Straight Line Crazy is a play written by David Hare. The first production, directed by Nicholas Hytner, opened in previews at the Bridge Theatre in London on 16 March 2022 before officially premiering on 23 March 2022. The play is set in the 1920s through the 1960s in New York City and centres around the life of Robert Moses portrayed by Ralph Fiennes. Fiennes stars as Moses, once a powerful man in New York and the "master builder" of infrastructure from new parks and bridges to over 600 miles of expressways. During his working life, he served on the New York State Council of Parks and was the New York Secretary of State. Though never elected to office, he used a mix of charm and intimidation to manipulate the people and events in his favour including the Governor of New York Al Smith, portrayed in the play by Danny Webb.
|Straight Line Crazy|
|Written by||David Hare|
|Directed by||Nicholas Hytner|
|Date premiered||16 March 2022|
|Place premiered||Bridge Theatre|
|Subject||History, architecture, New York City|
|Setting||1920s–1960s New York City|
Motivated at first by a determination to improve the lives of New York City’s workers, he created new parks, new bridges and 627 miles of expressway to connect the people to the great outdoors. But in the 1950s, groups of citizens at grass roots began to organize against his schemes and against the motor car, campaigning for a very different idea of what a city was and for what it should be.
The play was shown in cinemas in association with National Theatre Live in the fall of 2022. It was announced that the production will make its New York stage debut, Off-Broadway at the The Shed running from October to December in 2022.
The show revolves around Robert Moses who at the start of his career, helped create dozens of bridges and miles of road ostensibly to better serve the community. His charm helped him. His intimidating presence ensured that everyone listened to him. This change was met by public outcry though in later years. Regardless of his actions, Moses changed the New York City skyline.
|Robert Moses||Ralph Fiennes||Ralph Fiennes|
|Mariah Heller||Alisha Bailey||Krysten Peck|
|Finnuala Connell||Siobhán Cullen||Judith Roddy|
|Carol Amis||Dani Moseley||Nemuna Ceesay|
|Ariel Porter||Samuel Barnett||Adam Silver|
|Henry Vanderbilt||Guy Paul||Guy Paul|
|Stamford Fergus||David Bromley||David Bromley|
|Lewis Mason||Ian Kirkby||Andrew Lewis|
|Jane Jacobs||Helen Schlesinger||Mary Stillwaggon Stewart|
|Sandy McQuade||Al Coppola||Al Coppola|
|Shirley Hayes||Alana Maria||Alana Maria|
|Nicole Savage||Mary Stillwaggon Stewart||Jennifer Regan|
|Governor Al Smith||Danny Webb||Danny Webb|
2022 National TheatreEdit
The play originated at the National Theatre, written by David Hare, and directed by Nicholas Hytner, the production opened in previews at the Bridge Theatre in London on 16 March 2022 before officially premiering on 23 March 2022.
It was announced that the production will make its New York stage debut, Off-Broadway at the The Shed. This production will be directed jointly by Nicholas Hytner and Jamie Armitage with Fiennes returning. Preview performances began on 18 October and the production opened on 26 October with performances through 18 December 2022.
NT Live screeningsEdit
Critical reception for the play has been mostly positive, in particular for the leading performance of Robert Moses by Ralph Fiennes. Variety declared, "Fiennes is all boldly convincing, controlled threat, his monomania teetering on the edge of malevolence". In The Guardian's five star rave review, critic Mark Lawson described Fiennes' performance as "enthralling" adding, "This is Hare’s most dramatically gripping and politically thoughtful play since The Absence of War three decades ago and provides another acting triumph for Fiennes". The New York Times called the play "sputtering" though "still a pleasure," and described Fiennes' performance as "gloriously entertaining."
- "Straight Line Crazy". Bridge Theatre. Archived from the original on 9 April 2022. Retrieved 15 April 2022.
- "Ralph Fiennes Leads World Premiere of Straight Line Crazy, Opening 23 March at London's The Bridge". Playbill. Archived from the original on 13 April 2022. Retrieved 15 April 2022.
- "Straight Line Crazy". NTLive. Archived from the original on 8 April 2022. Retrieved 15 April 2022.
- "Ralph Fiennes Returning to New York Stage as Robert Moses in 'Straight Line Crazy'". Variety. Retrieved 27 June 2022.
- "Straight Line Crazy". Farber. Archived from the original on 15 April 2022. Retrieved 15 April 2022.
- "Straight Line Crazy - The Shed". The Shed. The Shed. Retrieved 18 January 2023.
- "Ralph Fiennes To Star As Robert Moses In New York Staging Of David Hare's 'Straight Line Crazy'; Nicholas Hytner & Jamie Armitage Direct". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 27 June 2022.
- "Broadway World UK". Archived from the original on 19 February 2022. Retrieved 15 April 2022.
- "'Straight Line Crazy' Review: Ralph Fiennes Plays Robert Moses in David Hare's Talky New Play". Variety. Archived from the original on 14 April 2022. Retrieved 26 March 2022.
- "Straight Line Crazy review – Ralph Fiennes enthrals as the man who shaped New York". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 13 April 2022. Retrieved 26 March 2022.
- Green, Jesse (27 October 2022). "'Straight Line Crazy' Review: The Road Rage of Robert Moses". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 20 January 2023.