Critics there have lit into the Oscar-winning filmmaker, who's making his major stage debut as an amoral psycho killer in a Broadway-bound revival of Wait Until Dark.
"An Excruciating Wait," headlined the Boston Globe; "Tarantino Lightweight," opined Daily Variety. "Giggles rather than gasps in some key places," said the Boston Herald.
The show, costarring fellow Academy Award alum Marisa Tomei, opened last Thursday in Boston. It's due to make the move to New York on March 27, when it begins previews. The play is set to play the Great White Way for a limited, 16-week run.
Being the highest-profile member of the company, Tarantino is taking the highest-profile hits. Variety calls him "the big disappointment" as one of three thugs who terrorize a blind woman (Tomei).
The Globe dings Tarantino for a "straightforward recitation in which his hands do more acting than any other part of his body." And the Herald makes a surprising critique: The man whose career is built on crafting glorious dialogue for Pulp Fiction lacks "ease in delivering the dialogue" of the play.
To be fair, the play's the thing in the theater--and, according to Variety--the play in question here stinks. "A laborious giggle rather than an entertaining scare," the trade paper rules, noting that the production was already creaky when it first bowed in 1966. (The play was made into a 1967 film, starring Audrey Hepburn as the sight-challenged heroine.)
Stewart Lane, one of the revival's producers, tells the New York Post that he's "disappointed...but not discouraged" by the Boston notices. Moods are no doubt being bouyed by strong ticket sales, with Tarantino's star power proving especially effective in drawing young people.
Wait Until Dark is said to be Tarantino's first stage work since age 19. He'll turn 35 the night of his Broadway debut.