN YOU SPEAK TO ME! STAND UP! REMEMBER YOUR POSITION!
JOHN (He stands): Which one, Madame? There were so many.
JULIE: You’re still a servant, you scared little squaddie, you’re still a servant.
JOHN: And you’re a servant’s slut.
Weaknesses: Miller was stretching to fill the shoes of her bourgeoisie character, a little like she was playing dress up. The segues between the fits of rage and passion felt a little quick, forced. But maybe that was just how crazy and scattered the characters were supposed to be.
Unexpected delight: Marin Ireland who wowed me in Reasons to Be Pretty as the third part of this on-stage trio.
Good show, well worth my discount ticket price, and I’d have to say it’s given me a little more faith in both Millers—and maybe even the plethora of big names on Broadway.
Posted by: Lisa