Peter Shaffer's homo-erotic play about a young boy raised in a house filled with religious fundamentalism and working class anger who blinds 6 horses made it's debut on Broadway this past week. Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) and Richard Griffiths (History Boys) headline. Kate Mulgrew (Tea at Five, Our Leading Lady, Star Trek), CarolynMcCormik (Private Lives) and T.Ryder Smith (Dead Man's Cell Phone) are among the stand outs in the supporting cast.
Martin Dysart (Griffiths), an aging psychiatrist attempts to get to the core issues behind why Alan Strang (Radcliffe) has blinded 6 horses in a stable in a small town. At first blush, a horrific act, however the story unwinds itself to reveal a young man caught up in religion, loneliness, sexual attraction, and a very sad, yet plausible explanation to the tragedy.
In the course of the story, we learn that the aging Dysart may indeed be battling his own version of these devils. Are any of us exempt? Are we all secretly jealous of those who take the reigns of life? Even if those reigns lead us down a path to hell? Perhaps Marx had it right. Religion may just be the opiate of the people.
Griffiths and and Radcliffe are aided by remarkable sound, well designed and executed lighting and smoke on the stage - not to mention the very physically fit boys who play the horses. The horse heads are a clever trick but it was the actors behind those heads executing the subtle horse movements brought their grandeur to life.
Well worth a full price ticket to see this show. Run, don't walk.