Photo: Pavel Antonov
Perhaps Marie Antoinette is better understood as a riff than a play: "Here is what David Adjmi thinks about Marie Antoinette," it seems to say, "plus a few cheap jokes." (E.g., when someone tells Marie that she doesn't feed her children sweets, Marie answers, "O let them eat cake.")
Marin Ireland's fascinating portrayal of Marie does much to cover the play's weaknesses and maintain audience interest. She has a contemporary edge that makes her a seemingly odd choice for the role, but her determination, humor, and intelligence give life and occasional depth to each of the versions of Marie on display.
The stage at the Soho Rep is backed by a long white wall with the words Marie Antoinette, also in white, running its length. Perhaps this tabula rasa is an invitation to the audience to write its own version of Marie, which is ultimately all any of us can do.
(first row center; press ticket)