'Breakfast at Tiffany's' on Broadway: What did the critics think?

'Breakfast at Tiffany's' on Broadway: What did the critics think?
Cory Michael Smith, left, and Emilia Clarke in a scene from "Breakfast at Tiffany's," performing at the Cort Theatre in New York. (Nathan Johnson Photography / Associated Press)

"Breakfast at Tiffany's," the beloved novella by Truman Capote, has hit Broadway with a rising star in the role of Holly Golightly -- HBO's "Game of Thrones" actress Emilia Carke.

The new stage version, by playwright Richard Greenberg, opened this week at the Cort Theatre in New York. Directed by Sean Mathias, the play is the first attempt to adapt the novella for Broadway since the disastrous musical version that closed before it officially opened in 1966.


Clarke is making her Broadway debut as the high-society party girl whom Capote described as an "American geisha." (In what may be a publicity stunt, her Broadway debut coincidentally comes the same week as reports of a split with boyfriend Seth MacFarlane.)

How did critics react to this new version of "Tiffany's"?

Ben Brantley of the New York Times  wrote that an "atmosphere of lugubriousness" hangs over the show. As Holly Golightly, Clarke comes across as "an under-age debutante trying very, very hard to pass for a sophisticated grown-up. This makes Holly’s whimsy go soggy."

The Chicago Tribune's Chris Jones said that the "central problem with this disappointing show has nothing to do with the ghost of Audrey Hepburn... There's no palpable connection between Fred and Holly, the unlikely and surely ill-fated couple of Capote's imagination."  

Linda Winer of Newsday described the production as "a bore." Clarke is missing "the presence that makes it impossible to notice anyone else in the room. Besides being small with a nice-girl beauty, she lacks a dominating fascination."

The Hollywood Reporter's David Rooney wrote that "it might be time to call for a moratorium" on stage adaptations of Truman Capote's novella. "It’s a daunting and thankless task to list all the things that went wrong in this lethargic retelling... Clarke doesn't demonstrate the maturity to convey Holly's unique dichotomy of breezy insouciance and jaded calculation."