Golden Boy
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★★½ "As you may recall about this 1937 play, the issue with the young fighter Joseph Bonaparte is that the kid is a talented violinist, as well as the kind of pugilist who could make a wise guy a lot of money in the ring. That does not sit well with his Italian-born pop, who correctly discerns that his ambitious boy is making expedient choices. The latest incarnation is from Griffin Theatre, where the talented director Jonathan Berry has helmed an ambitious production of this three-act drama, written as Odets was nurturing a new focus on character and storytelling after he had penned his political dramas. That's not to say 'Golden Boy' lacks compassion for the working stiff. But much of "Golden Boy" is preoccupied with the love of Joe for the wrong woman, a cynical tramp from Newark, N.J., named Lorna, who happens to be the girlfriend of the fighter's manager Moody who is himself fighting off the control of a big-money suit named Eddie. The biggest problem with this production is that you don't really believe that Joe and Lorna are in love. You don't see the raw desire in these actors' eyes. And thus you don't really feel the push and pull of their desire and resistance. And thus the story does not pack the necessary punch." -Chris Jones