Stage : Plays
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Performance dates : 

No Man's Land ONLY : Berkeley Rep, California, 3 - 31 August 2013. 

No Man's Land & Waiting for Godot : in rep at the Cort Theatre, W 48th St, NYC (between 6th and 7th Aves)
Previews begin 26 October 2013, Opening 24 November 2013, Closing 30 March 2014.
Official website : book here, or 'phone Telecharge (212) 239-6200 & (800) 432-7250  


Photo credit : Jason Bell




DOUBLE TAKE!  Broadway.com video of the cast and director talking about Two Plays in Rep.


EXCLUSIVE VIDEO on Entertainment Weekly "Happy pros at work!"


ON THE SCENE AT OPENING NIGHT Broadway.com interviews the stars of the shows - and their famous fans!



Photo credit : Jason Bell


Press notes:

"We wonder if two writers, Hirst (Patrick Stewart) and Spooner (Ian McKellen) really know each other, or are they performing an elaborate charade? The ambiguity - and the comedy - intensify with the arrival of two other men, Briggs (Shuler Hensley) and Foster (Billy Crudup). Do all four inhabit a no-man's-land between the present and time remembered, between reality and fantasy?"

"Two elderly writers, having met in a London pub, continue drinking and talking into the night. All might be well, until the return home of two younger men. Their relationships are exposed, with menace and hilarity, in one of Pinter's most entertaining plays."


"What the pair (Shuler and Billy Crudup) can anticipate

is the ballyhoo that will surround their co-stars once performances begin,

though the buzz has not invaded the rehearsal space,

which Hensley likens to a classroom of eager pupils."

SF Examiner 


Press notes:

"follows two consecutive days in the lives of Vladimir (Patrick Stewart) and Estragon (Ian McKellen), who divert themselves by clowning around, joking and arguing, while waiting expectantly and unsuccessfully for the mysterious Godot. While they are waiting, two strangers appear : Pozzo (Shuler Hensley) and Lucky (Billy Crudup)." 

"Two wanderers wait by a lonely tree to meet up with Mr Godot, who they hope will change their lives for the better. Instead, another couple of eccentric travellers arrive, one man on the end of the other's rope. The results are both funny and dangerous."

Production shot by Joan Marcus



"This fall, you'll be going from Briggs in No Man's Land to Pozzo in Godot.
How are you switching between those two mindsets?


Would you say that Briggs is one of Hirst's lovers, or are you playing him as a bodyguard?"


Two of the questions answered by Shuler in this interview (pdf file) with American Theatre Magazine

Production shot by Joan Marcus



Broadway World.com : Shuler Hensley, Big Man on Broadway
: Shuler Hensley on Bringing Georgia Flavor to Godot & Getting Existential in No Man's Land
NJ.com : Montclair resident Shuler Hensley joins Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen on Broadway
Playbill : Opening Night : No Man's Land & Waiting For Godot- The Winter's Tales
Wall Street Journal
: For "Godot" Actors, It's About Risk and Discovery
: Billy Crudup and Shuler Hensley will join Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart in No Man's Land and Waiting for Godot on Broadway
San Francisco Examiner : Berkeley Rep Charting No Man's Land
Contra Costa Times
: Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen Journey to No Man's Land. "(The play) also stars Billy Crudup and Shuler Hensley as two seedy minions"!


Photo credit : Kevin Berne


Opening : Playbill .... Broadway.com .... Theatermania
Press Day : Broadway.com .... Broadway World .... Playbill
Production Shots : Broadway World



Playbill Photo Gallery


Photo credit : Jason Bell





You see, it's not just us two old luvvies swanning around the stage. It's a four-man company and Billy (Crudup)
and Shuler (Hensley) are so wonderful in both shows that I can't stand it. Sir Ian McKellen, Toronto Star

As directed by Sean Mathias, with sturdy supporting performances by Billy Crudup and Shuler Hensley, these productions find the pure entertainment value in existential emptiness. I have never before heard American audiences respond to any production of Pinter or Beckett with such warm and embracing laughter .... No Man's Land : The tension rises when Hirst's thuggish and possessive manservants, Foster and Briggs (Mr. Crudup and Mr. Hensley, both very good) show up and suss out the intruder in their midst .... Godot : Mr. Hensley (looking like Humpty Dumpty and sounding like a Southern-fried Simon Legree) is the grotesque tyrant Pozzo and Mr. Crudup portrays his simpleton slave. These actors don't fit into Beckett's blasted landscape as naturally as they did into Pinter's land-mined drawing room. But they honorably and energetically serve their diversionary function. Ben Brantley, The New York Times

An all-star cast illuminates these two often difficult and opaque texts, bringing their stories of idle humanity in the face of impermanent existence into full focus. This is a quartet of the foremost actors of our time performing classic and challenging theater (you know, the kind they make you read in college) in fresh and infinitely accessible productions. It's a once-in-a-lifetime theatrical event not to be missed. No Man's Land : Crudup and Hensley usher in a silently menacing air every time they walk on stage. Hensley is the big dog quietly slumbering in the corner, but certainly the more threatening of the two. Zachary Stewart, Theatermania 

For audiences drawn by the star names, the discovery of New York theatre stalwart Hensley will be an additional reward. He plays Pinter's thuggish manservant Briggs, and Beckett's monster of privilege Pozzo, a role he turns into a self-inflated Yosemite Sam, replete with Wild West drawl .... As they do in No Man's Land, Crudup and Hensley hold their own in this illustrious company, and the scenes in which Pozzo and his baggage-carrying slave Lucky wander by are both hilarious and horrifying. Hensley's Pozzo is a pompous bellowing oaf, yet somehow pitiable as he flaps about as a beached whale on the ground, unable to get up. David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter

The productions also feature supple performances by Billy Crudup and Shuler Hensley .... Both Land and Godot in fact prove that the most challenging and unsettling material can make for accessible, even buoyant, entertainment. Elysa Gardner, USA Today

Billy Crudup and Shuler Hensley - essential supporting players in both works - are deliciously, maliciously dry as dangerous underlings jockeying for position. Linda Winer, Newsday

Director Sean Mathias and his talented quartet of actors do lovely service to both plays. Michael Dale, Broadway World

It's a mark of how stunning a cast has been assembled that the two supporting actors - Billy Crudup and Shuler Hensley - each have Tony Awards .... Godot : Hensley uses a strong Dixie drawl as Pozzo, which makes the master-slave allusion even more uncomfortable. Mark Kennedy, Associated Press

Local stalwarts Shuler Hensley and Billy Crudup, ably representing the American acting corps. Elisabeth Vincentelli, New York Post

Godot : the character Pozzo (Hensley, clownish and compelling). Robert Kahn, NBC New York

Godot : They're aided by fantastic supporting turns from a bullying Pozzo (Shuler Hensley) and his hapless slave Lucky (Billy Crudup). Tom Teodorcz, Independent.co.uk

Two great theater performers, Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart - ably supported by Billy Crudup and Shuler Hensley - team up to make each of the productions an absorbing experience. Robert Feldberg, North Jersey.com

Billy Crudup and Shuler Hensley, who round out the ensemble, are decisively impressive in the supporting roles of both plays. Terry Teachout, Wall Street Journal 

The talent on stage also includes two supporting players who would be stars in any other show, Billy Crudup and Shuler Hensley. It's a feast of acting .... Mr. Hensley, as the wealthy buffoon Pozzo, and Mr. Crudup, as his imbecilic slave Lucky, have great fun with their roles too, clowning their way through bravura turns. Jesse Oxfeld, New York Observer

Godot : .... the astonishing Shuler Hensley, using a booming, hog-calling Texas accent. Toby Zinman, Philly.com

.... ably supported by the estimable Billy Crudup and the talented Shuler Hensley, the latter especially in the Pinter play .... There is always an unknown menace in Pinter, and Crudup and Hensley personify it brilliantly. Wilborn Hampton, Huffpost Arts and Culture

In the case of these shows, the effect is intensified by Sean Mathias's sparse staging and the artful, sometimes brutal, supporting performances of Shuler Hensley and Billy Crudup. D.B.Grady, The Atlantic

Both leads are abetted by two other extremely fine performers. Godot : There is the excellent Shuler Hensley, who portrays the bumbling and bombastic Pozzo, strutting around with his slave Lucky. No Man's Land : Crudup and Hensley are equally good as the menacing duo. As in all the threatening characters that Pinter creates, there is a remoteness to them when first introduced before you see how sinister they really are. Joseph Cervelli, NorthJersey.com 

Godot : (McKellen and Stewart's) upbeat interpretation is neatly counterbalanced by Billy Crudup and Shuler Hensley as Lucky and Pozzo - perhaps the grimmest portrayal of this master-slave relationship that I've seen. Hensley gives Pozzo a Southern drawl, which adds fascinating nuance to the role. No Man's Land : Crudup and Hensley again shine as Hirst's menacing errand boys. Paul Hodgins, Orange County Register




Matching the iconic actors in intensity are Crudup, electric as always as the hustler Foster, and Hensley, who is nothing less than harrowing as the bully Briggs. Karen D'Souza, San Jose Mercury News

With Billy Crudup and Shuler Hensley in the supporting roles, the veritable all-star production at Berkeley Rep is a master class in Pinter performance .... Crudup and Hensley add the expected undercurrent of unstated, smiling menace; and each excels in his own arias and physical bits .... these four actors make the immersion in Pinteresque futility memorable and edgily joyous. Robert Hurwitt, SFGate

Pinter's creepy, confusing, but beautifully poetic play is given fresh life in the hands of these fine actors and director Sean Mathias .... Crudup and Hensley, with their working class British accents and 70s male swagger, hold their own playing two characters who are more roughly drawn and who may or may not be implied lovers. Jay Barmann, SFist      

At the heart of the matter, though, is the acting. It's outstanding .... Shuler Hensley, a brooding sidekick with presence. You simply could not cast this production any better. Clinton Stark, Stark Insider

The manic Foster (Crudup) and goon-like Briggs (Hensley) are a volatile addition to the older pair's already precarious chemistry .... An all-star cast bring one of Harold Pinter's masterpieces to life. Alex Bigman, East Bay Express

Billy Crudup gives Foster a magnetic, repellant edge, and Shuler Hensley exudes menace as Briggs. Their performances add a layer of sexual ambiguity and a bolder mendacity. Georgia Rowe, SF Examiner

They receive stellar support from Tony winners Billy Crudup and Shuler Hensley, younger men who inject elements of slyness, connivance and understated terror to the proceedings .... As the servants, Crudup and Hensley shift between servility, antagonism and crude bullying in dealing with both their employer and his bedraggled guest, and with each other. Neither projects a distinct personality; both project the ubiquitous presence of danger. And hints of danger can at times create very funny moments on stage .... Together, the stellar cast and director Mathias have shaped a gem. Leo Stutzin, Huffington Post

In the less flashy role of a burly bodyguard, Shuler Hensley creates the more interesting character by finding nuance in stolidity. Richard Dodds, Bay Area Reporter

Hensley surprises as the muscle with more beneath the surface than his gruff exterior would suggest. Ben Marks, KQED Arts

Photo credit : Jason Bell




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