FREUD’S LAST SESSION (BROAD STAGE): 76% – SWEET

Judd Hirsch and Tom Cavanaugh in “Freud’s Last Session” at the Broad Stage. Credit: Ben Gibbs.

BITTERSWEET
For “Freud’s Last Session” to be a deeper play it would have to take a freer hand with the characters, exploring the textures of their inner lives rather than simply surveying their intellectual positions. St. Germain playfully illuminates some of the contradictions in their characters, but the piece sticks mostly to the surface, satisfying an audience’s hunger for intellectual nourishment with easily digestible morsels from their writings.
Charles McNulty – LA Times

BITTERSWEET
Cavanagh gets the smugness and the self-doubt; it would be interesting to see what he could make of a historical figure written with more flesh. And seeing Hirsch, whether in light bombast or thoughtful repose, remains a treat. Would that the work were more up to his abilities.
Evan Henerson – Backstage

BITTERSWEET
Had director Tyler Marchant matched Hirsch with an actor of his caliber, the play could have been volcanic.
Jonas Schwartz – TheaterMania

BITTERSWEET
In spite of the lack of play, the acting is especially strong.
Thomas Antoinne – Stage and Cinema

SWEET
Freud’s Last Case may not be for every theatergoer. It helps to have a love of ideas and of history to fully appreciate the experience. But theater aficionados with both will find this thought-provoking dramedy heady and satisfying fare.
Steven Stanley – StageSceneLA

SWEET
Freud’s Last Session, suggested by Dr. Armand Nicholi, Jr.’s book The Question of God, is impeccably directed by Tyler Marchant and beautifully staged by Brian Prather in a comfortable, book-and-artifact-laden study in London that mirrors Freud’s previous study in Vienna. Mark Mariani’s costumes are appropriate, and Clifton Taylor and Beth Lake provide vivid lighting and sound design.
Cynthia Citron – Cynthia Citron

SWEET
The Broad Stage production is uneven but never less than involving, a gratifying experience for those seeking some substance along with their wit and poignancy.
Bob Verini – Variety

BITTERSWEET
How disappointing that the promised fiery theological-pyschosexual dialogue between two of the 20th century’s intellectual titans quickly becomes a tepid stream of platitudes and aphorisms and a few fart jokes.
Penny Orloff – CultureSpot LA

SWEET
Germain’s intelligent if not quite stirring pas de deux for actors benefits from the casting of two accomplished thespians.
Les Spindle – Frontiers

SWEET
Within the play’s limited framework, I found the conversation quite absorbing.
Don Shirley – LA Stage Times

SWEET
“Freud’s Last Session” is not light fare, but for those interested in either man or in the issues of love, science and religion, St. Germain’s play is given a powerful production and in its west coast premiere, Cavanagh and Hirsch give revealing, nuanced performances that are a special rare treat.
Jana Monji – LA Examiner

SWEET
Tyler Marchant, the director, does a very nice job, and I think I get his marvelous through line. He guides the actors giving us wonderful jaw-dropping pauses and exciting moments that lift us out of our seats.
Joe Straw – Joe Straw #9

BITTERSWEET
In director Tyler Merchant’s agreeable if static production, the peculiarly prosaic goings-on consist of small talk, followed by a surface-level discussion of whether God exists.
Paul Birchall – LA Weekly

BITTERSWEET
Hirsch is the most prominent and dramatic actor in this production. He realistically feels the pain afflicting his character and argues his points with more zeal. Unfortunately, Cavanaugh is more droll in his characterization of C.S. Lewis, Partially, this comes from the writing by St. Germain, and the entire 80 minutes of the debate between these two men are difficult to hold one’s interest. Directed by Dale Franzen.
Carol Kaufman Segal – Reviewplays

SWEET
As a larger-than-life Sigmund Freud, Judd Hirsch brings considerable gravitas to his part. And as man whose sunny outlook stems from a roadside conversion to Christianity, Tom Cavanaugh’s Lewis provides the perfect counterpoint to Freud’s imagined stoicism.
Leigh Kennicott – Stagehappenings

BITTERSWEET
Whatever the reasons, the evening was a jumbled combination of enlightenment, muddle and strain.
Dale Reynolds – Stagehappenings

SWEET
Despite any limitations, the show’s scintillating conceit, dialogue, and abidingly pertinent concerns – plus the rare stage appearance by a consummate pro like Hirsch – warrant scheduling an appointment for this Session.
Jon Magaril – CurtainUp

SWEET
These questions are clearly worth considering as eloquently displayed by this production and the play’s global success.
Jason Mannino – Huffington Post

FREUD’S LAST SESSION
The Broad Stage
1310 11th St., Santa Monica
Contact theater for schedule; ends Feb. 10, 2013
Tickets: $45 to $137; (310) 434-3200
Running time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

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