There was so much drama surrounding this year’s Alec Baldwin-led revival of Orphans that it was hard to walk into the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre with a totally open mind. Especially when it came to Tom Sturridge, whose wanky comments about rehearsal-room privacy and criticism of Pat Healey’s reporting practices made us kind of want to kick him in the teeth.
But the truth is, once the show got under way, none of that mattered. Because his performance was so wonderful, so perfectly calibrated and all-consuming, that nothing else mattered. Because in a world of put up or shut up, Sturridge put up. And how.
His Phillip was so fully realized–from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head, from every breath that he took to every word that he spoke to every tick and twitch of his hands–it seemed as if Sturridge had temporarily taken up resident in another person’s skin. This was more than just a performance–it was a whole other life. By the end of the show we were swooning and mentally shuffling all of our Tony predictions. But, since I can’t award real Tonys, I’m left to cross my fingers this Sunday and, in the meantime, give Tom the Tony of My Heart.
Photo: Slaven Vlasic